Video conferencing for business is big news, yet many employees are still clinging to the more traditional audio conference, or conference call. While conference calls certainly have their place in the modern workplace, video conferencing offers a multitude of advantages, many of which can help improve the value of communications in the workplace.
But which outranks the other? And what is better for your business needs? Read on to compare audio and video conferencing across the key points of virtual communication:
Audio conferencing is often thought of as easier, or simpler than video conferencing. However, with the right video conferencing equipment and system, there is little difference between the two. By using tools such as virtual meeting rooms, video conferencing can be streamlined further.
There is plenty to be said for the convenience of dialing into a conference call from your desk, or on the go. It is slightly trickier to do so for a video conference, although not impossible, particularly with cloud-based tools, which allow you to join video meetings with one-click.
Level of Distraction
Video conferencing by nature is closer to face-to-face communication, and therefore requires more attention. Participants of audio conferences can be more prone to distraction – if they can’t see you, it’s a lot more tempting to doodle, or reply to emails while talking.
Quality of Communication
This is a no-brainer. Humans reportedly process information more efficiently when visuals are included, not to mention that being able to see someone’s lips move can help to understand them more. There is also the factor of non-verbal communication, which is lost in an audio conference.
It is far easier to share visual information, such as documents, via video conferencing that is set up for screen sharing. Video conferences should always be the preference for virtual presentations or meetings where a lot of data needs to be shared between participants.
Performance of Technology
This depends upon what kind of system, software and equipment you’re using. A high-quality phone built for conference calls is always going to outrank a video call made via a poor internet connection. When both are compared fairly, video conferencing is likely to appear more sophisticated to colleagues and clients.
The verdict: video conferencing is more relevant and has greater suitability for most modern-day business needs, but audio conferencing can still be a useful tool in the right circumstances, particularly where internet speeds are slow.