By Mike Gingerich
The global distributed workforce is continuously on the rise, which means more businesses are looking for new means of virtual communication.
The use of video conferencing has gained popularity, making it less necessary for managers to meet clients, partners or stakeholders face to face.
A report by OwlLabs recently surveyed companies and found that 56 percent of them supported remote working with 16 percent opting to be fully remote, and this was before the coronavirus, which has really changed the landscape even more so.
With video conferencing, collaboration is able to be online-based, and it’s the next best thing to a face-to-face meeting. You can see non-verbal communication, hear tone of voice and interact like you are across the table. This means casual shout-outs, daily stand-ups, stakeholder meetings and more can be conducted online with success. With this in mind, it is essential to familiarize yourself with some video conferencing tools for remote work.
Zoom for videoconferencing
Zoom is well suited for anyone who works remotely and has remote team members. It is easy to use this tool to set up meetings in your own private “room.” You can also create and share a meeting link with an individual or team and even connect other remote team members. Some of Zoom’s outstanding features include:
- One-to-one group meetings
- Screen sharing
- Private chats and group chats
- HD video and audio
- Call-in numbers
In terms of payment, it is interesting to note that Zoom offers the most extensive free package, which you can use for unlimited one-to-one calls and host meetings that include up to 50 participants for 40 minutes. If you are hosting a meeting of more than 50 participants, there are three premium packages to choose from: The pro package, the business package and the enterprise package. These packages are priced at $14.99 for the pro package and $19.99 for the others.
In terms of reliability, the audio quality for Zoom is clear and the user interface is sharp and professional. Additionally, Zoom has a high level of quality and great customer service.
Google Hangouts is a video-call solution for avid emailers. If you have a Google account, you can easily video conference with other contacts in your e-mail account. Some features you can expect with Google Hangouts include:
- Joining calls through Google Calendar
- Video meeting recordings
- Video, audio and messenger conversations
- Screen sharing
In terms of pricing, Google Hangouts is completely free, which is convenient if you want to talk with any number of people without restrictions on time.
In terms of reliability, the Google brand is very popular and its reputation in terms of customer satisfaction is impeccable. Hangouts does not have anything too radical. The user experience is not that sophisticated — meaning anyone familiar with Google will feel comfortable using it.
This is a much lighter and simpler tool than all of the tools mentioned above. It only allows a few participants. The main downside is that it does not support a presenter view screen; during screen sharing, the shared window occupies the whole screen.
In terms of pricing, Appear.in has two packages: free service and the premium version. The free package allows eight participants, while the premium version will allow 12 participants. The premium version is priced at $12 per month. It enables you to customize the “room” where you host your meetings — you can add a logo and share your screen, making it easier for you to make presentations.
In terms of reliability, the audio and videos are excellent, the display of guests is good and the chat works well. Additionally, their approach of simplicity makes it user-friendly even for those who are not adept at using computers. It is ideal for quick meetings as a streamlined way of video calling. Plus, it seems there is more to be expected from Appear.in soon, as they work on adding additional features.
Summing it up
Video conferencing is the future for holding conference calls, meetings and even interviews. In this age, where people are turning to work remotely, you must familiarize yourself with video conferencing tools. The above applications will give you a head start at learning how to converse online remotely. These tools allow you and your business to have a successful team dynamic, even working remotely.