With more and more of us looking for different ways to connect with people, we look at how to get the best out of platforms such as Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp and House Party.
With the majority of us working from home, colleagues and clients are not as easily accessible. However, with so many apps that can help you stay connected, we are not feeling as isolated as we could have been.
Rather than drafting long emails and attempting to explain what is required, sometimes a video call is much clearer and less hassle for all parties, plus, it’s nice to see friendly faces. Zoom, Google Hangouts and Skype offer video conference calling while social networking sites such as What’s app and House Party offer less formal face-to-face conversation forums.
Zoom is a new alternative to Skype and currently one of the most downloaded apps in the Apple store. Zoom is a great way to conference call with colleagues and clients to stay connected. Zoom also enables you to send a link to those who you desire to talk to making the process much more straight forward. While Zoom does require a subscription for full access, the app offers a free service allowing you unlimited one-on-one calls and caps at 40 minutes of video calling for groups of between three and up to 100. Share screening has also been useful for our online training sessions.
Skype is the most well-known video calling application, as it has been around since 2003. Much like Zoom, it is ideal for video calling with clients and colleagues, with
a group chat function and the ability to send files via the app. Skype has a subscription option which offers you the ability to call landlines and mobiles. While the free option allows calls, video calls and instant messaging. Scheduling Skype calls also makes sure we properly get dressed for the day and keep the area around our desk tidy!
Instant messaging with WhatsApp and Slack
While it has been long been popular for social uses, organising group activities and maintaining friendships and relationships from around the world, WhatsApp has become business necessity for us. Owned by Facebook this app allows users to instantly message each other throughout the world for free. Capable of creating groups consisting of up to 256 people, it has helped us to share quick messages and photos with colleagues and clients as well as arranges social events. At the moment, we are mostly sharing pictures of our lunch and dog walks with each other.
Slack is a great alternative for business use as it enables messages to be organised into projects and threads helping with project management. Users can send the same quick informal messages as well as images and documents but it doesn’t intrude on your personal life, as can switch off when they are not working.
House Party has recently become popular to virtually recreate the experience of a social gathering at home. House Party allows multiple people to video call one another simultaneously as part of a group. While the likes of Facetime, Skype and Zoom offer this service, House Party also has quizzes and games that can be played between participants. This feature is perfect for boosting morale with colleagues and team bonding exercises, while recreating the casual nature of in-office chat and work outings.
We are living within a pivotal time for businesses and staying connected during this period is imperative – with increased communication needed, using different platforms really helps to keep a sense of togetherness. By staying in contact and constantly updated with employees and clients this period of disruption should be easier.
If you do require support with internal communications during this time Westgate Communications could be the answer to your business needs. Get in contact with Caroline Walker to discuss how we can support your business.