In this 5-minute read:
- What makes a good video conferencing app?
- Best video conferencing apps for small business
- More remote resources
Remote meetings via video are a great way to keep up morale with your employees, drive up productivity, and check in with them every now and then. When working remotely for a long stretch of time, not seeing people face-to-face can take a toll on anyone, especially the more extroverted among us.
Take some time each week to schedule a video meeting with your team to check in and talk about priorities or what they have going on that week. It’s a good chance for everyone to know that they are still in this together, even if they are working alone in their own home.
In this article, we’ll walk you through some of our top pics for video conferencing apps to help you hold these team meetings.
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What makes a good video conferencing app?
Each company’s needs for a video conferencing app might differ a little. Maybe you need the ability to share presentations or maybe you just need the very basic features of real-time video to talk to your team.
Either way, make sure you find a solution that fits your needs. Some basic features that are helpful across the board include live chat, screensharing, and the ability to share a meeting link with your team (all of the solutions we mention below will have these features).
Best apps for virtual team meetings
Take a look at each of these options to see which one will work the best for your team.
Google has two different options (that are seemingly the same) for video conferencing: Google Hangouts and Google Meet.
Google Hangouts is meant for individuals with a Gmail/Google account to use to chat and video call one another. But it can still work well for your team. Just go to hangouts.google.com and click the video call option. From there, you can invite team members to join your meeting.
Google Meet is a little more advanced and integrates with your Google calendar (but in reality, it functions the exact same way). The cool thing about this is that you can set up a Google Calendar invite with your team, whether you use G-Suite or a free Gmail account, and the calendar invite will automatically have a Google Meet link on it for your team to join.
Features include screen sharing, live chat, calling in via phone if someone doesn’t have a mic, and link sharing.
Here’s a screen grab of the Google interface:
Zoom has really stolen the show since the start of the pandemic and it’s not slowing down. It’s a more advanced video conferencing solution with free and paid plans.
Unless you need to hold meetings that are longer than 40 minutes, Zoom’s free plan should work just fine for your team. You can host up to 100 people in a single meeting. And 1:1 meetings don’t have a time limit.
Here’s a little more about their paid plans:
Pro: $149.90/year per license
You should really only need one license per account because you can be the host and invite people to join with a link and they don’t need to have a Zoom account.
The features of Pro include unlimited time for group meetings, social media streaming, and 1 GB cloud recordings.
Business: $199.90/year per license
The business plan is the best option for small and medium-sized businesses that want some more advanced features.
The business features include hosting up to 300 people, single sign-on, could recording transcripts, managed domains, and company branding (great for client meetings or workshops).
Enterprise: $199.90/year per license
To get the Enterprise plan, you’ll have to contact Zoom’s sales team. The additional features for this option include hosting up to 500 people (or 1,000 people with Enterprise+), unlimited cloud storage, dedicated customer success manager, and transcription.
Join.me is another video conferencing app that works great for teams. You can test it out for free for 14 days (no credit card required) and then decide if you want to start one of their paid plans.
Here are the plans and features:
Lite: $10/month billed annually
This only allows up to 5 participants in each meeting. Other features include:
- Unlimited number of meetings
- No time limits
- Unlimited toll and internet calls
- Personal link and background
- Share mouse control
- Pass Presenter
- Screen and window sharing
- Meeting lock
- Customer support
- Chat and send files
- User management
Pro: $20/month billed annually
The Pro plans includes all of the features of the Lite plan, plus:
- 250 participants in any meeting
- 10 webcam streams
- 50GB cloud storage
- Toll-free numbers (to allow people to call in toll-free)
Business: $30/month billed annually
The highest plan includes all of the Pro features and the following:
- 1TB of cloud storage
- Bulk user import
- Feature permissions
- Enterprise authentication (single sign-on)
- Salesforce.com integration
More resources to increase remote productivity
Video conferencing is a great start to improving your team’s remote productivity, but there are several other tools that you can use to make sure you give your company the best chance at success. Check out these resources for more information:
- Helpful tools to support your long-term remote workforce
- Best time tracking tools for your remote workforce: features and pricing
- Why use a virtual private network and which VPN solutions you should consider
- Best practices when hiring remote team members for your small business
- 5 best project management solutions for small businesses
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