Studies demonstrate that a significant proportion (80%) of professionals desire to operate remotely from the solace of their own abodes. This prevalent notion has contributed to the rise of remote work and has compelled managers to oversee and supervise remote teams more frequently than in the past.
Our team at Works is committed to linking proficient remote developers with global job opportunities. If you are keen on being part of this process, feel free to contact us. With our knowledge and expertise, we can offer support to the numerous managers who now have the responsibility of managing a remote team.
Undoubtedly, the basics of effective personnel management remain unchanged, whether or not team members are in close proximity to one another. Nevertheless, when it comes to overseeing remote squads, diverse resources are necessary. As a regular reader of our blog, you will already be aware of the pivotal role that communication plays in running a remote team with success.
As we commence with our series scrutinising the array of remote working tools at our disposal, it is crucial to address how to sustain communication while working outside of the conventional workspace. Inadequate communication can lead to misunderstandings and a lack of drive among remote staff. Conversely, maintaining effective communication can significantly enhance team engagement and spur employees to contribute towards the triumph of the company.
It is safe to presume that your company already utilises an email system and a telephone network, both of which are vital for any team, irrespective of whether or not they operate remotely. Nevertheless, in terms of video conferencing, the selection of a suitable system relies more on personal preferences.
The Advantages of Virtual Meetings
If you believe that voice and email communication capabilities are enough to effectively manage a remote team, you may want to think again. Verbal communication in isolation is inadequate in ensuring complete comprehension. Nonverbal cues, like facial expressions and body language, are crucial for understanding and are often lost in voice or email exchanges. For quick and efficient information dissemination to your remote squad, video conferencing is the optimal alternative to face-to-face interaction.
Historically, video conferencing was an expensive technology reserved for a privileged few. Meeting costs were high due to exorbitant telephone charges. Nevertheless, the advent of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has made communicating with individuals from all parts of the globe affordable, if not entirely free.
We wholeheartedly affirm that video calls are the most efficient way of staying in touch with remote team members. Although digital communication channels, such as emails and instant messaging, can be somewhat effective, they do not engender personal connections as effectively as traditional face-to-face interactions. Hence, when it comes to discourse, video calls are unequivocally the victor. Eye contact between participants is imperative for successful outcomes in individual or group meetings.
Video conferencing offers a supplementary advantage beyond just conversing: it allows you to share your screen with other participants. This feature facilitates presentations or demonstrations of challenging sections of code that you have been working on. This collaborative aspect is particularly advantageous as video conferencing is intended to support group work.
Superior Video Conferencing Platforms
The surge in remote working in recent years has resulted in rapid software resource development aimed at ensuring smooth operations. Video conferencing has experienced immense advancement, with technology becoming more refined and complex since its inception only a few short years ago. Presently, there are multiple excellent options in the market, each equipped with a range of features designed to facilitate effective collaboration of geographically dispersed teams. Here are some of the top-rated choices available.
Despite Microsoft’s attempts to influence businesses to adopt Teams, Skype for Business continues to dominate the market as a video conferencing application. For personal use, you can download a free version of the software to communicate with freelance professionals or external parties not affiliated with your organisation. Additionally, in case any of your participants don’t have Skype, there’s a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) connection available.
A webinar may be the optimal option if you need to make an announcement to a large group of individuals, as it can facilitate up to 10,000 viewers. But, if you’re organising a regular meeting, Microsoft’s Skype for Business can host up to 250 attendees and display six people simultaneously at 1080p quality, ensuring that even the minutest details of Ashton’s hipster beard growth are discernible.
Skype, as a Microsoft product, is especially suitable for businesses that employ Microsoft products and services. It provides seamless integration with Office applications, making it the perfect option for collaborative projects involving spreadsheets and presentations. Additionally, Skype is the logical choice for corporations that use Microsoft products.
As opposed to other alternatives, utilizing Skype does not necessitate a login procedure. There’s no need to recall codes or any other information, as all communication is handled via a unique Skype user ID.
Zoom offers a complimentary service that is particularly useful for communicating with freelancers and clients, as only the host requires a premium membership. While Skype originated as a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Zoom has been exclusively developed for video conferencing, offering a more bespoke feature set. Scheduling plays a crucial role in arranging meetings with people in disparate time zones, and Zoom provides a comprehensive solution for this.
Zoom has reduced limits for its free and enterprise plans, starting from 100 for the free version and up to 200 for the enterprise version, as noted in a previous article. One of Zoom’s advantages is its capability to facilitate collaboration with sizable groups of people. Through the creation of a group, you can promptly distribute messages and files to a specific set of individuals, making it an ideal option for disseminating mission-critical information to team members.
Similar to other video conferencing platforms, Zoom enables recording of conversations, with the option to store them either in the cloud or locally on a user’s device. This feature enables employees to record webinars and project meetings on their mobile devices, for accessing the recorded content even while on-the-go.
Due to the cost-effective nature with no financial commitment, we have limited our focus to Skype and Zoom as the recommended communication solutions. However, if your business has the required resources to invest, there are other alternatives that offer diverse features. Below are some of the best options.
Connectwise Control: This is an excellent option to consider while using video conferencing to communicate with clients. It provides you with the option to tailor the interface, allowing you to integrate your business logo and colours, creating an elegant corporate look.
Skype & Team Viewer: At Works, our video conferencing solution is highly comprehensive, providing a wide range of additional features. This includes the ability to access unattended laptops, which can be incredibly useful for managers of remote teams needing solutions to problems when their employees are unavailable. Furthermore, our video conferencing offering boasts robust security measures, ensuring the safety and security of all communications and data.
Join.me: Though their conference call function is free of charge, more advanced capabilities such as screen sharing can be accessed through subscription. They provide three distinct pricing plans to serve organizations of varying sizes, from team meetings with five participants to larger meetings involving up to 250 people.
Choosing a Video Conferencing Solution
Given the unique nature of your business, there is no universal solution for selecting the most suitable option. To guarantee that you discover the optimal application to meet your requirements, we suggest experimenting with various alternatives, choosing between free and paid options based on your budget. This will enable you to identify the most compatible solution for achieving your goals.
While video conferencing software enables communication and collaboration with colleagues, it may not always align with connecting you to the appropriate individuals. If this is a concern, please feel free to reach out. At our specialist agency, we focus on connecting top talent in the development world with the most relevant projects. If you are seeking to expand your network, we would be delighted to assist you.