Remote Work: Video Meetings and Conf-Calls

As we discussed earlier – sometimes it’s simply better to discuss something quickly over Instant Messenger app like Slack or Teams instead of calling a meeting. But what if we really have to organize an meeting and half or even more team is working remotely?

Don’t you worry, as Apple trademarks (sic!) says 'There’s an app for that’… and even not just one app but more.

Big players like Google and Microsoft which offers entire collaboration platforms (GSuite / Office365) naturally offers apps for that.

Hangout Meet

For Google users you may use either Hangout (if you are still at personal tier) or, in my humble opinion, very handy Google Meets for their GSuite users. How much does it cost?

  • G Suite Basic, as noted, costs $6 a month per user. With this, you can meet with up to 25 people at once.
  • G Suite Business costs $12 a month per user. With this, you can meet with up to 50 people at once.
  • G Suite Enterprise costs $25 a month per user.

Skype / Skype for Business

If you are Office365 user you can use Skype or Skype for Business. Skype for Business is free to use with up to 25 members, and the service produces about 3 billion minutes of calls a day, so it’s clearly a popular choice.

Price – $5.50 a month, or $5 a month as part of the Office 365 business essentials package.

However, if you are not tied to non of this platform, you can also give a try other apps like:

Zoom.us

Personally this is my choice, in my opinion Zoom has the best call quality (clarity). Zoom offers a free basic plan which allows you to host up to 100 participants however they are limited to 40 minutes (you shouldn’t meet for longer anyway 🙂 ). Paid starts at 13,99€ per host which means , that you don’t need a license for all participants but only for those who organize/hosts meetings.

Join.me

Join.me are striving for simplicity. Their software works directly from the web, reducing the need to download external plugins and applications.

This platform comes with a cool feature called whiteboarding, which allows members to see what you’re putting onto virtual paper in real-time, making for effective collaboration. The service is highly personal, too, and you can set up unique meeting links, eliminating those long-winded IDs.

Unfortunately they don’t offer free version, but they offer a free trial period.

Price – $10.00/month/user for up to 50 participants

What’s the catch?

In order to carry online meetings you have to make sure that everyone has sufficient internet connection. If even single person have connectivity issue, it may ruin entire meeting (especially if this person is crucial).

Remote meetings can be really difficult if half of the team is in an office and the other half (or even just a few) is working from home or other location. The people in the room might be tempted to start talking among themselves and may forget to fully involve all of the people dialing in remotely.

If you’re attending a remote call with multiple participants, ask everyone to dial in. Ask the people who are in the office to call in from multiple rooms or conference rooms.

This is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, everyone will feel equal — everyone is calling in and will have the same experience.

Secondly, no side discussions can take place that may leave out other people who are calling in remotely.

Best practices

  • If audio quality isn’t perfect you can leave video from application and dial in using standard cellular call . Apps like Zoom.in allows you to choose whether you want to call via internet or mobile. Also new phones are capable of hosting conf call. Simply call first participant, then add another one and merge calls.
  • Make sure that everyone is muted expect for the person who is speaking at the moment. People often work from caffe or coworking spaces which cause a lot of background noise.
  • Decide whether you use your camera or not but make this decision obligatory to everyone. If all people use camera expect one person people may become suspicious.
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Dawid Adach

Co-Founder @ MDBootstrap.com / Forbes 30 under 30 / EO'er

For years I've been working as an IT Consultant in countries like Netherlands, Belgium, Poland or India developing enterprise class systems for the biggest companies within domain.

Since 2016 I'm co-founder of MDBotstrap.com - world class UI Framework used by NASA, Amazon, Nike, Airbus, Samsung, Apple and many other Fortune 500 Companies.

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