Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Meetings

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Technology has become a tremendous solution for business meetings. Online meetings---including video and phone conferences---can be conducted at a mutually convenient time and at any location for all employees. This allows for policies, deals and business strategies to be discussed virtually. Although holding meetings via the Internet has tremendous advantages, it has a few minor disadvantages as well.

Accessibility

  • The main advantage of holding meetings online is that it transcends location, making the conference accessible to the necessary parties. Members can easily join the conference and participate in the discussion from almost anywhere in the world.

    Since all files used in actual presentations can be digital, they can be easily sent to all participants. Some online conference providers automatically document the whole discussion; therefore, text and audio transcripts can be easily shared among participating members.

Comfort

  • Online meetings can even be conducted at the comfort of your own home. Unless it is a videoconference, you can even wear any type of clothing while participating in the discussion. Not being seen can also be a great tension reliever for some people.

Cost-Effective

  • Holding meetings online is cost-effective. Some business plans and agendas can be discussed and achieved without the printing costs of a traditional conference. Board members, clients and staff involved in an online meeting can easily share and transfer files online and have those files projected on their own screens.

    Since online meetings are virtual, a company also saves on transportation costs. This is applicable to companies that provide coverage for their employees' transportation.

Technical Issues

  • While technology can be a great help in discussing business relations, there are also technical issues associated with holding meetings online. All necessary and intended participants of the conference must have specific, compatible software to join the meeting. Problems on Internet connections can impede participation.

Interpersonal Relationships

  • The importance of face-to-face contact in order to arrive at a decision is overlooked in an online meeting. It is also possible that the conversation is not as smooth as in interpersonal communication primarily because it is difficult to interact with one another. Since much of communication is nonverbal, online meetings can lack communicating certain points effectively.

References

  • Photo Credit table for meetings image by terex from Fotolia.com
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