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Advantages and Disadvantages of Web Conferencing

Gaining an understanding of the various web conferencing advantages and disadvantages can be critical for business success because it allows companies to fully realize the potential on offer, while also maintaining an awareness of the challenges and what can be done to overcome them.

Keep reading to find out more about the pros and cons of web conferencing in modern business settings. The right equipment is also essential for effective video conferences, you may browse ViewSonic tools and solutions to amplify the benefits of web conferencing.  

With the increasingly important role web conferencing is playing in modern work life, it is worthwhile taking the time to learn about some of its advantages and disadvantages. Doing so can allow you to better understand why web conferencing solutions are so valuable and prepare you for some of the obstacles, too.

In this article, we take a closer look at how web conferencing can benefit your business, along with some of the potential drawbacks that you either need to be aware of or take action to prevent.

Web Conferencing Advantages and Disadvantages

Below, we have broken down some of the pros and cons of web conferencing into a list of three main advantages and three main disadvantages, allowing each of these to be explored in sufficient depth.

3 Advantages of Web Conferencing

Web conferencing has helped to revolutionize modern workplaces and fundamentally alter business communication. In this section, we explore some of the most significant ways that web conferences can benefit employers and employees.

Decreases the Importance of Location

One of the biggest plus points connected to web conferencing is the removal of physical or geographical location as a barrier when it comes to meetings, group discussions, events, and collaborative sessions. After all, with the right equipment and software, people will be able to attend these gatherings from anywhere in the world.

This then has a number of significant knock-on effects. For instance, it means companies can increase the scale of their conferences or product launch events because they can be ‘attended’ by a global audience. It also means business meetings can occur without limits, potentially enabling employees and talents to be hired from different parts of the world.

Significantly Reduces Long-Term Costs

Another major advantage associated with web conferencing is the ability to reduce costs, and this applies to both businesses and employees. For companies, video conferencing has the potential to greatly reduce travel expenses, and its role in facilitating remote or hybrid work can also allow businesses to reduce their office space.

In fact, companies can save as much as $11,000 per employee annually by using web conferencing software. For employees, the main financial benefit is the reduced need to commute to the workplace for meetings or events. In organizations carrying out regular meetings, these savings quickly add up too.

Can Create a Better Work/Life Balance

It is important to acknowledge that the traditional approach to business meetings can have a negative impact on employees’ work/life balance, especially if they are expected to travel to meetings regularly. When the option exists to attend virtually instead, it presents an opportunity to improve this balance by reducing time needed for the preparation of travel and the commute itself.

This time saved could potentially enable employees to sleep for longer, meaning they are better rested or enjoy more social time away from work, which can improve overall happiness. Businesses can then benefit from this too, as well-rested, happy employees are likely to be more productive and less likely to want to find a different job.

3 Disadvantages of Web Conferencing

A growing number of businesses are coming to terms with the potential that web conferencing has to offer, but it is equally important to grapple with the challenges or difficulties associated with the technology too.

Initial Setup Can Be Expensive

While the long-term savings associated with web conferencing are a significant plus point, it is fair to say substantial investment is usually required to get things set up in the first place. Among other things, businesses need to ensure their infrastructure can cope with demands and that all employees have the necessary equipment.

Often, this will mean providing monitors, headsets, and webcams for those who are working remotely. Everyone will require access to the core web conferencing software, which could be Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom, or another similar platform. There may also be a need for digital whiteboarding solutions and video conferencing monitors.

May Lead to Social Isolation

Web conferencing technology plays a key role in hybrid and remote working models and these have many benefits, but they can also contribute to feelings of social isolation. For instance, an employee who works from home often and who lives alone can easily suffer from a lack of real-world contact, and this needs to be carefully managed.

At its best, web conferencing is about breaking down barriers and bringing people closer together. Nonetheless, you do need to monitor each employee carefully and pick up on any signs of unhappiness. Hosting non-work virtual gatherings and reaching out to individual employees can also help battle isolation.

Technical Issues Can Cause Disruptions

Although steps can be taken to reduce the risk of technical issues, such as by investing in high-quality equipment and providing staff training, they are still a factor with many web conferences and need to be considered a disadvantage compared to the more traditional approach of in-person conferences or meetings.

According to research from Highfive, 40 percent of meetings encounter some form of hardware or software-related technical issue, and the average time wasted on solving issues of this kind is three minutes. Some of the most common difficulties include unstable internet connections, software compatibility issues, and audio problems.

Final Thoughts

Getting to grips with the various web conferencing advantages and disadvantages allows businesses to improve their understanding of the technology and carry out better meetings. In particular, it is important to acknowledge the benefits of breaking down geographical barriers, improving employee work/life balance, and saving money.

At the same time, web conferencing does require initial investment, and technical issues are somewhat inevitable, although steps can be taken to reduce them. Moreover, frequent use of web conferencing to assist remote work can potentially lead to issues around social isolation, and any related problems need to be handled compassionately.

To amplify the benefits of web conferencing, it’s important to know the steps in setting up, managing, and executing one. Read our article on the six steps to take to achieve an effective web conference. Or explore ViewSonic’s business tools and solutions for your best video conferencing setup.