Ever since the news broke about Covid-19, everyone is taking all the necessary precautions to make themselves and everyone in their surrounding safe. Government bodies and top business firms have taken all the necessary measures to curb the spread of this new virus. One of their attempts at limiting the spread comes in the form of asking employees to work from home and in isolation.
Work from home has been amongst the latest trends that many corporations had planned to implement. But now, it seems the call for implementation has come sooner than anyone would have expected. As Corona’s threat increases, more and more companies are asking their employees to stay home and work from the new make-shift they have been calling home for so long.
Working in a group is anyway a difficult affair, add to it the spice of working from home and remote locations; the task becomes even more difficult. Communication is one of the major areas why many companies have been reluctant to implement this work from home mojo. Many corporates believe that what can be achieved while communicating within one single roof cannot be achieved when working remotely. While they might be right, but the situation demands bold steps and work from home has become the need of the hour.
Gone are the days of audio-only conferencing. Thanks to the advancements in technology, holding a video conference, even from remote locations has become an easy task. To have a good virtual meeting, you don’t need to have much- all you need is a good internet connection and a good webcam if you plan to talk to your peers using a laptop or a pc instead of your mobile phone.
Many industries such as Advertising, Coding and Technology along with many News outlets have been vocal about ‘Work from Home’ for quite some time now and have been pointing out its positives. Now that every other industry is adopting this new era of working, many people, especially the ones who are not as tech savvy, are finding it hard to keep up with the team using modern tech and tools.
As offices and employees make a transition to this new phase of their professional career, we are here with a few tools that will help you with co-working from remote locations. In this article, we look at a few options that are good for group communication and excellent tools for holding virtual meetings.
The go-to platform for anyone who is working remotely or has a team that works from different locations, Zoom is an excellent tool for hosting webinars and e-meetings without any hassle. Zoom allows video conferencing and screen sharing for 100 users at the same time. It is easy to use and has a simple interface, making it the best option even if you are not a tech savvy person.
Zoom allows you to connect with your team over video calls without losing quality or face glitchy sounds. Zoom’s easy to use interface means you can connect with your team from anywhere and at any time. Zoom is trusted by more than 5 million employees across different industries for their remote working needs, making it one of the most reliable and trustworthy platforms to host a virtual meeting.
2) Google Hangouts
A fantastic product by the team over at Google, Hangouts allows you to connect with all your Google contacts in Video, Audio and Messaging format. Hangouts is a free messaging, video and voice application that allows you to stay connected with your team and start your meetings. Hangout allows up to 150 participants in a group while up to 10 participants when using the video calling facility.
Hangouts also allows you to connect your Google Voice account to seamlessly integrate voice calling, SMS-texting and Voice notes to Hangouts. Another nice and time saving feature of this application is that you can add appointments directly to your Google Calendar without having to switch apps while in the middle of a group call. Thus making it easier for you to add appointments and schedule reminders for all your upcoming meetings without switching apps.
3) Facebook Live
Facebook overall is a great tool for marketing, we all know that and Facebook Live is no different. If you are an influencer or have a good following on the network and wish to conduct a webinar, Facebook Live is amongst the best and easiest tools for you to do so. Facebook Live offers tons of customization as well.
You can select which followers can see your live by switching to a custom audience. You can also schedule Facebook Live, making sure your audience gets notified before you go live on the platform. This scheduling can help you get your audience excited about the Live session.
4) WhatsApp Video Call
Every one of us uses WhatsApp, right? In today’s mobilized world, it is difficult to find a person who is not using WhatsApp as their primary communication tool. Over the years, WhatsApp has evolved a lot. What started as a simple messages replacement tool has now become a primary communication service for many.
WhatsApp has added several features to its services over the years and most notable of which is the inclusion of Video Calling service. WhatsApp Video Calling service allows you to connect with anyone of your contacts on WhatsApp over a video call. The app also allows group video calling and has now rolled out a feature that allows you to add members to your video call even if they are not into your group.
To add to this, other features provided by WhatsApp are just like icing on the cake. The messenger features on WhatsApp allow you create a group with up-to 256 participants and share images, videos and all kinds of documents making the remote working life easy and stress free.
The original video calling application, Skype has been on the scene for a long time. Skype offers video calling service just like every other application on this list but what sets this tool apart from others is its international convenience. Unlike other tools on this list, Skype offers a smooth experience when connecting with people across borders.
Skype allows you to connect with up-to 24 members of your team in a Video Call along with providing features like screen sharing and recording. Skype in the Classroom is an excellent tool that is specifically designed for the educational sector. If you are someone who works in the education sector, Skype in the Classroom is a must have tool as it allows you to conduct classes online, without any hiccups.
6) Slack Video Calling
Slack is an app designed specifically for co-working and remote working. The app lets you communicate with your team, discuss the work and move forward. Slack is an all-in-one communication application that allows you to work as a team even from remote locations.
You can create a To-Do or Tasks list within the app, share it with your team and make sure that each task is completed within the given time frame without any hiccups or distractions. Apart from its team calling feature, Slack’s individual calling provides users with a good quality of video calling experience without any disturbances in the audio as well.
Slack’s 1:1 HD video calling paired with a proper channel for team communication means you are always top of your work, getting all the things done without any problems and most importantly, on time.
If you and everyone in your team has an Apple communication product, be it an iPad or iPhone, or even a Mac, there’s no better option than FaceTime. FaceTime is Apple’s in-house video calling service that allows you to connect and talk with other Apple device users seamlessly, without any interruption.
FaceTime works across all platforms of iOS and Mac OS and allows you to add up to 32 members of your team to your call and conduct the meeting in a smooth, uninterrupted manner. FaceTime is a smooth video calling and conferencing tool that allows all the participants to participate in the discussion remotely, from their homes- all they need is an Apple communication device and a stable internet connection.
To make things a little less formal and a little more fun, you can also FaceTime your team in your Animoji Avatar using your iPhone or iPad.
8) Productivity Tools
Tools like Google Sheets and Docs are also a great way to ensure all your team members are on the same pace and doing their work efficiently. You can use Google Sheets as an activity tracker by asking your team members to write down the tasks against their names as they complete the tasks assigned to them. This will act as a motivator for them as well as other members to finish their work within given time. Using Google tools such as Google Sheets, Google Slides and Docs so that all your team members have access to all the information required.
We all know that the current situation demands caution from everyone but at the same time, we cannot ignore our work and our responsibilities towards it. So, to make sure you and your team make optimum utilisation of all the available resources and tools, plan your schedule accordingly. Assign work to your team on the basis of their strengths and speed.