There are a lot of advantages to having virtual meetings such as money saved on traveling, convenience, the ease of making accommodations and the ability for people to get back to work right away after the meeting has ended. However, there are also some notable disadvantages to a virtual meeting.
Developing business relationships is extremely important in the business world. Companies that have too many virtual meetings run the risk of preventing the interaction and personal contact that allows for the development of these relationships.
Types of Disadvantages
People have a greater opportunity to multi-task when they are involved in a virtual meeting. For example, they may become distracted with answering e-mails. It is more difficult to stay engaged in an online discussion. (See Reference 1)
Participants usually need to have the necessary equipment for virtual meetings such as the proper hardward, software and online connection. They will also need to be properly trained. A lack of coordination on any of these issues will undermine the success of a virtual meeting, according to Web-meetings.org: Disadvantages of Web Meetings.
The virtual meeting does not appeal to everyone from a cultural standpoint. Many people are uncomfortable with new technology, especially if they have been accustomed to in-person meetings with a specific company. (See reference 3 below)
Scheduling a virtual meeting may be more difficult when dealing with a larger group of people across different time zones. The meeting time may not be convenient for everyone. Moreover, virtual meetings are not very effective with extremely large groups.
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