Free Web Meeting Tools
The last several months have shown what many researchers have been trying to say for decades, employees who work from home trend as being more efficient than those who work at brick-and-mortar corporate locations. The reasons for this are many but include:
- A quieter working environment
- A more convenient workstation set-up near amenities like food and bathroom
- The elimination of distractions such as by other employees and managers
But there are always two sides to every coin. Working from home can make it harder to engage and communicate with coworkers on work and important projects. Fortunately, there exist several free web meeting tools that can help.
Free online meeting tools resolve those major disadvantages of remote workers missing out on crucial office interactions. These essential office interactions include general connections with team members to touch base and, more important, group conferencing meetings. With free web meeting tools, remote employees can meet via video conferencing tools and not just text and email. These free online meeting video tools are beneficial because so much of our communication is nonverbal. Thus, if employees or your coworkers can’t see each other when making an important point about an upcoming project, then they could be missing out on incredibly valuable information.
The free web meeting tools we’re going to discuss in the following article are critical tools that resolve this communication gap. These free meeting tools will allow your employees and coworkers to enjoy all those great benefits of working at home but with the added benefit of visual conferencing and other key communication aspects.
Best Free Video Conferencing
While emails and text messages are likely to continue to serve as the preferred method for fast communication, web conferencing tools help to fill the gaps with those methods just aren’t enough. When your team needs a face-to-face chat, you need the best free video conferencing tools in a more personable and direct way.
But what do we mean by software for web conferencing, and what is important about the best free video conferencing app? First, the very best free video conferencing software will also have one important thing in common: They will all have users available to be viewed side-by-side via the virtual conference room. This means that when you, your colleague, or your employee logs into their free video conferencing app, they will generally enter into a “virtual room.” Others will then also enter this virtual room, and each person’s video feed will pop-up in a small box that will sit alongside other peoples’ video feed boxes. The best video conferencing app solutions use this side-by-side boxed layout because it is the best way to simulate a real-life meeting. Only, instead of people sitting in conference chairs looking at each other over a conference desk, people view each other on one screen.
This simultaneous video set-up is the very best way for everyone to get an idea of what others are saying, doing, and thinking on any given project. With each participant being able to see each other’s body language and facial expressions (remember, at minimum, 70% of communication is nonverbal), teams and businesses can enjoy a more productive meeting in which there is better communication between members. The best free video conferencing software also makes it each for individuals to display what they mean or physically show other remote workers what they are working on and what parts of a task need the most assistance.
The Zoom meeting app is probably the most popular out of all the free video conferencing tools, largely because they were the first to offer the most varied features and do so for free. That said, there remains a lot about the app that makes a Zoom download a good choice for small businesses and organizations.
When you join Zoom meeting, you get free access to an incredible amount of features, including HD video conferencing, organized webinar features, and mobile capabilities. That’s right, your truly remote colleagues and employees who are on the road or out in the field working on an issue can call in on their phone to join an impromptu Zoom cloud meeting.
The mobile capabilities also brings up perhaps one of the most popular reasons to choose a Zoom meeting download: Only one person in the video conference has to download Zoom to make it work. Every other team member needs only to click on a meeting link to join a video conferencing session. This unique feature makes this free video conferencing app a real asset for those businesses who sometimes have to contact individuals, not in the team.
For example, if you have a sales team you want to introduce to new shareholders, have a big client that needs video help in describing a problem to your IT team; or wish to consult a contractor or freelancer on a project but need them to connect directly with your team, all you have to do with Zoom is send them the link. They click on it, join your team video conferencing, and then when they’re done, they exit. No downloading or uploading or any other hassle on their end. That’s the type of easiness everyone loves.
Best Virtual Conference Platforms
However, while Zoom is fantastic for a dozen reasons, there are a couple of reasons why you might want to choose another popular video conferencing solution. The good news is that there are many fantastic alternatives available for those concerned about security and privacy. A few of those best virtual conference platforms include:
- ezTalks Meetings. This cloud-based video conferencing app has a very clean and easy-to-use interface and useful features like screen sharing.
- Jitsi Meet. Jitsi is a great free and open-source video conferencing app that uniquely makes it easy for users to schedule meetings via Outlook and Google calendars. This makes it a hot pick among small businesses and teams.
- Cisco WebEx. Cisco WebEx is the best video collaboration and conferencing tool for those concerned about security thanks to it, including end-to-end encryption, Transport Layer security, and other key measures. Note, however, that the free version of Cisco WebEx is limiting, and most businesses tend to upgrade to the paid version.
- GoToMeeting. GoToMeeting allows the host to invite as many as 3,000 people to a single meeting (in the paid versions). And that’s just one advantage! The free version also has a lot to offer, including seamless mobile capabilities.
- Zoho Meeting. This video conferencing tool is the top pick for those who want to incorporate webinars in their video meetings.
Best Free Online Meeting Platforms
Online video conferencing software like Zoom and Cisco WebEx are great for getting you and your employees and colleagues connected visually. They also can offer many nifty tools like scheduling and integrated features that make it possible to create and display webinars seamlessly. However, while this software solves some pretty big hurdles related to remote and hybrid meetings, they are not do-it-all types of applications. There are many other side things that go on with a meeting. Several other online meeting platforms are free that you should consider researching to help you streamline those other virtual meeting components.
Not sure what we are talking about? Consider the preparation you do for an online meeting. If you have multiple team members wanting to speak on a given topic at a given time, how are you going to organize them? How can you gather all of the information going to be discussed? How will the actual meeting flow? And who will provide follow-up summaries?
These are integral aspects of video conferencing, yet so many people forget about them until their first online video conference, and then they start scrambling for answers. Maybe a hurried search for the best free online meeting platforms is how you made it to this page? When we say free online meeting platforms, we are talking about programs that integrated all pre-, during, and post-meeting information. An example of a fantastic program that is undoubtedly one of the best free online meeting platforms is Docket.
With Docket, users can access an exciting array of features designed to make online and hybrid coworking go so much smoother. For example, before your upcoming video conference, use Docket’s Collaborative Agendas to have every team member upload the topics they want to be discussed and create set time limits. A concise notes tool allows the designated note-taker to record and organize decisions quickly and cross-reference the agenda to ensure members stay on-topic during the meeting. After the meeting, Docket makes it easy for notes and recaps to be quickly emailed to everyone, with any desired “next step” recommendations to keep team members focused as they go forward.