Traveling is expensive but your business has to run! And when you have offices or branches across the country (dare I say… world!) you need solutions that don’t require the burden and expense of travel.

Technology is our friend, and rapidly growing in a way that helps facilitate connection and makes it easier than ever. Video conferencing has really come along and is a great tool to connect your remote employees and branches.

So how does video conferencing work you ask? It connects people in real time via video AND audio over the internet. It makes document sharing, presentation and virtual meetings possible. But it’s not without its flaws. Below we will discuss some disadvantages and advantages of video conferencing.

The Bad

1. The first is probably rather obvious, lack of intimacy. You lose that human touch with video, and if there’s a bad connection it can be extra hard to pick up on body or emotional cues.
2. Time Zone issues also come up. If you have an office in say Los Angeles, and in Australia, your Australian employees are probably sleeping when your LA employees are at work onto their second cup of coffee.
3. There can also be high costs in setting up video conferencing. When you start talking extras and fancy features for video conferencing, they all come at a cost!
4. While technology is our friend, it too has its flaws. Hardware, software or network issues can mean a bad connection. If you don’t have IT on site at each meeting location your employees may have a tough time troubleshooting and resolving.

The Good

1. The first is a potential for dramatic savings in travel expenses! Sure we all would love to live in an airport and travel all the time, but that is EXPENSIVE. And companies can save many, many dollars if they implement virtual meetings instead.
2. The ease of communication is a huge benefit. File sharing, media sharing, screen sharing, remote sharing, e-voting, conference recording, the list goes on!
3. Productivity can also increase since you are eliminating the time-suck that can be travel. Meetings can be done anywhere, are more efficient and collaboration tools help decisions to be made more quickly.
4. There is also a time convenience with video conferencing. Anytime, anywhere! No room to host a meeting? Your online space IS ALWAYS available.

I think the good outweighs the bad when it comes to video conferencing. It’s a great tool to bring together your remote branches and employees that otherwise wouldn’t feel as involved and it will make your company more efficient.