An audio conference is a meeting conducted by the means of audio communications with two or more people, who usually are in different locations. Instead of calling each other–like a traditional phone call–it allows different parties to join in by calling a number, either via the telephony network or through an Internet connection. And here comes the best part. In the post-COVID era, the audio conference could very well be our escape from the exhausting video meetings.
Bring the audio conference back!
The rise of video calling has made some people forget about audio conferencing. However, this continues to be a powerful tool for business. If we look at voice communication alone, there are many reasons why some organizations prefer it and its usage got revived during the pandemic. Let’s now learn why you too should bring the audio conference back to your day-to-day operations.
The use of video calls skyrocketed at the start of the pandemic. Many businesses still rely on this form of communication throughout the week. While video calls certainly are good at times, they also bring along lots of drawbacks, which audio conferences don’t.
Géraldine Fauville, assistant professor at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, explained why video calls can be so draining:
- Most of the time is spent looking at ourselves, rather than the presenters. This can be emotionally hard for many people. Especially women are likely to start criticizing their appearance and worrying about how they look. And trust me, that’s tough!
- At the same time, close eye contact is challenging for many people. Video calls mean this invasive way of looking at each other can last for an hour or even longer.
- And last, but not least, it’s easy to feel trapped on a video call. You can’t get up and walk around like you might with a standard voice call. And many times, you can’t even stay in your position of force. BTW, what’s yours? I have a way of conquering my chair in a position impossible to convey on a video call 😀
In contrast, employees can attend audio conferences while wrapping up other work. This is ideal for team members who aren’t essential to the call but would like to be looped in. Compared with video, audio conferencing is more flexible and easy to use. And again last, but not least, audio calls will make your employees feel less self-conscious when meeting like this.
The rise of video conferencing created new terminology to use throughout the day. The concept of Zoom bombing became popular in 2020 as people hijacked video call links and joined meetings unexpectedly. These Zoom bombers often shouted hateful and profane comments or tried to do lewd acts before the leader could end the meeting. The FBI even issued a warning so people could increase their security levels.
With audio conferencing, you don’t have to worry about your calls getting hacked. And there won’t be any advertising interruptions, nor other threats to your work. This is ideal for companies who deal with sensitive information or for delicate internal conversations within your business.
Easier and faster
Audio conferencing is more agile than standard video conferencing. These calls are ideal for clearing up questions with a few people. For example, if your company participates in scrum meetings, an audio conference might just be the perfect choice. These are quick, 15-minute meetings, usually without visual presentations, to go over the tasks for the day and any challenges that lie ahead.
Audio calls also take the stress off your employees to make sure they present themselves in a positive light. Some people changed into sweatpants at the start of the pandemic and never looked back. They don’t want to have to clean their desks and put on a shirt or blazer every time there is a call.
Business communication is about being effective and productive, not showing off your desk and professional attire.
Not all computers have web cams
While many computers are built with webcams as a standard feature, not all devices have cameras. Business owners who want to have conferences either need to pay for employees to have webcams on their computers or use audio options.
With audio conferencing, employees can call in from their computers or from their mobile devices. Some audio conference systems also have land-line options so your employees can call in from their desktop or mobile phones. This makes audio conferencing more affordable and easier to navigate for some companies.
Choose the right communication app
Like in other scenarios, it’s important to choose the communication platform that best suits the needs of your organization.
With VoipNow for example, you can make audio conferences with team members or business partners, no matter where they’re located or what device they use. And it’s only up to you if the call will be with 2 people only, or within a group of 99 🙂 What’s more, you can schedule complex conferences that can be one-time or recurring events, setup various criteria and define access policies. Furthermore, to eliminate FOMO, you can even record them for those unable to attend. These people can listen to the discussions at their own time.
If you’re a communications service provider, use VoipNow to give your business customers the advantage of smart meetings.
The wake up call of the audio conference
There is room for both audio and video conferences in today’s workplace. Video calls are valuable for presenting decks or leading employees through hybrid training. And there are times when a standard audio conference call is easier, faster, and more secure.
After so many months of turning everybody into a video star, we all could take a break from celebrity 😉 Let’s bring back the audio conference!