How To Choose The Best Video Conferencing Services For Scientists?
As we continue to network with people all over the world, emails and phone calls will become a thing of the past and video conferencing will take their place, at least to a large extent. We are going to look at why video conferencing can benefit you and how to decide what the best option is based on your needs.
Why do Scientists Need Video Conferencing Platforms?
Despite what many people believe, science is a field that requires great amounts of collaboration and often with people from all over the world. Video Conferencing allows 2 scientists or even 40 scientists to clearly see and speak to each other from anywhere with an internet connection.
Not only is it easier to connect with multiple people, but also communication is more effective. There is no more interrupting each other because we can see others on screens, plus added features in technology improves how numerous people talk together in a group. Without video platforming, you would have to email participants to arrange a time, then reply to them responding, and finally send all of the meeting material by email. In the end, you end up having to phone half the people to check if they have your email-rather counterproductive.
Again, we have an image of scientists in white coats working in labs but this isn’t always the case and many scientists are able to telework. Working from the outside of the lab or the office is becoming more popular and video conferencing is playing a key role in this. Even recruitment is being taken online with virtual interviews allowing companies to find specialists from all over the world. It’s not always easy to find specific scientists on your doorstep.
Surely an Email will do?
Emails will still have their place for certain tasks, but you will begin to notice its limitations once you begin using video conferencing platforms. For example:
- It’s easy to misunderstand with emails. The tone of voice, facial expressions, and even body language are extremely important when communicating, things that you won’t get in an email. Video conferencing lets you establish a personal connection.
- There is a time lag. First of all, you have to wait for the other person to respond, which is something we aren’t used to in this instant world. You may even be waiting for hours if they are in another time zone. Secondly, you may have a response but have moved away from your inbox.
How to Hold a Successful Video Conference
Now, just because we have the technology, doesn’t mean we need to use it without a valid reason. First, decide if the meeting is really necessary. As with face to face meetings, nobody likes wasting time. Here are some more tips and tricks.
- Only invite those who are needed: This will reduce the likelihood of people talking over each other.
- Work out your time zones: Most people are used to working outside of the usual 9 to 5 but there still has to be a limit. Use apps or programs like World Time Buddy to set a time that suits the majority, if not all of the callers.
- Plan the agenda: Know what needs to be said and how long each matter will take. Add on a little extra tie for the initial hellos and potential issues with the connection.
- Be conscious of those who have back-to-back meetings: People will need breaks between meetings, even virtual ones. For this reason, it is important to stick to the schedule.
- Think about having a meeting leader: This person can introduce speakers, make any introductions and help you to keep to the agenda.
What to Consider When Choosing a Video Conferencing Platform
You should bear in mind the following factors before choosing the video conferencing solution:
- Cost- necessary for your budget.
- Screen/File Sharing- you may need to share applications, files, or even your whole desktop. It’s important that all file sharing is completely secure.
- Access- how many people can participate in the calls and what will the quality of the call be like. It’s important to know what broadband requirements there too. And you should check that the platform is available in the countries you need.
- Operating Systems- Most video conferencing solutions work with Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android.
- Key Features- There are some very useful features integrated into video conferencing platforms like the ability to mute all and even record the video conference.