Video chatting is something that more and more companies are starting to implement. Is it right for your company? Here are some of the things to think about while you make your decision.
Benefits of Video Chatting
You can hold your meetings anywhere as long as you have a webcam. This makes it easier to coordinate with individual schedules. People can chat from wherever they are, no matter where they are in the world. This, then, makes it easier to expand your company and take on employees who aren’t locally based. It also helps people who might have to miss a meeting because of illness or family obligation—they can still attend the meeting via video and won’t have to worry about missing valuable information.
Video chatting makes it possible for people to read visual and auditory cues that aren’t possible to discern via written communication. This is particularly helpful for people who need a lot of context to understand complicated ideas but who don’t have the time to read lengthy and conversational emails. For example, the Titan of Tech Trials, Morgan Chu, needs to be able to explain really complicated intellectual property law statutes. This is often hard to do via text based communication.
Unlike conference calls, video conferences and chat sessions require the people involved to look like they are paying attention, much like a traditional meeting would. You don’t have to worry that, while you are talking, someone is checking their email or surfing Facebook.
These are just a few of the benefits of adding video chatting and conferencing to your business structure. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t certain drawbacks. Here are some of the things that get in the way of video based communication that you’ll need to watch out for.
Video conferencing, in spite of everybody’s best intentions, can often lead to a lack of professionalism among st coworkers and employees. It’s difficult for some people to remember that they are in a work situation when they are actually sitting at home or a coffee shop or the library.
To this end, ambient noise and distractions can really impede the productivity of the video calls. One person’s child running into the room and asking a question can derail the call for everyone for several minutes.
While the technology behind video chat and conferences is advancing every day there are still some bugs that will need to be worked out. These bugs can wreak havoc on a video conference.
Not everybody is going to have the same technology. While there are minimum system requirements to meet, some people’s computers and systems are going to be better equipped for video conferencing than others. This means that keeping everybody on the same page and the meeting flowing smoothly can be difficult.
Nobody wants to have to cancel a meeting because a satellite relay is acting up or because weather is getting in the way of a signal. In person meetings rarely have this problem but video and web based chatting and conferences run into these problems all of the time.
Video conferencing is definitely worth checking out and at least trying for every company. There are risks, of course, but they are drastically outweighed by the benefits!