The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way we work. Across the world, there are now millions of employees working remotely. In April, 66% of all US employees were working from home at least part of the time. Major tech companies have even announced they are transitioning their employees to remote work indefinitely or permanently.
Although remote working is the best way to protect workers’ safety at this time, it also has its challenges. One of which is undoubtedly staying in touch with other team members. There are a large number of communication tools around to facilitate this, and our favorite platforms are Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and FaceTime. Let’s take a look.
This platform not only offers online meetings with voice and video for up to nine participants, it also allows online chat and document sharing for better work collaboration. It can be used for both internal communication and communicating with external clients or stakeholders. Microsoft Teams is also loaded with features such as background blur, chat, and integrated apps. On the downside, it is not the simplest system and takes a bit of time to get used to.
Microsoft Teams is a great option for Microsoft-focused businesses, as it easily integrates with Microsoft phone system Sharepoint, OneDrive, hosted voice like RingCentral, and hundreds of integrated apps. Furthermore, Microsoft Teams integrates with Microsoft365, making workflows easy to manage and improving productivity. This is an ideal choice for businesses and startups that use a lot of Microsoft tools to keep connected.
Zoom has become extremely popular in recent months, both for work and personal use, from team meetings to online yoga classes. Designed for video conferencing, it is one of the best platforms for video meetings with multiple participants. It even has handy features such as the ability to share your screen with other participants. Currently, Zoom has 12.92 million monthly active users, which is up 21% since the end of 2019.
More than just a video conferencing service, Zoom offers additional tools for those working remotely. Notably integrated PBX and HIPAA compliance with Hubspot, Gmail, Salesforce, and more. This platform is also free to use in its basic version, with paid subscriptions available with higher-level features. In the past, some users had security concerns about using Zoom. However, the platform has gone to considerable lengths to make their service secure. Zoom is a sure bet for user-friendly communication that is quick and simple to use for those working remotely.
FaceTime is often unfairly overlooked as a team communication tool. Many people think that FaceTime can only be used for one-on-one calls. However, up to 32 people can actually connect at the same time, making it ideal for working remotely. You can even use it for events and seminars. The app is also free to use.
Another advantage of Apple’s FaceTime is that it is extremely easy to use. You simply call the other person through the FaceTime app, and all they need to do is accept the call. For multiple people, you select all of the participants one by one.
FaceTime is probably the most user-friendly among all three communication platforms discussed here. Participants don’t need to join or log into a video conference. However, you can only access Facetime from an Apple device, so this may not be suitable for all.
Many businesses are finding that this increased use of technology is placing more pressure on their IT team. Are you looking for a great way to increase IT capacity and ensure vital online communications run smoothly? Use co-managed IT services from KME as an extension of your current IT team to enhance business communications and stay connected.
Get in touch with us to learn more about our co-managed IT services and how we can improve communication.