17 Feb Video Conferencing vs. Conference Calling: Make the Most of Dialling In
With new flexible working policies, the landscape of the typical office is undergoing a transformation. It might not be possible to pop downstairs to ask your co-worker a quick question about an upcoming project – they could be halfway across the world.
As companies change their day-to-day operations to accommodate remote employees, in-person meetings are a luxury some can no longer regularly afford. Many are now turning to the convenience of virtual interactions like conference calls or video chats. It’s all about being as efficient and cost-effective as possible because no matter what medium you choose to use, no one wants to waste time.
Phone to Phone
For a casual catch-up, a conference call might be the best way to include all colleagues, especially those working off-site. Since you can’t use facial expressions or body language, conference calls might be more successful if conducted between people with an established working relationship, preferably between individuals who have previously met in person. But any meeting – regardless of intended outcome or participants involved – should be kept as simple as possible, and a quick chat should be just that: quick.
Video to Video
For a more involved meeting, a video conference is a handy, direct way to connect. It may take a bit more time to set up a webchat – making sure the microphone is working properly, adjusting the webcam and preparing visual materials – but the few extra minutes of prep time are worth it for the ability to match faces with voices. Videoconferencing will also help remote workers feel less removed from the company’s operations: everyone needs to feel like a useful part of the team, despite location restrictions.
Face to Face
Just because this technology is available to us doesn’t mean we should completely disregard personal interactions, because face-to-face meetings are still a vital part of modern business. They help build stronger, more trusting relationships, foster creativity and collaboration and encourage open communication – important factors, especially when forging a new connection. So when conducting personal, one-on-one business such as interviews, performance reviews or meeting new clients, do them in person whenever possible. It will help to speed up the getting-to-know-you process and can facilitate lasting partnerships.
It’s easy to forget that the way you say something is just as important as what you say, and with modern advancements in communication, meetings don’t need to be a hassle. So think about the nature of your next meeting – what will it be about, who’s involved, what needs to be achieved – and plan how you can maximise its potential.