The Cons of Online Meetings
Online meetings also have disadvantages, not just advantages.
There is a fine line when distinguishing the types of meetings that will work with the advantages and disadvantages of online meetings. Certain types of meetings just do not work in an online environment. Meetings where face-to-face time is valuable, for instance, would not work. Sometimes people have to watch and see subtle body language that isn't possible with webcams. In addition, sometimes the nuances in voices or the words typed in chat windows can be taken the wrong way and might lead to miscommunication of the message.
Technical difficulties are also a big hurdle for many online meetings. The connection could go down in one area, disconnecting an entire team at once, or the mic might pick up feedback or static, leading to repeated attempts to state the same thing. Technical hurdles can delay meetings for up to half an hour or more if the local IT staff cannot fix the problem, leading to wasted time.
Time zones are also a big hurdle for online meetings. An afternoon meeting for some might mean a late night meeting or early morning meeting for others. For larger, international companies, this can be an even bigger problem if the time zone differences are vast. Nobody appreciates having to attend a meeting at 5 AM or 10 PM while they know others are still in their work hours.
One advantage I listed above is the ability to save and store the meetings. This can also be a disadvantage. If the meeting were leaked, valuable information could be sent to a competitor or news outlet. If the saved meetings are not safeguarded correctly, the business could lose its competitive advantage in one fateful information leak.