Post COVID 19 most of the organizations are operating with their team members widely spread out in different locations serving the customers from various places of the world. Most of the teams are new to this style of working remotely, so there is a lot of caution and safety measures required which allow the employees to work from home properly until it’s safe for all to return to the office.
In order to carry on with the business as usual many team members across the organizations hold regular team meetings making the major company decisions through video conferences. Many of the individuals are absolutely new to this video conferencing, and there’s been a learning curve as all the generations got comfortable with the video apps or like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and many more.
On one hand the remote working style can significantly benefit an organization in many ways, on the other hand the remote workers can also feel isolated, which can reduce their productivity drastically. One of the most useful tools for increasing the productivity of the remote workers is video conferencing on regular basis to keep them motivated. When in person communication isn't possible, video conferencing is preferred to stay connected with the co-workers. There are various tools and apps for video conferencing and collaboration. Few of those like Cisco WebEx, are although as per the industry standards but are quite expensive. But, there are other tools which are growing in popularity and are even be offered free or at a very low cost. Below is a list of the top 10 video apps or tools for enabling productive online meetings for the hybrid teams operating from different places.
These video meeting apps are the most trusted teleconferencing platforms which are ideal for organizations of any size. Each of these apps offer free video conferencing and a range of tools and integrations which ensure that your remote teams are getting the most out of their video meetings.
The Top 10 apps for teams working remotely
Zoom is one of the most popular video conferencing apps for businesses everywhere. It has rich features with different plans based on the business size and needs. Prices range from their free plan for personal and team meetings to different paid plans for large businesses. Zoom users worldwide happily use the free plan, but if you are looking for something more than that for your remote teams, the enterprise level plan is also there which includes up to 200 meeting participants, unlimited cloud storage, custom emails, a vanity meeting URL and much more.
Google Meet has been created for the enterprise customers, the Google conference call software is called the Google Meet. It’s an upgraded version of Google Hangouts made for the teams. Google Meet has been designed to schedule video meetings among the team members, with similar features of Zoom like calendar syncing, conference room booking and a much more polished UI.
You can reap all the benefits that Google Meet has to offer starting from unlimited meetings up to 300 hours long, 250 attendees and the ability to live stream to up to 100,000 viewers and 24/7 online support which are among others.
Microsoft's Skype service is an enterprise ready video conferencing tool. It has several business features, like allowing up to 250 attendees in a meeting, connection with other Skype users and virtual white boarding capabilities. While there are some other limitations, like the lack of an integrated dial in audio conference feature and lack of hardware support with online only plans, the free version of Skype is a nice tool for the teams with less than 10 members and is a simple way to hold free conference calls from your computer, phone or tablet.
Cisco Webex is an industry standard service, especially for those with a large number of team members or an exceptionally large organization, Cisco's WebEx video conferencing service operates like a mash up of web conferencing and voice call services, as it enables joining meetings online or through the phone, depending on the participant's ability and location at that time.
Slack is an extremely popular collaboration tool used in businesses all over the world, It has very well integrated video conferencing features. If your company is not using Slack currently, then adopting it for video conferencing only probably doesn't make much sense. But, if you are already using Slack, then it’s an easy way to make quick calls too. Video conferencing is just an add on to the functionality of Slack and it can be a great tool for integrating the hybrid teams. One on one video meet is a part of Slack's free account offerings and you can Slack with up to 15 people if you start the call from a channel, but for the larger meetings, customized enterprise pricing is required, which can be done through a customizable quote.
Microsoft teams has been developed by Microsoft, as part of the Microsoft 365 family of products. Teams primarily compete with the similar service that Slack has, offering workspace chat and videoconferencing, file storage and application integration. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Teams and other software such as Zoom and Google Meet, has gained much interest as meetings have moved to the virtual environment. As of 2021, it has about 145 million users.
The open source BigBlueButton features whiteboard capability for meeting productivity and was created particularly for education and online learning. As a free open source tool, there are many add ons and integrations through third party developers which allow for a customized web conferencing experience, including an integration with Learning Management Systems (LMS) that make for a seamless student and teacher experience.
Whereby video chat service is ideal for small organizations which need a simple method for connecting with the team members. It features a fast service because of it’s streamlined nature. Whereby doesn't require an app download or login, users can simply share their meeting link and anyone can join in through the browser. Whereby starts free, but teams need to pay for plans which will allow multiple users and admins.
Blackboard Collaborate, the video conferencing app of choice for the educators. With mobile accessibility, this tool helps the educators to connect with the students on laptops, smartphones or tablets. It provides an unmatched user experience and easy access through a browser based conferencing tool. It equips the educators with the virtual classroom solution they need today.
GoToMeeting is a web hosted service created and marketed by LogMeIn. It is an online meeting, desktop sharing, and video conferencing software package which enables the user to meet with other computer users, customers, clients and colleagues via the Internet in real time.
These are our top picks for the tools which are a must for organizations which are working remotely after COVID 19. All of these apps are easy to set up, easy to use and quite economical considering the large size of the organizations. Apart from the above mentioned tools, there are various other video conferencing tools also which are all capable of handling video conferencing and remote collaboration. It all boils down to the size of your team, your budget and personal preference at the end of the day. You need to decide which will be the best for your business in the long run.