Best Free Tools for Online Meetings & Calls (Stay Connected in Post-Pandemic COVID-19 Environment)
Remote work is a current trend. With the high level of technological solutions offered by numerous vendors, individual entrepreneurs, as well as big and small teams, can be productive working from any place on Earth.
The flexibility of remote work is charming but for some freelancers, it's really challenging to create a distraction-free environment at home. However, they can always find exactly what they are looking for (i.e.: comfortable office space, advanced technology, supportive community, etc.) at your coworking space. Unfortunately, sometimes life is unpredictable and as our recent experience shows, due to the coronavirus COVID-19 global pandemic, your members can stick in their homes.
The situation is stressful for both parties as all of us are kicked out of our comfort zones. The best thing a coworking operator can do is get prepared for similar circumstances in the future, which means have a crisis-management plan to follow and know how to preserve the community.
Coronavirus crisis is a good chance for you to show members how much you care about their health and business success. Everything you are doing these days will be either rewarded with consumers' loyalty or ruin the trust to your coworking brand.
This article will provide you with an excellent excuse to get in touch with members and grab their attention with wholesome information.
The time of public gatherings ban has passed in many countries, however, entrepreneurs are still tasked to balance work and life activities while keeping a safe distance to prevent the infection spread. Thus, awesome tools for running the projects remotely don't lose their popularity and appear as helpful as they were at the beginning of forced isolation.
Big tech corporations like Microsoft, Google, LogMeIn, Cisco, and Zoom have announced that their premium virtual communication tools are free for small businesses for the quarantine period.
You will find the list of those tools for video calls and online meetings right under this text. Share it with your friends and residents, in a word, everyone who needs the systems in place to ensure remote connection. The good news is that the users don't have to spend a cent to use these premium services for remote work, online meetings, video calls, and conferences.
Microsoft Teams provides a free version for organizations that includes unlimited chat, video calling, file sharing, storage, and more to collaborate with team members and partners efficiently.
- The software is suitable for large and small teams of up to 500K users.
- You can choose what to show in a chat or meeting: your desktop, a specific app, a presentation, or a file.
- Use background blur to eliminate distractions and ensure meetings run smoothly.
- Grant people outside your organization access to existing teams and channels in Teams.
WebEx is a video conferencing and communication technology that helps you keep your team connected and move the business forward. They offer a free plan that includes the following features:
- Up to 100 participants in each meeting
- Each meeting can last up to 50 minutes
- Use your computer for audio (VoIP)
- Usage reports
- Unlimited number of meetings
- Desktop, application, file & whiteboard sharing options, and more.
Zoom provides consistent enterprise experience for online meetings, training, technical support, marketing events, town hall meetings, conference rooms, phone system, cross-platform messaging, and file sharing.
The software offers a free plan that includes:
- Host up to 100 participants
- Unlimited 1 to 1 meetings
- 40 mins limit on group meetings
- Unlimited number of meetings
- Ticket Support, and more.
PowWowNow is one of the most reliable conference call providers that have extended the free trial period of services from 14 to 60 days. The decision was taken to help employees that work from home stay productive during the pandemic.
PowWowNow technology suite includes web meetings, video, and conference calls.
Main features of the online meeting tool:
- HD video,
- time screen sharing,
- collaboration tools,
- instant messaging and analytics,
- no burden of contracts or downloads,
- easy to join.
Intermedia cloud communications service provides technology solutions for video conferencing and webinars at no cost through December 31, 2020. The offer is aimed to decrease the risks and facilitate the well-being of the business community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What exactly is given away?
- Free Intermedia AnyMeeting Video Conferencing Pro licenses for customers and partners. The software allows remote workers to hold global online meetings using high-definition video & audio conferencing, screen sharing, call recording, chats, note-taking, and more, with no restriction on meeting length.
- One free Webinar Pro license per account. The technology enables companies to hold larger live broadcast events for up to 200 people, such as corporate all-hands meetings, webinars, lectures, religious services, and other virtual events.
8X8 is a cloud communication company delivering innovative solutions for business continuity that allow people to work safely and productively from anywhere around the globe. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company noticed a significant increase in demand and usage of 8x8 Video Meetings. So, they expanded the global reach of free Video Meetings to help individual entrepreneurs, educators, and organizations worldwide.
New and enhanced features of 8x8 Video Meetings include:
- Unlimited usage - no restrictions on a number of meetings or meeting duration.
- International dial-in numbers in more than 55 countries including local and toll-free options.
- A browser-based interface that allows users to start or join meetings in a single click or touch.
- Calendar plugins for Google and Outlook that allow users to schedule and join 8x8 Video Meetings directly from their calendar.
- Cloud storage for meetings recordings.
- Support for live streaming of large meetings to YouTube.
- A permanent personal URL to a private virtual meeting space.
- Real-time meeting closed captioning and transcription.
- Machine learning-based noise detection and alerts for enhanced meeting experience.
Avaya Spaces remote collaboration app is now available for free for 60 days with a special trial offer to all educational institutions including colleges and universities along with non-profit organizations worldwide. The company provides a cloud meeting and team collaboration solution that enables people and organizations to connect and collaborate remotely.
The technology offers more than integrated chat, voice, video, online meetings, and content sharing. It gives users additional meeting and team collaboration features including voice and video conferencing for up to 200 participants. The solution is mobile-enabled which gives users a simple, secure, and effective way to track communications and manage tasks in today's environment of limited travel and connectivity opportunities.
So, these were the results of my meeting software research. Working remotely and holding back from traveling is the best way to avoid COVID-19 infection. The above virtual communication tools will help your members to safely engage with teammates, coworking community, and customers.
Be supportive and caring, don't lose connection with consumers as this is the best way to retain them during and after the quarantine.
If you feel like sharing tips and advice on how to help members survive the crisis and win their trust, please feel free to post them in the comments along with more free tools for remote conferencing I have missed on my list.