The Best Technology to Work Remotely in 2022
March 26, 2020 | Last Updated on: March 3, 2023
March 26, 2020 | Last Updated on: March 3, 2023
When 100% of your staff has to suddenly work remotely, it’s time to talk technology. In today’s climate of financial hardship, economic downturn and the responsibility to self-quarantine and social distance, it’s difficult for many small and medium-sized businesses (SMB’s) to transition so quickly to a work-from-home environment. This may pose a technological and financial challenge for many SMBs that could prove difficult to overcome, especially when not knowing how long this will last.
There are lots of free software and productivity apps that give companies the ability to work remotely stay collaborative and connected with both their own employees and clients by utilizing conference call services and video conferencing services. Here are some of the best audio and video meeting solutions that can help your team work remotely…and are free.
GoToMeeting is a popular web conferencing service to work remotely that has great functionality in the free plan. This platform is user friendly, allows for screen sharing, and is available on both Windows and Mac. With this service, you can host meetings from your phone (using their application) or computer. Meetings can be hosted for up to 40 minutes at a time with up to three participants who can access the in-meeting chat room. Additionally, GoToMeeting has great audio quality using VoIP. This platform would be best utilized by small teams needing to conference, share thoughts, share their screen, or meet with a client.
Pexip allows you to host your meeting on-premise from your device or through a hosted cloud service like Amazon Web Service, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud. This platform also allows for complex video conferencing that can integrate Microsoft Teams with other systems, regardless of what they have. This free software lasts for 12 months, allows for two concurrent call connections for professional video conferencing, and is best for integrating enterprise systems. Unfortunately Pexip pricing breakdown is not available on their website however they offer a variety of paid-for solutions like: Video meeting and calling platforms, video conferencing infrastructure, Microsoft inter-operability, Google Hangout Meet inter-operability.
Google hangouts are great for international audio conferences for groups up to 150. Besides these calls you can utilize status messages, maps, photos, videos, stickers, emojis and animated GIFs through the chat feature. These conversations can also be hosted through VoIP for up to 10 participants, which can be easily scheduled through your Google Calendar or sent through Gmail. These meetings do not have a time limit and are hosted online through Google Hangouts or the Chrome extension. Meeting hosts have the ability to selectively mute participants, record calls, and host meetings through the mobile applications. This is a completely free service provided through the Google platform.
Zoom is a great option for smaller businesses that stick mostly to one-to-one meetings that are under 40 minutes. These meetings are free and can run for as long as you need, while group meetings are limited to 100 participants and up to 40 minutes in duration. Zoom allows you to start or join meetings from anywhere using an internet or data connection from a Mac, PC, Linux computer, Android or iOS phone, H.323/SIP device, or a normal phone through their toll-free international dial-in numbers.
TeamViewer is the world’s top brand for remote connection solutions and claims to have over 1.3 billion protected devices that utilize their remote support and online meeting platform. TeamViewer allows for: several remote sessions to be running at the same time on separate tabs on your search engine and the ability to leave messages in the form of “sticky notes” to inform clients of any updates or to leave messages. Another user-friendly feature is the quick join feature where customers can join meetings and presentations very quickly, easily, and without the need to install any software. This software is great for those who need remote access to their desktops and remote collaboration abilities.
This platform allows for up to 100 participants at one time, meetings lasting up to 40 minutes, screen sharing, interactive whiteboards, vote and polling abilities, among many others . Another nice feature is that ezTalks gives you the ability to record your video and audio on your local device. This platform is great for small business and medium businesses alike.
Skype is a widely known and utilized software for video conferencing that allows for screen sharing as well. Unfortunately, it’s not as dynamic as other conferencing softwares that allow for browser-hosted meetings without having to download the software. Although there is not a free option for video conferencing there is an option for free conference calling without having to download any software. Additionally Skype has a mobile app that can allow for greater mobility when hosting a video chat. Microsoft teams replaced the business platform for Skype.
Webex is well known in the networking space. The free version offers conferences of up to three participants, the ability to share screens, and extremely secure conferencing lines. The free version of Webex is great for businesses who value security and work with small and medium-size teams (allowing for up to 100 participants in each meeting). This allows for members to dial-in given the information without having to download any software. Webex also offers team collaboration, mobile, instant messaging, and expansive security features. Cisco Webex is also available on the app store to host meetings right from your mobile device.
Right now, the best solution for a remote staff would be Cisco Webex. Cisco has upgraded their free plan to accommodate most SMBs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan has the highest security, allows for screen sharing (computer and mobile), unlimited call times, calendar integrations, meeting controls, presenter tools, polling, interactive whiteboards and drawing tools, unlimited messaging, file sharing, and has great ease of use.
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