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Here Are Some Apps To Make Working From Home Easier During The Coronavirus Crisis

Coronavirus has forced a significant number of people to start working from home and with such a sudden shift it’s no surprise that many companies aren’t exactly prepared for the transition to start working from home.

This list of applications will help companies that are still looking for the right tools for their employees to work more efficiently.

Meetings & Work Place Communication

Zoom

Pros

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Zoom is a remote conferencing software that allows you to have video/audio meetings with a capacity of up to 100 participants per meeting for the free plan. Paid plans can support businesses of upto 1000 Here are some of the features Zoom has;

  • Allows users to share their screen during meetings – great for sharing presentations, slides, videos and pitches;
  • an integrated chat feature, allowing participants to communicate with each other during a meeting and ask questions.
  • schedule meetings;
  • record meetings (MP3/MP4)
  • host and record webinars;
  • virtual backgrounds for meetings;

Here at Techzim, we’ve used Zoom since we started working remotely around February of 2019. Outside of using it for meetings we now also use it to record the Techzim Podcast.

Cons

The pricing is per host, not per participant. This means you don’t need to pay a monthly fee for every participant that joins a meeting or webinar. People can join for free, but the host of the meeting — the one who sets up a meeting — has to pay a monthly subscription. The more hosts a company has, the higher the monthly bill is.

Android authority explaining Zooms payment structure

The pricing of Zoom can get expensive for larger teams because of its pricing structure. But With the free version offering so much, it would be advisable to start there and see if your business takes to the app before paying for any additional features.

Meetings are also capped at 40 minutes in length (free users), which can be too short for some but can also be a decent way to ensure your meetings don’t drag on for too long – perspective is key.

The app is not only available on Desktop but also available on Android/iOS

Skype

Ah, something more common. Skype is definitely more popular than Zoom but serves a similar purpose in some instances. That is one of the biggest advantages the platform offers – familiarity – which is pretty important if you’re going remote overnight.

Skype offers the following features;

  • Instant Messaging
  • Video chats
  • Ability to make domestic and international calls

Because Skype doesn’t zone in on video like Zoom does, it doesn’t offer as much specialisation as Zoom and you’ll have to know what you want as a business to make the distinction between which software to go with.

Like Zoom, Skype also has iOS and Android alternatives

All-in-one software

Liquid Virtual Workplace

Liquid Telecom is also offering a 6-month trial for Microsoft’s virtual workplace which will contain Microsoft Office and Microsoft Teams access.

Whilst I haven’t personally used Microsoft Teams – it’s feature-stacked and will allow your team to;

  • Offers full integration with Microsoft Office 365 – Teams provides you with access to Office 365 applications within the one location, letting you work more efficiently. Access files and documents in OneDrive and SharePoint, plus make calls and conduct video conferences directly from Teams.
  • conversation channels – You can dedicate chat channels to certain topics which makes it far easier and more likely to keep messaging on a topic and resolve problems faster without distraction
  • You can complete work in real-time with your colleagues as you chat together, and work on files through Teams, rather than taking turns emailing updates

You can sign-up for the 6-month trial version of Liquid Telecom’s Virtual Workplace here

Trello

Trello isn’t a competitor to Liquid’s Virtual Workplace but it is a pretty great project management tool.

You can use Trello to define projects/tasks and their requirements. The digital dashboard on Trello also allows organisations to arrange projects in order of priorities along with setting deadlines to certain tasks.

The card system employed allows team members to interact and collaborate with each other on projects – users can add comments, links, files and photos to project cards.

Trello’s Free package offers unlimited boards, lists, cards, members, checklists and attachments.

Trello is another piece of software we use here at Techzim and for me, the best thing about the software is its clean user interface and how easy it is to use – even for first timers.

Like all the other software on this list, Trello also has mobile versions of its apps available on Android/iOS


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