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Technology has transformed the modern workplace in recent times. For instance, instead of spending a fortune on travel costs and relying on unproductive face-to-face meetings, businesses now utilize instant messaging, cloud work spaces, and screen-sharing platforms to encourage continuous collaboration. More importantly, they can seamlessly bring entire teams together by arranging a simple conference call.
Despite these recent technological advances, however, a startling number of businesses still place their faith in older conferencing platforms. For example, research from LoopUp shows that 71% of calls include audio only. Moreover, only 22% connect via a mobile device. Although the familiarity of old-fashioned conference calling may hold a certain appeal, these systems are always prone to certain frustrations and distractions.
Such poor conferencing practices can prove incredibly damaging to the productivity and efficiency of meeting sessions. In fact, complicated tools waste an average of 15 minutes of every conference call. Fortunately, technology is finally moving on from these frustrating disruptions, and modern web conferencing platforms can reduce these high levels of wasted time and money.
Loud Background Noise
Excessive background noise will always prove disruptive to your conference calls. There’s just nothing more frustrating than trying to brainstorm ideas when you’re straining to hear what’s being said. Meanwhile, colleagues’ voices are drowned out by background chatter, loud typing, and rustling papers. Although some of this noise is unavoidable, excessive levels can potentially hamper productivity and lead to damaging miscommunications.
Of course, the most obvious course of action is to make sure all participants join the conference call from quieter locations. Also, you can mute inactive callers to significantly reduce background noise. And this includes muting yourself while you’re not talking. However, you then need to make sure you unmute participants when it’s their turn to speak.
Conference Call Late Arrivals and No-Shows
At times, arranging a meeting can prove difficult. Not only do you have to worry about booking out a meeting space, you also have to deal with late arrivals and coordinate everyone’s schedules. This can turn into a fairly arduous affair.
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Although conference calls eradicate many of these issues, hosts still have to contend with late arrivals and people simply not turning up. Both of these ultimately waste a great deal of everyone’s valuable time. However, by implementing a more modern web conferencing platform, you can seamlessly send out reminders to all participants to make sure they don’t forget about the meeting. At the same time, you’ll also ensure there’s no confusion over the start time.
In addition, the visual elements of a web-based conference give you complete visibility of the meeting roster. This can help you keep a firmer handle on who’s actually attending, who you’re still waiting for, and who’s speaking.
Dialing in for a Conference Call
Some late arrivals may simply be running behind schedule. On the other hand, a significant number of conference calls are delayed due to problems people have with joining the session. When operating through an older conferencing platform, attendees often have to scramble for the correct dial-in codes. After all, it’s not easy to try to wrap their heads around such a convoluted process. In addition to delaying the meeting and reducing productivity, these confusing systems nearly always cause attendees great stress.
Despite these inherent issues, 61% of users still dial into conference calls with numbers and codes. Instead, hosts should utilize a web conferencing system. This removes the need for old-fashioned dial-in codes, allowing attendees to effortlessly join from any device through an emailed link.
Difficulty Sharing Content
A significant number of conference call attendees experience difficulties in sharing relevant documents and slides. When communicating via an audio-only platform, hosts need to send out these files beforehand, relying on all attendees to download them in advance and have them readily on hand during the meeting.
Fortunately, web conferencing provides a solution to this clunky and inefficient process. That is, modern platforms now allow attendees and hosts to share their screens during a call. As well as reducing the need for downloading and sharing large files, this technology also ensures that everyone can easily keep track of the discussion and continue to contribute.
Poor Audio Quality
Without question, the most common (and frustrating) conference call disruptions are due to poor audio quality. Whether your meeting is hampered by sound delays, static, or echoes, issues with the audio will significantly damage the productivity of your meeting. When there is poor audio quality, participants won’t be able to hear exactly what’s going on and know how the meeting is progressing.
The use of a speakerphone or having too many people connected on one line can cause these issues. However, the most effective solution is to simply invest in more sophisticated technology.
Addressing the most damaging conference call disruptions will allow teams to increase their productivity. To this end, web conferencing is becoming essential for workplace collaboration. With careful planning and a little foresight, you’ll easily prevent these common conference call disruptions on your next conference call.