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Microsoft Teams or Face to Face Meetings? Pros and Cons

With Covid restrictions being lifted in July, many people will go back to face to face meetings, however, there’s still the option for remote meetings using applications such as Microsoft Teams. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons each has.

Microsoft Teams.

Since the start of the pandemic and lockdown, many have been using online applications to video and voice call. Microsoft Teams is a great way to do this.

Pros 

Remote Meetings – As an online video/voice call platform, you can message or have a meeting from anywhere with an internet connection. This can be beneficial if you don’t have time to go to a different location for the meeting or if the participants are too far away to visit. A reason for why it was beneficial during the pandemic is that people didn’t have to meet in person, preventing risks from the virus and staying safe. It also makes cross world meetings possible with people from multiple countries attending the same meeting. 

File Sharing and collaboration – With file sharing, collaborating with members of your team couldn’t be easier. You can share all types of files and collaborate on documents within integrated apps such as Word and PowerPoint. Also with Office 365, you are able to work on the same document at the same time, avoiding the confusion of multiple file versions with automatic syncing and history tracking. Have a look at this example showing the collaboration feature. You can see two boxes (red and green) which show where both users are looking and working on in the document. 

Text Chats – As well as voice and video calls, you can create text channels within Teams, allowing you to easily and efficiently send messages to either a single colleague or a big group of people. Teams also has many great chat options such as mentioning a specific person, group or channel, sending gifs, images or stickers and also the advanced messaging options where you can add headers, subtitles and mark your message as important, getting the attention of others quicker.

Search Functionality – We think that the search functionality in Teams is quite a cool feature. You can use the search bar to look for any file stored in Teams. This feature is really good because you can search for a piece of text within a document or image, and without that text being in the file name, Teams will still find it for you. This can save a lot of time when used correctly. Take a look at this example, where we search for “screwdriver”. A result pops up and you can see the searched word is not in the file name, however it picks up the word within the image itself. This does the same when it finds a word within a document too.

Cons

Devices and Connection – With any online video/voice call application, you might come across connection issues, whether that’s internet or the devices you are using such as a microphone or your audio output device. Disconnecting from a meeting is a possibility and inconvenient when in the middle of a conversation. You might also find troubles with devices such as your microphone and audio output. I’m sure you’ve been muted before without realising!

Devices and Connection – With any online video/voice call application, you might come across connection issues, whether that’s internet or the devices you are using such as microphone or your audio output device. Disconnecting from a meeting is a possibility and inconvenient when in the middle of a conversation. You might also find troubles with devices such as your microphone and audio output. I’m sure you’ve been muted before without realising!

Confusion for some – Working remotely and going online for meetings was quite a big change for most people and many struggled to try and get used to the transition. This can still be a problem for people today. With Teams being an online application, many struggle to understand how it works, with the use of links to join meetings and all the options when in the meeting, it can confuse people and cause problems when trying to do a meeting remotely.

Confusion for some – Working remotely and going online for meetings was quite a big change for most people and many struggled to try and get used to the transition. This can still be a problem for people today. With Teams being an online application, many struggle to understand how it works, with the use of links to join meetings and all the options when in the meeting, it can confuse people and cause problems when trying to do a meeting remotely.

Interaction – It’s safe to say that interaction in a Teams meeting is not as good as talking to someone or a group face to face. Althought Teams are adding new interaction features such as the raise hand button and the chat box during meetings, you can have a much better interaction with someone face to face and get your point across to them better.

Interaction – It’s safe to say that interaction in a Teams meeting is not as good as talking to someone or a group face to face. Althought Teams are adding new interaction features such as the raise hand button and the chat box during meetings, you can have a much better interaction with someone face to face and get your point across to them better.

Face to Face Meetings.

Before the pandemic, face to face meetings were more popular than online meetings, however, after changing throughout the pandemic, how many will return to face to face after the restrictions are lifted.

Pros 

Better Understanding – Although you might be able to clearly hear and see someone on a video call, when face to face, it’s much easier to read body language and make eye contact. This makes it much easier to understand and get your point across to someone. There are also points in an online meeting where the connection could be poor making it impossible to understand what the other person is saying.

Building Trust – Once again, face to face meetings make it easier to connect with the other person/s. Both going to a meeting face to face can show commitment and also creates an good atmosphere.

Helps Keep Focus – We can all admit that during a remote meeting, you can find yourself a little less focused than you would be if you were communicating face to face. When working or on a meeting remotely, there’s usually distraction either around them or on their computer, whereas, face to face brings a lot more focus between all participants and can also make the meeting more interesting.

Cons

Travel – One of the big cons with face to face meetings is the possible travel time to attend the meeting. Wherever the meeting is, it will cost to travel there and back and, if needed, any parking. It can also take up a lot more time, as for a 1 or 2 hour meeting, you can spend the whole day out and about because of the journey.

Travel – One of the big cons with face to face meetings is the possible travel time to attend the meeting. Wherever the meeting is, it will cost to travel there and back and, if needed, any parking. It can also take up a lot more time, as for a 1 or 2 hour meeting, you can spend the whole day out and about because of the journey.

Not very effective in large groups – With a large group of people, it’s a lot more difficult and less effective to set up a face to face meeting. It can be difficult to find the right time and location that’s suitable for everyone and can also be less effective when trying to communicate, especially when everyone might have a different opinion on the matter. With teams, you can send a meeting invite to everyone at once, making it easy and quick to set up.

Not very effective in large groups – With a large group of people, it’s a lot more difficult and less effective to set up a face to face meeting. It can be difficult to find the right time and location that’s suitable for everyone and can also be less effective when trying to communicate, especially when everyone might have a different opinion on the matter. With teams, you can send a meeting invite to everyone at once, making it easy and quick to set up.

Conclusion.

Overall, It’s a preference and choice whether your meetings are remote or face to face. It depends what the situation is and whether it is worth travelling for the meeting or if it’s just best to hop onto Teams and create a meeting there.

If you like using Microsoft Teams and want to learn more about the software or find out some new cool tips and tricks, head over to our YouTube channel where we have a whole Microsoft Teams playlist here!

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