Business managers need to catch up with their teams on a regular basis, but when you have an offshore team, setting and keeping this routine can be difficult. There are, however, many different video conferencing tools you can use to help bridge the gap between you and your remote team.
Doing a quick 15-minute video conference each morning is a great way to keep everyone on your team connected no matter where they are. It’s a chance to discuss the tasks at hand and the actions required for the day, while also developing team cohesion that would otherwise might be difficult to establish.
While team conference calls can be useful, we recommend always using video conferencing wherever possible. With up to 70% of communication being non verbal, being able to see the people whom you are speaking with makes the communication process far more effective, especially for cross-cultural communications.
There is a wide variety of online video conferencing tools that you can use to stay connected face-to-face with your staff no matter where they are, and best of all, most of them are free. Here are some of the more commonly used tools that you can implement in your business.
7 video conferencing tools you can choose from
Skype is one of the older and best known video communication tools and is widely used by both consumers and business. It helps you connect with the people you work with. You can use this app to share files, make video calls or send direct messages. Setting up meetings and producing great business plans with your team is easy. It works on your mobile, tablet or computer.
Skype has features that are easy to understand by most people. Some of it includes a good full-screen video quality, simple interface, and a clear sound. You can download Skype for free. You can also choose to pay a small fee that would allow you to call phones.
Developer: Microsoft Corporation
Learn more: skype.com/en/get-skype/
- Skype for business
With Skype for business, you can add up to 250 people to your online meetings. It also offers enterprise-grade technical support and security. You can even manage your employee’s accounts. This video conferencing tool can be integrated with your Microsoft Office. It has a built-in chat, high-quality audio and gives control to other presenters. There are other features that are only available on Skype for Business Server like the Enhanced 911 (E911), which is an emergency dispatch feature mandated by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. You can also have a conversation with your team members about a particular topic through chat rooms.
Developer: Microsoft Corporation
Learn more: skype.com/en/business/
Zoom is a cloud-based service where you can easily set up online meetings, lectures, share content and video conference with your offshore team. One of the great benefits with Zoom is that you don’t necessarily have to create an account to attend a meeting. The host can just send you a link invitation for scheduled meetings.
This application supports hosting video webinars with cloud and local recording options. It also has collaboration tools like remote control and screen sharing. You can use it as a browser based system or download the Zoom app on your smartphone, tablet or computer. It’s just like using Facetime or Skype on a computer. It’s also similar to other apps when you use it on your smartphone or tablet.
Developer: Zoom Video Communications Inc
Learn more: zoom.us
- Whereby (formerly Appear.In)
Whereby is a browser-based tool that is easy to use for video meetings. You can choose from the three different tiers depending on what your business needs—Free, Pro, and Business. All these let you enjoy a fast and easy collaboration with your team no matter where they are in the world.
You can stay productive by conducting high-quality video meetings that are simple and secure. It allows you to be flexible between work and personal obligations because you can join a meeting wherever you are. There are chat rooms available when you need it. With Whereby, you’ll have more time connecting with your team.
Learn more: whereby.com
For developers who want to build and evolve their chat platforms and for companies that want to host a private chat service, this is a great choice. RocketChat is easy to customise and can be deployed on your own server. It works on different platforms, including Windows, Linux, macOS and FreeBSD. You can also sign in from third-party apps like Google or Facebook, and allows chats, voice, and video calling. It’s easy to go through all the messages even on big chat rooms to get the information you need. RocketChat is free and there are no paid versions.
Developer: Rocket.Chat Technologies Corp
Learn more: rocket.chat
- Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts allows you to keep in touch with your team members through free group video calls with up to 15 participants. You can join a group conversation or meet a staff member on the web, Android and iOS. It also syncs your chats on all your devices. You can send a message to someone on your team even when they’re offline. If you want to search for your video call history or shared photos, you can do that with this app. Google Hangouts also integrates with your other Google applications. The downside is that it is set to disappear in 2020.
Developer: Google Inc
Learn more: hangouts.google.com
Slack is a chat room that you can use for your entire company. It organises all your tools, files and messaging by providing you with a single place for communication. This makes it easier for everyone on your team to collaborate and discuss important matters. You can create public channels for all your staff or private channels for a specific group of people.
Slack can be integrated with apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Github. You can use it for free or you can avail a paid version to schedule video calls with screen sharing that can include up to 15 participants.
Developer: Slack Technologies
Learn more: slack.com
Cloudstaff’s custom technology
There are other video conferencing apps out there, but the tools mentioned above will serve you well. Of course, there are pros and cons to every tool you use. So long as the basics are covered, you’ll be well-positioned to remain connected to your team.
At Cloudstaff, we use technology to create innovative tools that integrate people and manage processes. We remove the limitations associated with the outsourced team. That enables us to provide a whole new level of communication, efficiency and transparency for our customers and staff.
We give you more than the right people—we give you the right tools. We have developed a suite of custom applications that are designed to help manage, monitor and communicate with your remote team. These tools keep you connected with your team at all times. It will be like you are in the same office.
Staying connected to your offshore team shouldn’t be a problem. Partner with Cloudstaff today. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.