When was the last time you sat on a web conference that ran without a hitch? When there was no awkward silence, no talking over each other, no waiting for that last joiner to come online, only to realize they’ve been on the call the whole time but their microphone wasn’t working... Most people agree: web conferences can be awkward.
In this world of nonstop communication and increasingly spread-out workplaces, people deserve better. We spend a large portion of our days speaking with people face-to-face, so why should professionals have to sacrifice quality communication just because they’re not in the same office?
Below, we take a look at the barriers of web conferencing, and how video technology is completely reshaping the productivity of meetings as we know them.
No more ‘Mr Anonymous’
We’ve all been there: you’re sitting on a web conference, talking about someone who has yet to join… perhaps you’ve even said something you shouldn’t have. Then, to everyone’s horror, that guest account everyone was ignoring turns out to be just that person. That’s the problem with web conferencing: there’s just no telling who's sneaking onto the call.
This is where live video comes in. We all know that speaking to someone face-to-face makes you more productive, but with research showing that 55 percent of all human communication originates from facial expression, and just 7 percent comes from voice, there’s also a clear business advantage to seeing the person on the other end of the conversation.
Whether you’re speaking with a colleague, customer, partner or lead, nothing beats being able to look them in the eye and gauge what they’re really thinking. On a video meeting this is easy; but on a web conference, it's nearly impossible.
Stuff that happens on mute
So, everyone’s logged into the web conference. You’ve spent 15 minutes working out which voice relates to which guest account, and maybe another 10 minutes waiting for someone to download the online meeting software. You’re all set, right? But hang on… do you really know if the people on your call are listening? When you can actually see the person on the other end of the line, you can observe their body language, facial expressions and attitude. When you can’t see those on the call, however, who knows what they could be up to? Maybe they’re listening intently and taking notes, or maybe they’re daydreaming, fidgeting, or planning their evening trip to the pub?
A live video meeting ensures participants stayed engaged, and it also allows participants to warn you if they have to dip out of the room without disrupting the entire conversation. According to a recent BlueJeans study, 69 percent of respondents said they use live video for ad-hoc catch-ups, so there's a growing appetite for video in all areas of people's lives. It’s time for the workplace to follow the trend.
The moral of the story?
Web conferences are held to let people communicate important information, so seeing the people you're speaking with is crucial for ensuring that your message is understood and that confidential information remains that way.
With businesses now operating across the globe in an always on, always-connected fashion, it's key to have tools that increase productivity. Whether it’s setting up a bi-weekly team meeting or conducting interviews for new members of staff, live video technology delivers the face-to-face element that web conferencing can miss.
In the short run, this ensures a more efficient meeting, and in the long run, this can dramatically improve productivity, sales and business growth.