Although it’s never really possible to make a blanket prediction that represents all businesses, it’s pretty safe to say that video conferencing seems like it’s here to stay. Even before the COVID pandemic hit, more and more businesses were realizing how convenient video conferencing was and the way it was able to strengthen their business operations. Then social distancing and quarantining forced practically every business to transition to remote operations, and video conferencing became ubiquitous.
Now that people are transitioning back to in-person meetings, video conferencing remains a convenient option as it allows people to cut out commute times and potentially jump from meeting to meeting with greater ease — something that’s important for people who sometimes have multiple meetings every single day of the week.
Video conferencing also allows people from all across the country or even all over the world to collaborate, so companies with remote workers or even long-distance clients can enjoy the more personal connection video conferencing offers compared with a phone call.
In short, video conferencing is definitely worth the investment for your business. But even so, you still might have plenty of concerns. Ease of use? Security? Reliability? While the convenience is great, some businesses might still feel much more comfortable with in-person meetings.
While all of this comes down to personal preference, let’s still take a moment to look through some of the concerns that you as a business owner might have.
Which Platform to Choose
There are so many video conferencing platforms that are now available, and although Zoom has become the unofficial default (how often do you hear people refer to virtual conferences as Zoom conferences?), it’s neither the only nor the best fit for your particular needs.
Business News Daily breaks down some of the benefits that you’ll find with each platform. For example, Zoom offers high-definition audio and video, plus you’ll enjoy the option to share screens, message the group, or even record your meeting for access later. GoToMeeting is another popular option that is easy for dial-in lines, whereas Microsoft Teams might be the way to go if you need to conduct polls and surveys during your conference. Webex Meetings could be good for people who want a web application they don’t have to download and install on their computers.
These four are among dozens of other options. In general, you can expect most virtual conference services to be comparable when it comes to benefits like convenience and security. Instead, when you’re making your decision, you should look at which ones offer the most useful features for your needs and which one is available at the best price.
Addressing Security Concerns
Some business owners might be worried about security concerns when using video conferencing. What happens if an outside party hacks into your meetings and listens in on confidential conversations?
Not to worry. According to the Centers for Strategic & International Studies, it’s nearly impossible to secretly infiltrate a video conference because encryption is able to block the interception. In fact, video conference platforms pose less risk to your privacy than many other websites and apps. The misconception that they are somehow a security risk was started as part of marketing efforts by certain brands that tried to cast their competitors as being risky. None of these claims had much basis in fact.
What Happens When…?
As with any type of technological advancement, however, problems arise. While this might frustrate some users, most of us will agree that the glitches you run into when using video conferencing are hardly grounds for giving up on the service.
Instead, focus on easy ways to fix any problems associated with video conferencing. For example, if you’re suffering from issues like choppy sound quality, video that keeps freezing up, screen sharing that cuts out, or just general delays, you are likely looking at inadequate bandwidth or poor network connection. An IT professional can help set you up with the network you need to handle these kinds of video calls. It’s also a good idea to check to make sure your cables and routers are not outdated or in poor condition.
If you find that your audio or video quality is poor, it might be worth a simple investment in a headset, microphone, earbuds, or lens attachment that can improve the quality. These are often available at tech stores like Best Buy at reasonable prices.
Finally, for the convenience of all team members, it’s beneficial to look for video conferencing services that offer integration on any kind of device. Many of your team members will log on to a meeting via their computer — either laptop or desktop — but if they’re away from their office, that might not be the most convenient option, and they will need to pull up the video conference on their tablet or smartphone.