In today’s day and age, conducting regular video calls with remote staff is crucial for efficient management. Through this article, we hope to emphasise the importance of video conferencing software in making your remote team feel involved, understood and heard. Additionally, it proves to be a valuable tool in addressing any miscommunications that may stem from written conversations.
According to a recent study conducted on remote workers, a staggering 89% of them reported feeling a stronger sense of belongingness to their team upon using video chat. In addition, an equal percentage of the surveyed individuals believed that web-based teleconferencing can contribute to improved work productivity.
Having grasped the significance of a trustworthy video chat application, it is crucial to delve into the specifics and select the most suitable one. It is recommended to check the stability of your internet connection prior to initiating your first virtual meeting, in order to ensure a smooth, organised and effective experience.
Google’s Hangouts on Air
In anticipation of more than 50% of professionals opting for remote work by 2023, Google has revamped Google Hangouts to cater to the needs of this expanding workforce.
While the online conference feature is accessible to every individual with a Google account, the number of participants allowed in a video chat is limited to no more than ten.
In comparison, Google has recently introduced Hangouts Meet, which allows up to thirty individuals to connect in an online video chat. The service is accessible via any computer or mobile device, without requiring a Google account, making it an effortless way for people to communicate and stay connected, regardless of the medium.
For those who utilise other G-Suite services such as Drive, Calendar and Gmail, Google Hangouts proves to be an immensely advantageous communication platform. Its seamless integration with all Google Apps facilitates effortless scheduling and file sharing, while promoting a smoother and more efficient workflow.
G-Suite users who require frequent video conferencing will appreciate Google Hangouts as an outstanding option. Hangouts Chat enables users to access files in Google Drive without leaving the conversation, and the video quality remains exceptional, devoid of any lag or distortion.
Google Hangouts offers several distinctive features that make it an excellent option:
- Seamless compatibility with other tools developed by Google for the G-Suite.
- Commencement of a Hangouts Meet by simply sharing the link.
- Safe and effortless sharing of files facilitated by Google Drive.
- The benefits of high-definition video.
Due to its user-friendly interface and comprehensive features, UberConference has gained widespread popularity. Signing up is quick and easy, and offers a plethora of useful features to facilitate a successful conference call.
You may commence the process through the regular mode or alternatively, you can avail the option of receiving a call at a specified time to ensure that you do not miss or arrive late. Along with phoning, texting or emailing invitees, you can also enable attendees to call in (note: the free plan does not provide a separate call-in number).
The professional package offered by the company, priced at £15 per month (or £10 per line per month), facilitates up to one hundred participants, enabling the inclusion of guests in the conference, and offering additional features. This package proves to be more suitable for telephone conferencing as opposed to video chats.
The web-based dashboard of the user interface offers a user-friendly display of the participants in the video conference, along with the capability to mute any disruptive individuals. This enables easy monitoring of attendees and helps identify the active speaker.
UberConference offers an array of features that enhance collaboration amongst remote workers, including call recording software and video sharing functions. Additionally, it enables effortless sharing of documents through Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, and Evernote. Having said that, a few reviews have reported instances of the video sharing feature experiencing lag.
One of UberConference’s standout features is its effortless integration with social media platforms such as LinkedIn.
Our team members who evaluated UberConference were pleased with its convenience, but nearly all of them expressed discontent with the substandard sound quality and minor microphone issues they experienced, which they found to pose a significant hurdle.
Some of the outstanding features include:
- Free of charge for groups of up to 10 individuals
- Digital high-definition video quality
- Integration with social media profiles
Zoom’s video conferencing technology has gained widespread popularity amongst business users, thanks to its exceptional video quality and user-friendly interface. Its compatibility with various third-party applications has further enhanced its appeal. The platform has been designed to integrate effortlessly with pre-existing business infrastructures, ranging from cloud-based file sharing and collaboration tools to popular chat applications.
Zoom has recently expanded its video conferencing capabilities by offering free, unlimited one-to-one video meetings, as well as free, unhindered group video conferences for up to fifty participants. This exceeds the capabilities of Google Hangouts and is more than sufficient for most users.
For larger teams that need multiple servers, the Pro plan is an ideal selection as it provides admin control, user management, cloud reporting space, and access to their REST API, all at a competitive price of $14.99 per host per month.
One highly beneficial aspect of the Zoom video conferencing platform is its capability to record meetings and sessions. This allows remote workers to revisit their conference calls at a later time and share the recordings with their colleagues. To support this, Zoom provides 1GB of cloud storage for recordings, however, the platform’s wide variety of third-party connections ensures that storage capacity is almost unlimited.
Similar to Google Hangouts’ new Meets feature, Zoom allows you to generate a distinct URL for your meeting, which you can then share with any remote workers you wish to invite to participate in the meeting.
Individuals who are not part of the regular remote team can benefit from this useful feature by skipping the registration process and joining the meeting by clicking the link provided. This is particularly advantageous when it is necessary to involve remote workers who are not part of the usual remote team in a meeting.
Some of the most remarkable features of Zoom include:
- The quality of high-definition video
- Limitless options to choose from
- Customisable integrations with third-party applications
- Maintaining a meeting log is recommendable.
- Capability to join the room by clicking on the URL exclusively
Upon thorough evaluation, the team reached a unanimous decision that Amazon Chime offers outstanding audio quality and a user-friendly interface, ensuring easy handling. Additionally, Amazon Chime offers a plethora of features, including an in-built chat room builder, effortless file sharing, video recording, remote desktop access, among others.
Unfortunately, our tester faced some issues while using Amazon Chime with Chrome, despite reporting that it offered “the best sound quality for all meeting attendees.”
If security is a concern, Amazon Chime, which is a component of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) suite, is an excellent option. It outperforms its competitors and is a dependable solution for guaranteeing privacy during online conversations and meetings. Therefore, if you prioritize privacy protection, then Amazon Chime is the ideal solution.
Amazon Chime may not be the ideal choice for individuals who want to avoid additional costs. While the free introductory plan includes features like two-way video calls and text and group conversations, more advanced features, such as video conferencing, are only accessible with the Pro Plan, which costs £15 per user per month.
You can schedule video conferences in advance and invite up to 100 participants by sharing links to Chime In meetings, as mentioned in our related blog post.
No discussion of video chat programs is complete without referring to Skype. In this article, we will explore whether Skype lives up to its fame, which has made it a verb.
Despite featuring cheerful emoticons in its chat style, Skype is well-suited for business communications. This is due to its dedicated platform, Skype for Business, which is extensively used for professional conversations.
Using Skype is convenient as it is already installed by many users. Nevertheless, Google Hangouts and Zoom offer a “room” URL alternative that allows users to avoid installing software, eliminating Skype’s advantage.
The free version of Skype provides an extensive messaging service that allows for up to 25 participants in a call, which is more than Hangouts but fewer than Zoom. If you require a higher capacity, Skype for Business, the paid version, allows up to 250 participants. However, this may be excessive for most distributed teams.
If you are already subscribed to Office 365, you can use Skype for Business services without incurring additional expenses. If you frequently use Microsoft products, then Skype may be a suitable option for you.
For individuals who frequently create video presentations for themselves or their remote team members, this program is a great choice. It is especially suitable for webinars, thanks to its wide range of tools designed to enhance the creation of captivating and interesting presentations.
Regrettably, there is no free version available. The cheapest package costs $29 per month, providing access for up to 25 users. Nevertheless, what’s great about their pricing policy is that all features are included in every tier with the only distinction being the price.
If you intend to use video conferencing primarily for presentations, some of the more impressive features of BigMarker include:
- High-definition screen sharing through video
- Convenient, shareable meeting links that can be joined with a single click
- The ability to promote your company in the virtual meeting space by incorporating your logo and brand colours
- Record online seminars
- Conducting polls and answering questions
- Utilising technology, such as email and calendar reminders
Should you wish to host a meeting from your website, you can employ their API, embedded options, and other development tools to do so.
Notwithstanding, one of our testers pointed out that the functions may take some time to learn because the backend was deemed to be overly complicated and not very user-friendly.
Zoom’s Overall Score
Which video conferencing software is ideal for your remote workforce?
Google Hangouts is making great progress in its quest to become the preferred platform for remote workers. They have recently introduced two new features, Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat, which are explicitly tailored to meet the requirements of virtual teams and remote workers. These new tools are expected to facilitate collaboration and communication in a virtual setting.
Users who utilise multiple Google products will undoubtedly appreciate the seamless integration with G-Suite. Additionally, video playback is nearly devoid of interruptions or delays.
Our beta testers discovered that while UberConference had several beneficial functions, it was more well-suited for phone calls rather than web conferences, which is apparent in the audio quality.
As expected, frequent AWS users had high expectations for Amazon Chime. Although it does offer an array of helpful functions, it does not supersede the abilities of its rivals.
Rather than consistently updating their services to remain competitive with similar programs like Google Hangouts and Zoom, Skype has been relying on its established name to retain its user base. Hence, it has become less appealing to prospective clients.
Nonetheless, we would not suggest BigMarker for a standard video conference due to its more appropriate use for webinars and presentations.
When it comes to features and capabilities, none of the other video conferencing services available can rival Zoom. Zoom’s free plan is particularly generous, making it an excellent option for small to medium-sized businesses that are seeking a dependable platform for their remote developers.‘s.
At Works, we recognise the significance of delivering high-quality video and reliable connectivity for remote teamwork. That is why we provide these features as part of our service. Furthermore, we provide additional options by integrating various third-party applications. This enables you to tailor the platform to fit your specific needs.
After setting up your video conferencing system, Works can assist you in assembling a highly capable remote team of digital nomads.