Research shows that business meetings, discussions and training are happening online nowadays. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
Holding business meetings and training via the internet has gained enormous popularity in recent years. Although the drawbacks of this are varied, in my opinion, the benefits are greater. On the one hand, conducting meetings and training sessions online may have some major disadvantages. The first drawback is the technical limitations that participants may have, which may reduce the effectiveness of discussions or meetings. For example, the elderly may find it hard to understand and make use of latest programs and software, while other participants may lose track of the progress of a meeting due to a slow internet connection or platform malfunction. The second disadvantage is the lack of face-to-face interaction which is often considered as the key to a successful meeting or training session. While online attendants may be easily distracted by other interesting, yet non-productive online activities, the physical presence of hosts or trainers would no doubt provide a more engaging and active meeting or training session. However, I am convinced that the advantages of virtual meetings are more significant. Compared to traditional face-to-face meetings, those held online consume much less time and money. In the past, attendants had to make long trips just to meet with other employees from other branches, however with online meetings, all team members can join the conference from any place, without the need to travel. Another advantage of online communication is that members who join meetings and training can share and organise files and presentations easily and conveniently. The files can also be edited or revised by other members, facilitating collaboration within the whole team. In conclusion, it seems that the merits of virtual meetings and trainings are more significant than the downsides.