Free team-communication software for work from home setups
With the current directive from President Duterte that urges companies to adopt a work-from-home scheme, companies now face a new task of finding a suitable platform to communicate with co-workers. While there are paid services out there, smaller companies might not have the extra funds to pay the premium.
To help you find your next go-to communication and team management solution, we list down five free platforms that offer real-time video, audio, and text to help ease the new work-from-home scheme implemented.
Starting with Google’s social platform, Google Hangouts is a free messaging and calling platform that you can add to Chrome as an extension. For people on the go, it’s also available on Android and iOS. Up to 150 users can connect to a group chat, and up to 10 people can participate in a video conference at a time. It has your typical messaging features, including offline messaging, muting notifications, multimedia support, and saved history.
When it comes to online conferences, who can forget Microsoft’s own Skype? It comes with every Windows 10 installation, and it’s also available on Android and iOS. Skype can accommodate up to 50 people on both video and audio conferences, allows users to record calls, and enable live captions and subtitles. Users can also share images and files of at most 300MB in group conversations. Other features include:
- Location sharing
- Background blur
- Real-time translation
- In-conversation search, including multimedia files
Hosting conferences is easy with the “Meet Now” feature, allowing users without an account to join the call by inviting other members of the team through a sharable link or email.
Zoom is another top video and text conferencing platform that’s available on both mobile and PC. What’s unique about Zoom is that it’s a cloud-based platform, and not everybody is required to have an account to join meetings. The account holder can send an invite via a custom URL or email, and the participants will be able to participate. It can host up to 100 participants for group meetings for up to 40 minutes, and one on one meetings for an unlimited time. Other features include:
- HD video and voice support
- Active speaker view
- Simultaneous screen share
- Local recording
- Raise Hand feature that alerts the host if muted participants have questions
By clicking on the shared link, you will be prompted to download the Zoom app that automatically connects you to the call.
Slack is a team management and collaboration platform that allows team members to communicate with each other instantly, send files, and photos. The UI is similar to Discord, allowing teams to segregate topics into channels for cleaner communication. It also provides integration with other apps like Google Drive, Office 365, and more. It’s made even more secure with forced two-factor authentication and can store up to 5GB of files per workspace.
Free Conference is another team management and collaboration platform that allows users to hold free audio and video conferences of up to 5 (web) participants. It has features such as:
- real-time in-conversation chat
- Screen sharing
- An online whiteboard
- Document sharing
While it may not have a lot of features like the others, Free Conference is easy to use since it requires no downloads.
And there you have it! Five free communication platforms to use when working from home. While these online alternatives aren’t as good as being personally there, staying safe should be your number one priority. Should you require additional functionalities, these communication platforms all offer a paid subscription office that allows you to do more within the platform.