Meta Description: Virtual meetings are one of the best ways to get your whole team in the same room and accelerate the decision process. Major tech companies like Google, Pluralsight, and Cisco use virtual video conferencing tools to run their businesses.
Telecommuting is increasingly popular with businesses and employees alike, but one of the main issues with working remotely is the challenge of overcoming the lack of physical proximity. It cannot be easy to develop rapport and trust without regular face-to-face interactions, essential factors in successful remote work. A solution to this problem is virtual conferencing tools during meetings, phone calls, and conference calls. These apps allow multiple people to join a virtual space via video call or screen share, allowing for far fewer miscommunications and better collaboration than would otherwise be possible.
Virtual conferencing tools have become more streamlined as technology has advanced; many are now smartphone compatible, allowing for easy access from any location. They also provide a variety of features that can make meetings run more smoothly. For example, some videoconferencing platforms include the ability to send documents or images directly to other participants through a message board or chat feature. This allows for the easy exchange of information without interrupting the meeting by emailing files back and forth. Some platforms also allow you to record your sessions to go back later to review what went well or how you can improve next time. Some even come equipped with features like polls or polls, enabling easy voting among participants.
Here are seven tools that can help you conduct virtual meetings:
There are several excellent project management and collaboration tools, but Asana is one of the most popular. The free version allows you to manage up to 15 team members and supports unlimited tasks, projects, and conversations. This means that small teams can use this tool without shelling out any money.
Asana’s main features include:
- Task assignment and tracking
- Collaboration on tasks with attachments and notes
- Calendar view for upcoming deadlines
- File sharing
- Reporting functions for keeping track of your team’s progress
Google Hangouts is a powerful video conferencing tool that can be completely free. The app allows you to make video calls with up to 25 people, and like Zoom and Skype, it enables you to share your screen with other participants during the call. You can also choose to record your Hangout session for future reference or simply so you can watch it later on. And because Google Hangouts integrates seamlessly with Gmail and Google Calendar, it’s easy to use across all your devices.
Now let’s take a look at Teams, which is part of the Microsoft Office 365 Suite.
Teams enables remote workers to connect with their coworkers through web and mobile applications with a familiar look and feel. When you join the organization, you get access to all of the tools you need when working with your team in one place.
Moodle is an open-source Learning Management System (LMS) that is very popular with universities, schools, and businesses worldwide. It is free to use and easy to customize, making it an excellent choice for those looking for a way to manage their online learning environment.
Slack is a chat tool that has proved popular among remote teams to keep groups in constant communication about projects. Slack allows multiple people to work together on a project, integrating with your team’s programs and apps, like Dropbox and Google Drive.
To get started with Slack, first create a workspace. Then invite your members to join that workspace. You can then have private conversations with individual team members, organize them into specific channels by department or project, or send messages directly to everyone in the group at once.
Like most virtual conferencing tools, Slack offers both paid and unpaid plans depending on what level of service your company needs.
Skype is a service that many people are familiar with. It’s been around for more than a decade, and Microsoft acquired it in 2011. It’s an excellent tool for virtual conferencing because:
- It’s free to use, so you need your computer or mobile device, internet connection, and an email address, though you don’t need an account to make calls. You can use Skype on laptops, desktops, smartphones, and tablets, so you’re likely to access it wherever you are.
- Whether it’s one-on-one or with up to 50 people at one time, Skype allows you to have face-to-face conversations with whomever you choose anywhere in the world in real-time. There are video calling options and instant messaging available if you don’t want your remote workers looking directly at your face while you talk to them. You can also share screens or files during your call if needed. Your employees won’t see much of anything else except what they need to do their job until they’re done working remotely.
Zoom.com is one of the most popular virtual conference tools that has gained fast popularity in recent years. It allows you to have face-to-face video meetings over the internet with up to 40 participants, no matter where they’re located. Potential participants log into Zoom with their account and password and can access the meeting settings once they are added to a consultative group, making it easy for everyone to join.
When a meeting starts on Zoom, all participants can see each other. The presentation is live on their screens in real-time, with no need for video conferencing software or special hardware tied to Zoom’s servers; your web browser handles everything. Multiple approaches are supported, including audio-only mode with transcription facility and enhanced full HD video quality recording from a webcam.
Available security features include encryption (AES 256 bit), an option that requires two-step verification for login confirmation, and full-screen controls for individual monitors during playback.
The majority of the workers in the U.S. are now employed in some sort of remote jing from home or off-site locations. Virtual meetings are a vital part of the workday for many employees, but it can be hard to get your team together to communicate asynchronously. While there are plenty of options for scheduling and holding online meetings, you want a tool that will help you save time and optimize your workflow.