Video conferencing has become a major tool used by businesses to operate almost on a daily basis. It not only saves on time and money but also increases collaboration among globally distributed workforce. However, the use of video conferencing comes with its fair share of challenges that make it undesirable for many businesses. As much as this technology helps connect people from different places much faster, there are things companies wish would've worked better. If you can look into the unfiltered truth about video conferencing systems, then you can learn that there's much that's needs to be done to improve communication.
1. Getting Everyone of the Same Page Is Difficult
Coordinating between the software and hardware part of the video conferencing system is always frustrating. You must first download and setup the software on your computer or mobile device then login to your account. Going through the process till you're connected with other participants can end up being a hassle.
Another big challenge is using a video conferencing room system that's poor and you're unable to fix it. Most online cloud meeting software come with many functions, which can often be confusing to first time users. This may cause many people to shun from using the technology. In addition, video conferencing software and equipment usually need to be setup and tested every time before use to ensure they're working properly. That cannot only be time consuming but also tiring.
2. It Doesn't Offer An Elaborate Eye Contact
Video conferencing system provides great real-time video communication but cannot be compared to face-to-face meeting. The disconnect is usually in the eye contact. When you look at the presenter's eyes in a video conference, he/she will see you looking in a different direction. The reverse is also true. That means you have to look directly at the camera in order to appear as if you're making eye contact. Even so, you won't be able to focus on the face of the person making a presentation on the other side.
3. It Doesn't Provide Dry Erase Boards
When explaining ideas during a presentation, picture illustrations are sometimes necessary. And in face-to-face meetings, that can be done on dry erase boards. Video conferencing software like ezTalks Meetings come with tools such as whiteboards and screen sharing which are undoubtedly helpful options. However, these tools come with limited options, especially when it comes to drawing pictures. Hence, nothing can be more elaborate than the use of real life dry erase boards to make illustrations.
4. Makes People Worry about Personal Appearance
Video conferencing allows people to participate in online meetings from anywhere and at any time. That means an attendee can be in an office, at home or travelling in a plane. Those particularly attending from home may have a hard time working on their appearance before entering into the meeting room. They might need to change from their pajamas into formal wear or even fix the messy space around the living room before joining the video conference. This self-consciousness is mostly brought about by the thought of being on camera. It's more like being filmed for a video or movie.
5. The Problem of Latency
During a video conference session, a delay in micro-seconds can lead to participants interrupting each other in a conversation. Although cameras from video conferencing systems like ezTalks are designed to remove some delays in live video streaming, laptop or computer cameras still lag behind. That's because these devices sometimes take time to capture image before sending it to ezTalks Meetings or any other software one might be using. If this problem is to be avoided, then each participant must use high quality cameras and robust video conferencing software to connect with each other. That means spending extra money to adopt an elaborate video streaming system.
6. Encourages Stiff Meetings
Video conferences are mostly on presentation mode and do not encourage fluid discussions. In most cases, only one person dominates the meeting with other participants often hesitant to make contributions, unless the presenter really makes an obvious pause. That's because video conference participants try as much as possible to avoid interruptions which can be jarring. And with audio delays that are synonymous with many video conferencing systems, it's only prudent for users to talk less. That leads to lower engagement which contributes to less useful discussions.
7. Office Interruptions
One of the benefits of video conferencing is that participants can attend the meeting from anywhere. But attending a meeting from an open-plan office can be quite a risky move. People around you may be on calls or your colleagues might just make funny faces on the ground, with no regard of the seriousness of the meeting you're attending. With most companies adopting the open-plan office layouts, it's a great challenge for workers using video conferencing systems in such environments.
8. Connection Issues
The video conferencing software and equipment might be working properly but if there's an internet failure, everything might just be messed up. If the connection is bad, it means not everyone will be able to participate in the meeting. That means participants will end up wasting their time and resources for nothing. Internet connection issues are things that are totally out of control of the video conferencing software. So attending in-person meetings is way better and more reliable than use of online meetings.
Adopting video conferencing system can be a great idea for a business to connect with employees and key business players. However, there are many downsides that come with the use of this technology. Setting up the entire video conferencing and getting started is big hassle. It does not provide proper eye contact, has a problem with latency and is bound to experience interruptions. A typical video conference also encourages stiff meetings, which is a big hindrance to productivity. In essence, using video conferencing systems comes with lots of flaws that need to be fixed really fast. If video conference providers can develop more elaborate features for their systems, then enjoying more life-like meetings can be easier. One of the key areas that need attention is the video cameras and how eye contact can be maintained. Working on that will ensure more meaningful, productive and efficient meetings.