The coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing quite a disruption in the workplace as large businesses throughout the world—including Boeing, Amazon, Microsoft and Amazon—are temporarily closing their doors and telling employees to stay home until further notice.
While sending everyone home could be an inconvenience, it isn’t as much of a hurdle anymore: It’s even prompting many companies to revive a discussion about making remote work more permanent. If you’re finding communication to be slow with co-workers during this time, several programs could serve as viable solutions.
Google Hangouts Meet
Google Hangouts Meet is an updated Google Hangout, but Hangouts Meet is designed for larger businesses and is scheduled around team meetings. Google recently announced that it will offer free access to advanced features for G-Suite customers through July 1. By having access to these features, organizations will be able to have meetings with up to 250 people and live stream for 100,000 people. This additional access is normally $13 more per user, per month.
With Microsoft Teams, groups can have meetings with up to 10,000 people. Microsoft is currently offering the premium version of Teams for six months, and on March 10 will add new features not usually included in the free version. This will enable users to schedule video calls and conferences, and will lift the restriction on how many people can join a team.
Applications that ease the workflow have become an organization’s best friend. Monday’s ready-made templates and drag-and-drop building blocks feature makes the interface incredibly user-friendly. Changes on the Monday tool are made in real time, so there’s never any confusion about the progress on any project; you can automate your workflow as well, lessening the chances of error. Monday integrates with all your favorites applications, such as Slack, Salesforce, Outlook, Mailchimp and Dropbox.
Wrike is a collaborative work management program that’s used by large-scale companies, such as Verizon, Airbnb and Google. Groups can manage marketing and creative workflows, as well as separate projects by department so that workers can focus exclusively on their responsibilities. Wrike can be integrated with more than 40 programs, such as Box, Dropbox, Google and Slack. You can even use Wrike as an extension on Adobe Creative Cloud.
If you ever downloaded anything from the internet, you’ve likely come across the “from Box” option. Box is a cloud-based, file-sharing application. The minimum storage capacity for the program is 100GB, which is the cheapest option at $5 per user per month. The costlier options—Business, Business Plus and Enterprise—offer unlimited storage capacity and an unlimited number of users. Enterprise’s price is not fixed: It is based on what is quoted.
If you’re an iPhone user, you can never go wrong with just using Facetime. The application has been updated significantly since its inception. Its latest update allows users to video chat with up to 32 people. While it may not be the best option for a long meeting with an even larger number of people, Facetime is great for small and brief group meetings.