Video conferencing and Screen Sharing

Video conferencing is crucial for remote teams to facilitate both client and internal communication.  It’s important to ensure your team is on the same platform and regularly using video conferencing.   As discussed above, having regular interactions within your team is more important than we often realise and video chat among other forms of communication must be facilitated for a healthy and productive team. 

Zoom Video Conferencing Interface

Popular Video Conferencing Solutions

The most popular solutions today are: Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Skype, GotoMeetings & BlueJeans.   I’ve used all of the above and they are all fairly similar.  The key features that you want in your video conferencing software are: 

  • Ability to have multiple team members join a meeting by video.  Most of them allow at least 25 or more for free. 
  • Join via link – Access these meetings on your phone or PC with a link that can be shared via email or messaging.
  • Screen Sharing
  • Chat 
  • Ability to mute / turn off screen
  • Record meeting

All of the aforementioned tools allow for capabilities listed above and they are all fairly similar.  All of these key players also all have similar levels of quality in air time.  Essentially there are two main considerations: price and security. 

Security Considerations

Zoom has recently come under scrutiny for security issues and are being investigated for misleading claims.  It’s worth considering these issues before using the app.  These are outlined in detail here (but are likely to change by the time you are reading this article).  Also consider that Zoom provides video conferencing for free but only up to 40 minutes which can be extremely frustrating, especially on a sales call!  

Google Hangouts

At One Egg, we’ve been using Google Hangouts.  The best thing about Google Hangouts is that it is free.  The second best thing, relevant mainly if you work in the Google ecosystem, is that it integrates seamlessly with other Google tools like Email, Chat, Google Calendar.  When I create a calendar meeting, Google Calendar automatically creates a Google Hangout room with a link, the video conference ‘hangout’ is automatically set up & all meeting attendees automatically invited.  The same with chat, while in the midst of a chat, I can move seamlessly into a video conference with one click.  This is extremely convenient.  The below screenshot shows how the Google hangout link is automatically created when adding a new meeting in Google Calendar.  

Screen Sharing

Screen Sharing is a key feature that these video conferencing softwares offer.  This is the ability for one person on the inside of a video conference to share their active computer screen to the other members on the call in real time.  This is an extremely useful and underrated feature that we use all the time.   

The applications of this are many.  In internal team meetings there have been countless times that a team member is explaining an issue which is hard to visualise and another member has asked to be shown the issue.  The presenter is then able to show us on his or her screen the process they went through and where they got stuck.  Recent examples include how to share access in ClickUp or how to find something in Gmail.  It’s far more easy to understand a problem when it is visualised then it is when described.   

Another application of Screen Sharing is for sales calls.  Most sales people will provide an outline of how their services or tools can benefit a new client.  But it’s an entirely new level to actually show clients inside your tool or walk them through what services you can provide them.  We’ve found new clients love this as it actually shows them what we can and will be doing for them.