The rise of remote work has led to an increase in the use of video conferencing services. While there are numerous video conferencing services available, each with its unique features, users often find themselves struggling with the idiosyncrasies that come with each platform.
In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the common idiosyncrasies that can make using video conferencing services challenging for end-users.
Zoom is one of the most popular video conferencing platforms, with over 300 million daily users. Despite its popularity, Zoom has its share of idiosyncrasies. One common issue that users face is the lack of control over the audio and video settings.
Zoom's default settings often cause feedback and background noise, making it difficult for participants to hear each other clearly. To address this issue, users need to manually adjust their audio and video settings, which can be challenging for those who are not tech-savvy.
Another issue that users face with Zoom is the lack of security. Zoom was at the center of a privacy and security controversy in 2020 when it was discovered that the platform was vulnerable to hacking and other security breaches.
This led to many companies banning the use of Zoom for their employees. For example, Google banned the use of Zoom for its employees and encouraged the use of its own video conferencing service, Google Meet.
Microsoft Teams is another popular video conferencing service that is commonly used by businesses. One of the main issues that users face with Teams is the lack of compatibility with other devices. Teams works best on Windows devices, but users with Macs and other devices often face compatibility issues. This can make it difficult for team members to collaborate effectively, especially when working remotely.
Another issue that users face with Teams is the lack of flexibility in the video conferencing settings. For example, users cannot control the number of video feeds they see on their screen, and the platform often prioritizes the active speaker, making it difficult to see other participants.
Google Meet is a video conferencing service that is commonly used by schools and businesses. One of the main issues that users face with Google Meet is the lack of a waiting room feature. This means that anyone with the link to a meeting can join the call, which can be a security risk for businesses and schools. To address this issue, users need to manually manage the participants and remove anyone who should not be in the meeting.
Another issue that users face with Google Meet is the lack of flexibility in the video conferencing settings. For example, users cannot customize the layout of the video feeds, and the platform often switches the active speaker, making it difficult to follow the conversation.
GoToMeeting is a video conferencing service that is commonly used by businesses. One of the main issues that users face with GoToMeeting is the lack of compatibility with mobile devices.
While GoToMeeting has a mobile app, the platform often experiences connectivity issues on mobile devices, which can make it difficult for users to participate in meetings on the go.
Another issue that users face with GoToMeeting is the lack of flexibility in the video conferencing settings. For example, users cannot customize the layout of the video feeds, and the platform often switches the active speaker, making it difficult to follow the conversation.
One real-world example of the idiosyncrasies of video conferencing services can be seen with the company Basecamp. Basecamp, a project management software company, recently banned the use of Zoom for its employees, citing privacy concerns. Instead, the company encouraged the use of Hey, a new email service that has built-in video conferencing capabilities.
Hey's video conferencing feature is built on top of the open-source platform Jitsi, which provides users with more control over their audio and video settings, as well as greater security and privacy.
Another example of the idiosyncrasies of video conferencing services can be seen with the University of California system. The University of California recently announced that it would be transitioning from Zoom to Microsoft Teams for its remote learning and telecommuting needs.
However, this transition has not been without its challenges. Many faculty members have reported issues with the compatibility of Teams with their devices, making it difficult for them to participate in online classes and meetings.
Additionally, students have reported difficulty in accessing Teams on their mobile devices, which has caused frustration and inconvenience.
Video conferencing services have become an essential tool for remote work and learning, but they also come with their own set of challenges. The idiosyncrasies of each platform can make it difficult for users to collaborate effectively and can lead to frustration and inconvenience.
However, by understanding these idiosyncrasies and finding workarounds, users can make the most of their video conferencing experience.
Additionally, companies and service providers can take steps to address these issues and improve the overall user experience, leading to more effective communication and collaboration in the remote workplace.
Summary as of 2021