Business Tech

Getting the most out of free video conferencing

The world we work in is constantly changing, and now, more than ever, teams are spread out, and employees are working remotely. Over the last ten years, the growth in remote work has increased by 91 percent, and so has our need for productivity tools that allow us to collaborate in real-time.

Face-to-face communication is a powerful tool. Roughly 55 percent of communication is body language, 38 percent tone and 7 percent spoken words. Recent studies point to the fact that 84 percent of people prefer remote meetings.

Still, nearly 100 percent of people believe that face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships. So, connecting via free video conferencing helps address the needs of remote workers and teams with face-to-face interaction, while also helping to improve communication and understanding among those on a video conference call.

Why choose a free video conferencing service?

Free video conferencing is not new and is a business standard in many industries and is generally available as part of a unified communications platform. It’s a great tool for meetings and collaborating with co-workers and with the increase in remote workers, it’s experiencing an uptick in usage. But who can benefit from using free video conferencing? Small businesses, entrepreneurs and even enterprises.

Being a small business or entrepreneur isn’t easy. Every dollar matters, so investing in expensive hardware or software isn’t usually an option. Free video conferencing is an excellent way for these businesses to take advantage of top tier collaboration tools with little to no investment. For enterprises, the benefit comes from testing multiple free video conferencing programs to learn which products match their company needs.

Essential video conferencing features to look for

The capabilities of a free video conferencing program are vital, and they differ from program to program, but are you getting the most out of yours?

Here are some features that can set one product apart from another:

Screen sharing

Looking for a way to boost productivity in your meetings? If you’re using free video conferencing, chances are you or someone you work with is at a remote location. Screen sharing paired with video conferencing helps keep teams connected while making real-time collaboration easy and effective. It allows meeting attendees to see the same thing, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Document sharing

Make sure the free video conferencing program you choose has document sharing capabilities. Document sharing eliminates the need to email documents pre or post-meeting. With this feature, you can instantly give participants access to relevant documents and presentations during your meeting. As an added benefit, it helps your meeting run smoothly and stay on task.

Moderator controls

Online video conferences can include two people or one hundred (or more), so having specific controls is vital. We’ve all been on a call where someone forgets to mute, it’s distracting and can quickly derail the momentum of a meeting. With moderator controls, the meeting owner has the power to take charge when needed. Look for the ability to mute and unmute participants to removing participants who shouldn’t be there.

Text chat capabilities

Text chat capabilities allow participants to engage, collaborate, ask questions, and so on, without interrupting the flow of the meeting. Whether it’s a private message to an individual or addressed to an entire group, text chat is a high-value feature.

Tips for successful free video conferencing

Be prepared 

  • Know how to use the program and its capabilities. Proficiency with the tool will help you better control the meeting, providing a better experience for everyone involved.
  • Poor audio and video call quality usually trace back to connectivity. Ensure that you have a stable internet connection and avoid embarrassing mistakes.

Ensure it’s secure

  • There’s a hack every 39 seconds. And video conferencing is not immune to hacker attacks. You can avoid this issue by ensuring the program you’re using offers encryption.
  • It’s not always an external threat that can ruin your day. Make sure you remove all confidential or proprietary information from the background or use a background blur if your free video conferencing program offers it.

Work smarter

  • Whatever tool you use, make sure it enhances (not inhibits) your teams’ ability to work smarter. If your free video conferencing doesn’t offer opportunities for you to engage and collaborate, it might not be the right tool.

The value of free video conferencing

The way we work is changing almost daily, but the need to connect face-to-face is still a large part of the human experience. Free video conferencing helps us bridge the divide and build connections with co-workers from all over the world.

When we’re seen, we feel heard, and we communicate in a natural way, including verbal and non-verbal. With more and more employees working remotely or in different office locations, free video conferencing will continue to remain a valuable tool that everyone in the business world will use, just ensure you’re getting the most out of it.

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Business Insights and Ideas does not constitute professional tax or financial advice. You should contact your own tax or financial professional to discuss your situation.