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5 Video Conferencing Tools to Ace your Work from Home Experience

A Learning Technologist by profession, I enjoy writing information rich articles on diverse topics.

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As COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc in US and other countries, companies have been forced to shift their work online. This has given rise to many challenges. It has been observed that not all employees are comfortable working remotely and prefer face-to-face interaction with their boss and colleagues over online connect.

According to financialexpress.com, around 30% of IT employees may work from home in rotation even after the lockdown is lifted. Remote working has its own sets of pros and cons. Pros include comfort, flexibility and control whereas cons include lack of human interaction and long working hours which may eventually induce health problems.

IT industries have been commended by many including the CFO of the Infosys Mr. Mohandas Pai for a smooth and fast online transition. In this article we are going to talk about five popular video conferencing platforms employees are currently using for online interaction with their peers, colleagues and superiors.

Skype

Skype is a popular video conferencing platform founded in 2003 by Niklas Zennström. Skype is widely used in many countries for official as well as non-official purposes. According to statista.com, in 2017, the estimated number of Skype users registered worldwide amounted to roughly 1.33 million.

Skype offers crystal clear audio and video calls along with call reactions in one to one as well group sessions. You can also record Skype calls to capture special moments, note key decisions and use live subtitles to read the words that are spoken. The benefits don’t end here. With smart messaging you can instantly react to any message with fun reactions to grab the attention of the opposite person.

The best part about Skype is that it allows you to reach your friends and family settled abroad with affordable international calling rates compared to mobiles and landlines. This one feature has made Skype a favourite calling platform for many. Its cost-effective calling feature makes it stand out even today.

If you are working with Skype, you can easily share presentations, holiday photos or anything on your screen during a call with its integrated screen sharing feature. Also, any sensitive or confidential information can be easily kept private with its standard end to end encryption.

Zoom

Zoom is another pioneer in modern enterprise video communications. It offers an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars. These features have made it a popular and favourite remote tool of many industries during this lockdown. Zoom has become a goto tool of employees working online in lockdown.

Zooms is built for modern teams and ensures simplified video conferencing and messaging across any device. With an unparalleled usability, it enables quick adoption with meeting capabilities that makes it easy to start, join, and collaborate across any device. Zoom meetings syncs with your calendar system and delivers streamlined enterprise-grade video conferencing from desktop and mobile.

Another added feature of zoom platform is its powerful meeting security. Its robust security settings for hosts and admins ensure disruption-free meetings. Furthermore, its streamlined calendaring supports scheduling or starting meetings from Outlook, Gmail, or iCal. All this and many other usable features make Zoom a utile video conferencing platform.

WhatsApp

While WhatsApp is a tool widely used for personal communication, its significance for official purposes cannot be ignored. According to statistics published by statista.com, 1.6 billion of WhatsApp users access the messaging app every month. These numbers were released in the year 2019.

WhatsApp has impressed and continues to impress its user with its easy-to-use application interface. It allows you to message your friends and family for free with phone's internet connection so you can avoid SMS fees. This makes it a wonderful alternative for email.

Many business owners are becoming more and more reliable on WhatsApp for their business promotion and marketing. WhatsApp helps its user to keep in touch with the groups of people that matter them the most, like family members or co-workers. WhatsApp group chats allow you to share messages, photos, and videos with up to 256 people at once. All this makes it an excellent business tool.

Google Meet

We all were familiar with the Hangout app of Google which allowed us to have group chats and conversations. This Gmail feature, appreciated by many, was augmented with a new video calling feature called ‘Google Meet’. According to Google, this service was re-engineered recently for secure business meetings.

Google Hangouts only supports video calls with up to 25 participants whereas with Google meet one can start a meeting with upto 250 people. Also, such meetings can be booked ahead of time using Google Chat or Google Calendar. Unlike Google Hangouts' dark interface, Meet puts its tools in a bright white toolbar.

This key feature makes Google Meet next best option to Zoom. It is a perfect app for hosting unlimited high-definition video meetings. Just share a link with your invited guests so that they can join with one click from a desktop web browser or the Google Meet mobile app.

Microsoft Teams

Another notable app, which is specifically designed with the aim of offering streamlined video conferencing solutions is Microsoft Teams. This app is used by many multinational companies for interacting with remote colleagues. Microsoft launched this app in the first quarter of the year 2017.

Microsoft team has its own set of benefits and hence, it is widely prioritized by industries over other apps. This incredible tool allows you to host online meetings in 1:1 and group format. Live events with up to 10,000 people can also be organised using this fascinating platform.

It ensures to make online meetings more effective by sharing context and content and leveraging Artificial Intelligence for assistance. Not just that but Microsoft Teams also assures a secure meetings experience with high-quality audio, video, and screen sharing. According to Forrester voice research, Microsoft Teams improved employee and company performance thanks to its streamlined functionalities.

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