We have to start with the classic, Zoom. If you haven’t heard of Zoom, then you must be very new to the world of virtual team building and online events, so a big welcome to you! Zoom is now one of the most popular video conferencing platforms out there. With the COVD-19 pandemic driving so many people to work from home and schools and universities having to move their curriculum online, Zoom saw a revenue growth of over 355%. Zoom is a dynamic platform, and has become a key communication tool for companies who are working with remote teams. Zoom offers a multitude of features that allow for online, interactive virtual events and meetings to run smoothly. You can automatically schedule meetings, have co-hosts in your meetings, share your screen, change your backgrounds into fun designs, split large groups into smaller groups called ‘breakout rooms’, plus many more features. For any of our Locus Quest virtual escape room sessions, we have found Zoom to be versatile and convenient when dealing with different sized groups.
- Many Cam
ManyCam is a virtual camera software that can be used to enhance your video conferencing experience. One of the challenges of remote work is often the ‘live’ aspect of video conferencing. While screen sharing is a useful tool that can be used to present content within a meeting, it does rely on the user’s internet connectivity and device to be reliable. Showing video footage in particular can be difficult, with people pressing ‘play’ at different times. ManyCam allows users to access the resources on their computer during a video conference, meaning they can show pre-recorded videos, images and photos in place of their live webcam. This gives a ‘live’ feel to any pre-recorded content. Another advantage? Your content remains your own. You no longer need to share links or files to present video content.
To see just how useful this tool is, check out this guy, who pre-recorded himself into all his meetings for a week using ManyCam, without his colleagues ever realising.
Have you ever gone into your Gmail account and felt completely lost in the labyrinth of email chains that accumulate over time? Transitioning to a work-from-home (WFH) environment has forced companies to assess how to keep communication flowing between their employees now that they cannot walk over to each other for questions and advice. It can get overwhelming to try to manage a project with multiple people communicating via email, phone, text and WhatsApp. It becomes easy for tasks to fall through the cracks and people to feel disconnected. Slack boasts to provide a platform that acts as a singular communication channel for collaborative projects. Slack can replace all other forms of virtual communication and allow your team to collaborate and coordinate their work, no matter where they are in the world. Think of it as a virtual water cooler, tea-room or open-plan office. It’s cheerful, fun and, most importantly of all, useful.
- Google Drive
Oh, Google Drive, what would we do without you? This is the number one file-sharing platform that we use at Locus Quest. Google Drive is a cloud-based file storage service that Google brought in during 2012. It allows users to store files on their servers, synchronise files across devices and share files with other users. As well as sharing files, you can create documents, powerpoints and excel sheets and invite your colleagues to collaborate on them. This allows for real-time edits to be made. It’s super easy to use and intuitive. And did we mention it’s free? It’s a great tool for collaboration when you are working remotely. And also serves as a fantastic back-up service so no important files are lost.
- Canva – whiteboard
For anyone who hasn’t yet explored Canva, now is the time to do so. Canva is a graphic design platform that allows you to pick and choose from hundreds of different images, fonts, designs, templates and even animations. Canva makes it easy to design visually compelling content for your website or social media platforms, marketing collateral, presentations and any other visual content you might need as a brand. Canva is free to sign up, and also offers paid subscription services for those who want to have further access. It is super simple to use, with a ‘click-and-drop’ function. We LOVE Canva at Locus Quest, finding the range of design options incredibly inspiring and easy to use.
Canva also has a range of ‘whiteboard’ templates that can be used for your team to gather your ideas via your online meetings. This function is great for brainstorming sessions. Just pick a template (or start blank) from Canva’s huge range of options and begin jotting those ideas down on these collaborative virtual whiteboards. Fun, colourful and interactive.
These are just a few of the innovative tools that are out in the world, making our lives easier in our new hybrid working environments. What are some of your tried and tested favourites you have found? Let us know.