The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has forced several countries into lockdown, imposing remote working, or work from home, for millions of us.In India, several cities have been put in lockdown mode, which means offices and establishments are shut for the time being. In such circumstances, work can’t really take a back seat and here’s where technology comes in to play a critical role. There are various apps that can make work from home easier.
1. Microsoft Teams/ Hangouts Meet – Both Microsoft and Google offer their video conferencing apps for organisations. However, these are paid and come as a bundle with their company’s enterprise offering – Microsoft Teams with Office 365 Business edition and Hangouts Meet with Google G Suite. Both options support video conference of up to 250 users simultaneously. Also, they offer an option of live streaming the meeting to a larger number of users (10,000 users for Microsoft, 100,000 for Google). Other common features available on the two video conferencing solutions include meeting recording, global dial-in number facility, sharing documents seamlessly with editing in real-time and meeting note-taking (only in Microsoft).
Workplace by Facebook: Facebook also got serious some time back about leveraging its user base to turn its social media platform into a collaboration tool. Workplace is what Facebook has designed to counter Hangouts Meet and Microsoft Teams. It has the same drill — sign up for an account, enter your details, and invite your colleagues to join you on Workplace. It too comes with the standard collaborative features, such as texting and video calling. You can use Workplace by Facebook in browser.
Zoom – Zoom is one of the most feature-rich video conferencing tools we have seen till date and it is available for PC, MAC, Android as well as iOS. The best part is that it has a free version that allows up to 100 participants to join and that too in HD video/audio quality. it has some main features like multiple participant screen sharing, option to join with a standard telephone call, conference video recording, keyboard/mouse control sharing, multi-file sharing, and a handy virtual background feature using which you can keep things professional. All of this is done with 256 bits encryption, with the only
catch being of a 40-minute time limit on the group meeting. If you want to have more participants, you can opt for one of the paid plans (up to 1,000 participants allowed).
Basecamp 3: On Android, iOS, Windows, Mac Basecamp 3 has a message board, chat room, and a file organiser as well. The app has a free but limited version, which should suffice your basic work needs.
Join.me: On Android, iOS
Join.me is a web-based collaboration software application for screen-sharing and online meetings. To share a desktop or host a meeting, users must first download and install join.me software. Mobile apps are available for Android and iOS.Join.me is the easiest mobile meeting tool for Android users. To get the join.me app on your Android device, search for join me on the Google Play or Amazon Appstore. You can use your personal link, a one-time code or an audio only meeting. Audio only meetings are only available on smartphones, not on tablets.
Trello: On Android, iOS, Microsoft
The app can help organise to-do lists and tasks, projects by using different boards. It’s also ideal to share with various team members as well.A Trello board is a list of lists, filled with cards, used by you and your team. It’s a lot more than that, though. Trello has everything you need to organize projects of any size. Open a card and you can add comments, upload file attachments, create checklists, add labels and due dates, and more.
Doodle: On iOS, Android
One can create polls, invite others to participate in them and get their feedback on any particular topic/project. It’s an ideal app to get quick feedback from colleagues.