Right now, more than ever, it’s hugely important to make virtual meetings a success when it’s simply not possible to assemble together in person. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, offices around the world are scrambling to keep projects on track and to have team members engaged and motivated. Typical ways of working are being suspended for a while, so companies are trying out more ways of online communication. Emails and text messages are all well and good, but the time will come for a virtual meeting eventually.
The advantages of online meetings are plain to see, including:
- Cutting back on costs: There’s no need to travel to another office, city, or even country with online meetings.
- Environmental impact: If more online meetings take place, the carbon footprint is lower because planes, cars, and trains aren’t needed so often. It’s also reported to be better for mental and physical health.
- Efficient: No more worrying about finding a free meeting room or figuring out scheduling difficulties. People can usually find time for a 30-minute meeting when it’s online.
- Recording: Software can record online meetings and conferences so that these chats can be watched back later or even seen by those who couldn’t attend. TeamViewer is one of the most well-known software programs for recording meetings, although these are some of the best TeamViewer alternatives for more options to consider.
- Job interviews: This is useful screening process for first interviews with HR to see who is worthy of going further in the application.
There are, of course, a few disadvantages of virtual meetings as well:
- Needing extra software and appropriate hardware: Hopefully, everyone has a laptop or smartphone that can handle online meetings, but it isn’t always the case. As well, it’s often required to install new software and some people struggle with figuring out different programs.
- Time differences: It can be difficult to find the perfect time to speak online when talking to colleagues or clients in different countries or time zones. This is usually why people like to attend meetings in person.
- Technical issues: Sometimes, the internet just goes down, software programs have their own difficulties, or someone may break or lose their laptop.
- Communication errors: It’s occasionally hard to understand someone when you’re not in the same room, particularly if someone has a thick accent and you need to rely on visual cues, but this is where video conferencing is useful. Also, people often mishear things during an online meeting and are too shy to ask for clarification if there are other people in the call.
- Talking over each other: It’s sometimes hard to know when someone has finished talking and people usually end up talking over one another and the flow of the meeting becomes jagged.
- Difficult topics: Serious or emotional topics aren’t so easy to discuss in a virtual call, as people often feel more comfortable in a one-to-one meeting in the same room.
Are virtual meetings for you?
Not every company or employee likes using virtual meeting software for work communication, but sometimes they have no choice in the matter. There are many online meeting secrets that can help team members prepare and wrap up online meetings in an efficient manner. Plus, there are plenty of great programs like Slack, Teams, or Skype to try out. Even after workers feel safe to meet in offices again after the coronavirus pandemic, virtual meetings can still be a useful tool for quick and easy interactions for businesses of any size.