New to video conferencing from home? Here's today's best apps for productive meetings from the comfort of your home.
If the coronavirus pandemic has you unexpectedly working from your spare bedroom, you may be wondering how equipped you are to communicate with your clients and co-workers. Chances are if you are newly relegated to the home office by a Fortune 500 enterprise then your corporate IT department most likely has you covered. However, if you are one of the 50+ percent who work for a small to medium sized business then you may literally -- be left to your own devices -- to figure this out.
In this specific post, I’m only referencing meeting and conferencing applications. I’ll be sharing data on file sharing, collaboration, voice chat, video calls and texts in a future post.
Within The QualiFind Group and our sister practice – The ExeQfind Group; we use Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Skype for a range of different purposes such as internal production conferencing, candidate interviews and recruiting assignment status calls with clients.
I’m happy to share the following summary and hope you find it helpful. These are not ranked in any particular order since their desirability is dependent upon how you plan to use them.
Zoom: This group conferencing application is good for quickly setting up meetings. The meeting host is the only person required to have a Zoom account which makes it easy for both internal and external parties such as clients or vendors to join a meeting. If you have kids at home from school or college due to the coronavirus, chances are they are using Zoom for their online classes. Zoom features video-chat, voice-chat and screen sharing.
Skype: Once an independent web-based video call and conferencing application, it now comes installed with Microsoft Office and is generally good for business as it is easy to set up and get accustomed to. It supports video-calling for conferences, text-chat, and file sharing up to 300mb.
Discord: This app is popular due to its ability to broadcast messages to established online communities. This can be particularly beneficial in times of crisis when something urgent is to be conveyed. Additionally, Discord is extremely customizable in terms of setting the roles you would like other people to have in the conversation. There is a free trial version that’s actually quite functional and customizable but its file sharing is limited to 10mb per sharing which if important, you’ll want to go with the monthly premium plan.
Microsoft Teams: This is Microsoft’s latest built-in software made for businesses. Like Discord, it is very customizable and well organized. Since it is a Microsoft product it interacts seamlessly with Outlook emails and scheduling. It is relatively easy to set up and can help you set up a meeting in a flash. The same applies to adding an external party like a client or vendor which can be done by sending them a link to join the call. File sharing is also easy to spot as each file sent in chat is also easy to access in a different tab.
Best wishes for a productive day in your home office! Stay productive and healthy!
Giancarlo Acosta is a researcher and social media coordinator for The QualiFind Group. Giancarlo can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
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