Video conferencing meetings are central to the way we work. Whether your team is in-office, hybrid, or remote, most meetings have at least one remote participant. Face-to-face communication is important, even if you can't all meet in person. With the right video conferencing platforms and solutions, teams can work together or with customers and clients effectively, no matter where they're located.
Since virtual meetings tend to be more productive and collaborative, it's worth investing in a great video conferencing setup for your team. Luckily, there are many great, free options for video conferencing software that can be paired with reasonably priced audiovisual products like video conferencing cameras. A simple but high-quality web camera is a must-have to be inclusive to remote teammates and provide a collaborative atmosphere between employees in multiple locations.
The 2023 State of Hybrid Work Report found that 83% of workers said that good technology is an important factor in their work. When meetings are audio-only, it creates an unequal experience for remote team members. By not being able to see visual cues, not knowing who is speaking, and usually not being able to hear well, remote team members are less included in team meetings and therefore have less impact on the team.
Adding a working video element to team meetings, one-on-one conversations between managers and remote employees (or vice versa), and quick chats between remote team members helps build relationships and improve employee effectiveness. Video conferencing platforms and tools make conversations more effective because people can speak face-to-face and read body language better. Our Meeting Owl 3 is a 360° video camera, microphone, and speaker that sits at the center of the table to put remote attendees in the middle of conversations and our Owl Bar ensures that every corner of the room can be seen to help remote team members feel like they're attending meetings in-person.
If you make meetings more inclusive for remote team members, the results will show immediately and employee happiness and productivity will drastically improve.
To get started, take a look at these free video conferencing platform options for a multitude of business use cases. Some of the products listed are great for one-on-one conversations, some for teams, and others for live broadcasts or larger scale team meetings.
Zoom is ideal for anyone who works remotely or has remote team members. Zoom is also a popular favorite among virtual and hybrid educators. Zoom allows for a simple, easy setup for larger meetings or quick chats in your personal meeting room. Quickly create and share a private meeting link with an individual or team and connect remote and hybrid team members through video.
The no-cost version of Microsoft Teams works well for small teams. It’s a good tool if you need a simple way to video chat from your computer, phone, or tablet and tend to have smaller group meetings or one-on-one conversations.
Google Meet is a simple way to connect with Google contacts (or those outside of your network) and can be used for personal or business reasons. Use this tool for individual conversations, team meetings, and more.
The free version of Dialpad Ai Meetings is ideal for personal use. The no-cost version limits your video call duration to 45 minutes, so it's ideal for shorter meetings. Since it allows unlimited video conferences, you can use this video conferencing tool for recurring meetings, like one-on-ones or monthly team debriefs.
TrueConf offers a free plan with up to six participants in video calls. This solution is great for small teams or individuals who need a simple tool to host video calls or collaborate with small groups. The collaboration features like remote desktop control are helpful for those in support who may need to help a client solve a problem.
FreeConference is ideal for smaller teams or meetings with five or fewer participants. One major perk of this video conferencing tool is its ease of use - no downloads are required to start using it. Plus, moderator controls allow the individual who's running the video conference to keep the meeting on track.
Slack users can take advantage of the huddle feature by simply using the command /call or clicking the phone icon at the top of the conversation with another Slack user. This is an easy way to make video calls right from Slack if you need to ask a teammate a quick question or connect for a one-on-one. This tool is good for teams looking for a supplementary video-calling solution for small teams.
When considering which video conferencing tool is best for you or your team, take a look at your current AV setup and think about what tools would best complement the ones your teams are already using - this goes for hardware and software.