Making Work-Life Easy
At the beginning of this year, a lot of us didn’t know that WFH actually meant “work from home”. But, a lot has changed since this year started. WFH has actually become the new normal as we all are now confined in our homes, in a bid to defeat the global pandemic that’s looming over our heads. Come to think of it, working from home isn’t that bad - saves you from traffic, spares you the small talk from annoying co-workers, helps you save a lot of money and most importantly, you can finally ditch the irritating formal wear.
We know that’s overly “glass half full” attitude of ours and staying inside for such a long time has been driving us all crazy but you may hate it or you may love it - the fact is, work from home has become a necessity. In fact, India's biggest IT firm, Tata Consultancy Services has said that it will follow the work from home trend even after the lockdown ends and allow 75 per cent of its employees to WFH. Furthermore, by 2025 they aim to reduce their number of employees working in the office by 25 per cent - now you get what we are talking about?
Coming to the situation in hand, while we are sitting at home and working doubly hard, one of the best thing that came to the limelight is the power and need of video-conferencing. So, in case you still haven’t already figured out the best video-conferencing apps that are making the rounds these days, we have shortlisted some for you, have a look -
This one really needs no introduction. Zoom is one of the most favoured and used video calling app during the era of social distancing. With the sudden rise of offices and classes going online, this app saw its popularity skyrocketing almost overnight. Zoom is fairly easy to use and that’s one of the main reason for its popularity. Also, users can choose to record sessions, collaborate on projects, and share or add notes on one another's screens, making it even more favourable for office sesh. However, with reports about weak privacy policies, intrusive data collection and various incidents of “zoom bombing”, this app slowly losing its users.
2. Cisco WebEx
Keeping in sync with the world situation right now, Cisco has opened its Webex Meetings services, for free, in all countries where it is available to support the WFH needs. This free version of the software allows 50 to 100 participants to meet at the same time with unlimited timing for each meeting. All you need to do is sign up on the Cisco Webex portal to get started with the Webex Meetings and you are good to go.
3. Microsoft Teams
With 256-bit AES encryption, two-factor authentication (2FA) and a general, more secure VoIP environment, the Microsoft Teams is one of the most secure video conferencing app out there. You can chat or go for a video conference with the touch of a button and add as many people you want while you are at it. You can also access, share, and edit Word docs, PowerPoint, and Excel files in real-time during video conferences on Teams. The best bit? You can also use Microsoft Translator live and get cross-language live translation and transcription while dealing with international calls.
4. Skype Meet Now
There is no way we could have made this list without adding Skype in it. While the Skype app has been popular for video chats for a long time now, there is a new feature added to it now. Meet Now in Skype allows you to easily set up a collaboration space and invite both Skype contacts and friends or family who are not on Skype. It is a web-based version of Skype, with additional features like a permanent link that you can put into a text message or email, background blurring, and even a stored cloud recording of the call and files. Participants can then easily join meetings whether they have an account or not.
5. Google Meet
Now, how could have Google missed this party? As more and more companies are entering the video-conferencing zone, Google has made its Meet app free for all. Earlier, the app was available to all G Suite users, i.e., those businesses or schools that pay for Google services for their users. However, Google Meet is now available to anyone with a Google account - basically, it's going to be free to the public, offering update 100 callers with no time limit, up until 30 September 2020.
If all this wasn’t enough, we have some more news for you - Reliance Jio will be launching its own video conferencing services soon. According to the company, it is “just a few days away” from launching its video conferencing-cum-collaborative app called Jio Meet to capitalise on the surging demand for such use-cases. Additionally, in a bid to help people further, Jio’s eHealth platform will be integrated with the Meets app which will allow users to consult doctors virtually, get prescriptions, order medicines and lab tests online, and enable digital waiting rooms for doctors - talk about making everything a virtual reality.