As Covid-19 has begun to spread far and wide, businesses all over the world have switched to the standard policy of work-from-home. However, to keep the companies up and running efficiently, communication becomes an uphill task. You just can’t summon everyone to the conference room and hold a meeting. The work is now remote; however, it still needs to get done correctly. Thanks to technology, we have now come far enough to be able to bring everyone together on one platform.
Best Platforms for Virtual Meetings
Here’s a list of some software that fully supports remote collaborations and efficient video conferencing.
Google Hangouts Meet is a part of the G Suite that takes the experience of virtual conferences a notch higher. With the ease of connecting it to Google Calendar, planning meetings and setting up event details is no more an uphill task. The user interface is fast, easy to work around with and crafted specifically to cater to businesses.
Features like electronic hand raising, private chat, and the option to record and playback make web conferences seamless. Meetings on Google Meet can easily accommodate up to 150 people without any hindrance or needless drop outs due to audio, video or connectivity issues. Its sync with other Google applications makes it a go-to choice for Android and Apple users alike.
This is one convenient platform that allows online meetings and video conferencing with some great features like video webinar, collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and business IM (that allows cross-platform messaging and file sharing). Additionally, it works across Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac.
Why Zoom? Well, not only does it provide the option for screen sharing, but it also allows recording meetings for future reference. It provides the feature of selecting a few participants from the leading conference for a follow-up meeting. An integrated calendar and email software allows users to schedule meetings. One can also create recurring meetings using the same link.
Pricing? Worry not. Zoom starts with a basic plan that is free of cost and allows up to 100 participants but with a limit of 40 minutes. If you’re looking to escape the time restrictions, then there’s Zoom Pro priced at $14.99/month. Zoom Business and Zoom Enterprise has additional features to cater to the users and hosts alike.
Another platform that comes as a good save for businesses operating remotely. It’s a reliable platform for small-scale ventures as well as business enterprises.
Along with features like video conferencing, recording, screen sharing, and schedule meetings with proper updates for users, it also allows presenters to annotate on whiteboard or presentations, create polls simultaneously to take everyone’s votes by electronic hand raise and create personalized backgrounds. Security is guaranteed by the confidential attendee list that ensures privacy. The meeting schedule can be integrated into Google calendar invites for users’ ease.
While Join.me is free for everyone, it offers packages with varying facilities. Follow by Lite and Pro, the Business plan is priced at $30 and works best for larger organizations.
With the free 14-day trial, one can test it and finally sign up for a long ride with exciting features. Excellent audio preferences, ease to switch between multiple presenters, drawing tools are some of those. There’s also an option to directly call people without having to go through the tedious process of generating PINs or codes. Ever thought about creating and sharing automatic transcripts of previously recorded meetings? Well, GoToMeeting takes care of that too.
Starter, Pro and Plus are three plans with increasing participant capacity, respectively. It’s billed monthly and is worth the money.
Remote meetings have been made easier by a platform like Zoho. Its online presentation and conference tools allow seamless communication with excellent audio and video quality. However, the free version comes with a restriction of allowing only one host and one participant. If you’re looking for a one-to-one mode of communication with a colleague, then this works best. In case you want to upgrade, there are several monetized professional plans. These plans increase the limit to 20 hosts and 100 participants, which should work perfectly fine for small businesses to large enterprises.
This is yet another innovative addition to the list of apt software for virtual meetings. The two C’s, convenience and comfort, meet right here. Video and audio quality are something you need not worry about. The Webinar allows hosts to reach up to several people at once. If you’re tight on a budget, you can always opt for the free version that allows a maximum limit of 100 attendees in a meeting. However, if budget is not something you are not concerned about, then there’s a Pro Plan offered at $12.99/month. It allows access to admin panel features and increases participant limit to 500.
There is no denying that options for virtual meetings are endless. Apart from the ones mentioned above, there’s Skype, Slack, ClickMeeting, and others that offer more or less the same features. However, each of them always has that one feature which makes it stand apart from the rest. Choosing anyone depends on what your business needs at the moment and the budget.
Furthermore, tools and apps like IdeaFlip and NoteApp are a great addition to making your remote meetings interactive and as productive as the ones conducted in person. Make sure to utilize those to ensure that your business runs uninterrupted.
Do’s and Dont’s of Virtual Meetings
Of course, virtual meetings come with their own set of rules to ensure productivity and engagement. Here are some tips you should keep in mind before switching to remote work policies.
- The meeting should be of 30 minutes to make sure that everyone is attentive. If longer than that, then provide necessary breaks to maintain focus.
- To keep up engagement, call our participants occasionally and take their opinion on whatever is being discussed.
- Pick a facilitator so that meetings can flow naturally
- Don’t sit in front of a window if the camera is placed in front of you.
- Close unnecessary tabs and windows when not needed. This helps you maintain focus.
- Say your name before speaking. In virtual meetings, it’s often difficult to recognize the voice.
- Request team members to mute their microphones when not speaking.
- Eating, surfing the web, reading emails should not be your way to multitask during a meeting.
With all the dynamics and aspects of virtual meetings covered, we hope you have been rightly guided to conduct meetings from home seamlessly while keeping your businesses and ventures afloat. Opting for tight technology, tools, software, and tactics will lead to results and maximum productivity.