5 Tools for Expert Video Conferencing
"95% of professionals say that communication in person is essential for long term business." ~ Hubspot
Communicating face to face has become less common in the modern work world. The "gig economy" that has flourished for over a decade has seen a growing shift toward remote work, or work from home settings across the US. Prior to the COVID19 pandemic, a Gallup survey showed that 43% of Americans worked from home sometimes, and 5% did so full time. As the pandemic sweeps across the country that percentage has skyrocketed. The "new normal" for many of us requires that we rely on the phone and video conferencing daily.
If you're new or not proficient at video conferencing, here are some tools and tips to ensure a smooth-running video conference:
- Zoom is a straightforward video conferencing tool that is fairly intuitive and offers a free plan for basic conferencing. The free version of Zoom does limit the number of users to 100 participants, and you can only host one meeting at a time. If you need more participants or want to give your employees the ability to have meetings simultaneously, you can opt for a paid “Business” plan with 300 participants, or “Enterprise” which allows 500 participants.
- Microsoft Teams also has a free plan and comes with Office 365, but it is much more than a video conferencing platform. You can create "teams" and collaborate via chat or video conferencing, and even upload files within channels. 250 people can participate in a Teams video conference, and you can have up to 10,000 viewers.
- Digital Whiteboards bring another level of collaboration to a video conference. If some of your team members will be in a conference room together, the Sharp Aquos Digital Whiteboard provides a large screen format to view other participants, share screens, and interact with documents physically on the board using a pen or your fingertips. If your video conference attendees have a touch screen device, they too can interact with documents you share via your whiteboard. Because digital whiteboards are a computer and a touch screen, they're much more powerful and interactive than a smart tv.
- The Owl Pro 360° Camera can transform a standard conference room into a smart room. The camera and microphone follow the voice of participants so that they are trained on the person speaking. The smart microphone equalizes the volume level of whoever talks, and the owl pro also has built-in speakers.
- Backdrop Privacy Screens can instantly transform a messy backdrop of your home office or cluttered living area by giving you a neat, professional background. It is lightweight, collapsible and attached to the back of your chair.
Hopefully, very soon we will be back at our offices and catching up with our work families in person. In the meantime, becoming adept at video conferencing will help keep business going while we're working from home. It will also give us tools to use both with our clients and our teams to strengthen collaboration and make us more productive.
Here at RITE Technology we regularly use digital whiteboards and video conferencing to get our entire, multi-office team together to review, brainstorm, and team build. If you need any assistance at all, including setting up Zoom or any other video conferencing platform, reach out to us. If you'd like to learn more about Sharp Aquos Digital Whiteboards, we can help you with that as well.
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