Many businesses have found that working remotely is easy when you have the ability to communicate online. Whether you are deciding to work remotely due to the current health climate or if your business needs to connect with people from across the globe, online conference calls are a lifesaver.
There are loads of conference apps out there, so we have compiled the top 3 and examined the good and bad parts of them for you.
Zoom is used across many businesses to keep up productivity and communicate between team members. Every day, there are over one million members using the platform.
The pros of using Zoom are:
- It has a free plan that allows up to 100 participants.
- Slack and Zapier can be used alongside it.
- You can screen share during the chat.
- You can hold a live video call.
- In the paid version, you can hold webinars and then connect these to Facebook and YouTube too.
- There is a lot of technical support for Zoom users via FAQs, online support and tutorials etc.
- You can also record your calls if you need to review them in the future.
- It will warn you in advance that you are near the end of the 40-minute session.
The cons of using Zoom are:
- It only holds 40-minute sessions and it will cut out after that.
- You have to pay for the webinar feature, which isn’t great if you are a sole trader or a very small business.
- The quality isn’t always predictable and some users say the video is often pixelated or blurry.
- It also can have a lang regarding the audio.
- It can get expensive for larger teams.
Skype has been around for years and is a staple for businesses and individuals wishing to use video conferencing.
The pros of using Skype are:
- You can use dual screens and share large files.
- If you buy Office 365, you can get the essential office apps like Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint along with it.
- You can have a Q and A session, post polls and the opportunity to use the whiteboard feature.
- It will soon be a part of ‘Microsoft Teams’, which is similar to Slack and can help teams be more productive.
The cons of using Skype are:
- That it has some technical issues. This means you have to end the call and start it again to get it to work properly. This also happens with Zoom at times, but Skype is ‘known’ for freezing up.
- It is hard to get technical help with it if something does go wrong. Unlike Zoom, you are unlikely to get support quickly from Skype.
Google Drive is great for sharing documents over email with your teammates, so why not use Google Hangouts?
The pros of Google Hangouts are:
- It’s very easy to use as you simply connect to a link set up by a teammate and use your company email.
- It is free to Gmail users.
- It’s easy to navigate between Gmail and other google documents.
- You can send direct messages, video and voice calls.
- It has Draw and Effects for when you want to have a bit of fun in your video calls.
- You can use it seamlessly between the desktop, phone or a tablet.
- It is great for small to medium-sized teams.
- It saves your chats so you can go back later if you need to remember something.
- They are constantly improving their video quality and many users say it’s valuable to their business workflow.
The cons of Google Hangouts are:
- The voice calls may have rates applied.
- They are not made for large teams or corporate use.
- There are minor bugs from time to time.
- The Hangouts chat vs the video feature can be confusing. Also, it can be hard to know how you enter a meeting.
- There are no file-sharing options as you can only send photos or GIFs.
So… Zoom, Skype or Google Hangouts?
Overall, Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts are great ways to keep in contact with your team when you are working remotely. Each conference app has its own qualities and challenges so you need to evaluate which one will be best for your business. If you are a smaller team Google Hangouts or Zoom seems the most appropriate conference app. Skype is also great, but its technical issues let it down at times. Zoom appears to be the most professional and useful one of the three and especially for larger teams. Just be wary that all the apps have their issues and perks, so why not test them out first?