Isn’t this amazing how we have shifted our work meetings online, to remote and digital environments. While some companies are comfortably bringing virtual or augmented reality meetings, others are adapting more basic communication tools. One-to-one meetings are undeniably quite beneficial, but how often is it practical?
Online meetings have been the new normal for business since the pandemic and companies have to adjust and learn to run better virtual meetings through various tools. The new normal has brought a new way to work and interact with employees at remote locations through various online meeting tools. With the emergence of digitization and countless new tools, how do you know what is best for you and your team?
But first, what should be the essential feature to run meetings virtually?
For smooth online meetings, these are the basic features to be present in the tools. And to make meetings even better, you need to empower your teams with tools bringing people together, improve efficiency and simple collaboration. So for such reasons, we have listed out few online tools and highlighted their pros and cons respectively:
Zoom is one of the tools for video conferencing and has played a vital role in the post-pandemic situations. It is a video telephony software program developed by Zoom Video Communications. With a transparent UI, Zoom allows you to access the upcoming meeting details easily in an expanded view. It is quite reliable and easy to use that even the school classes are hosted virtually by creating a meeting. The search bar lets you find the contacts, files, chats and any meeting channels.
Microsoft Teams is a proprietary business communication tool developed by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft 365 family launched in 2017. Unlike Zoom, it has also gained much attention since the meetings moved to virtual interaction. It offers workplace chat, file storage, video conferencing and application integration. Microsoft Teams has moved further into the spotlight as a part of workplace productivity and collaboration strategy.
Google Meet (formerly known as Hangouts Meet) is one of the most popular online communication tools developed by Google and easy-to-use for online meetings and provides a more stable connection as compared to Zoom. It is available free to Google users but limited to 100 participants for upto 60 minutes per meeting. This means you have to quit the meeting and join again if the call exceeds an hour.
Skype is a proprietary telecommunications application operated by Skype Technologies, a division of Microsoft and is one of the most prominent free online meeting tools available. It mainly offers real-time translation and the voice translator supports 10 languages while the text translator supports over 60 languages. Also, Skype makes itself multi-functional through the integration with Alexa. Business version of this tool is free and it supports around 250 participants in a meeting.
Slack is a messaging program specifically designed for office use, developed by the Canadian software company Slack Technologies (now owned by Salesforce). It is a widely known workplace tool as it has transformed how organizations communicate before the onset of remote culture. It helps you to connect with people from both inside and outside organizations. Basically, slack transforms the way organizations communicate by bringing the people together to work as a single unified team. It has over 70% market share in workstream collaboration platforms. And the best part, there is no need to spend extras in connecting or integrating different tools with Slack.
WebEx by Cisco is an American company which develops web communication applications. Cisco WebEx is another popular online tool for meetings. It is a versatile and easy-to-use platform where the number of participants can be included in a meeting depending on your package level. WebEx’s free plan provides inclusion of 50 participants in a single meeting while the premium plan allows upto 3000 participants.
Meetings with productivity shouldn’t be difficult to host when there are, specially, a wide variety of digital tools providing an interactive communication among team members. Those who embrace the growing world of digital meetings, these tools will have no trouble saving money, time and moving forward with better ideas to share on organizational level.
Every tool is better in its own way. But there are certain features which we wish to include in our comfortable tools. Google meet and Microsoft Teams are better for those who want to collaborate in real-time through full integration irrespective of Google workspace (G-suite) and Office 365. Clearly, there is no obvious winner for the ideal video conferencing but you can have the enhanced version of your tool by changing the powerful settings within the application.
Each tool listed has its own benefits and shortfalls. Selecting the right tool to run virtual meetings should be based on how it will satisfy the business requirements within the described budget. Meeting tools should be adaptable fundamentally. And regardless of what your organization does, there should always be an interactive online meeting tool with access ease and constant upgraded versions for better support!