Learn about tools that are available for a better WFH experience and which are best for you.
Technology and the internet are here to help each and every one of us, even if some aspects seem to do more harm than good. It is undeniable that life is easier with the presence of the internet and modern technology, especially during this time when working from home (WFH) still remains an option for many people around the world to slow down the spread of Covid-19.
As more and more people are returning to work in their offices across Cambodia, it is important to understand the different kinds of applications out there and their pros and cons. Choosing the right tools for you and your team can be overwhelming, with so many tools available.
For Team Communications
Microsoft Teams is a communication and collaboration application that can be used for many purposes within your team. Launched in 2016, it is the latest chat-based workspace in the Office 365 family. The app is able to integrate with almost every other Microsoft Office service such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, Power BI, and Delve. Beyond that, it also provides users with file storage capabilities, instant messaging, and video conferencing. According to Business Insider, the app has over 75 million users worldwide, with daily users numbering over 44 million users.
- One-stop application
- No additional cost for Microsoft Office users
- Useful chat additions
- High battery usage
- Long loading time/need a strong internet connection
- Lack of notifications
Slack is a communication channel designed for workplace use. Launched in 2013 by American software company Slack Technologies, the app is used by 750,000 organizations around the globe. With Slack, users are able to create different channels, direct messages, group messages, share files, and plan schedules. While Slack does not update its current total users, as of October 2019, the app has over 12 million daily users.
- Has thread replies function
- Integration with third-party applications (For instance, Google Drive and Calendar)
- Best for remote workers
- History of security breaches
- Minimum file storage
- Messages deleted every 14 days
Google Chat, similar to both apps above, is a team day-to-day communication application that gives users quick access to chat with both direct individual text and group messaging. Features such as gifs, emojis, and photo sharing are available on the app as well. Rebranded from Hangouts Chat, the app was developed by Google in 2017.
- No additional cost for G Suite users
- Great integration for G Suite users
- Searchable history
- Accessible by invite only
- No message tracking
- Many find the app too similar to Slack
Besides the three commonly used apps for team communication mentioned above, there are also other options such as Facebook Workplace, Telegram, LINE, Whats app, Viber, etc.
For Online Meeting or Presentation
Zoom is a free video-conferencing application founded in 2011. The app provides video calls and online chat services that are suitable for both workplace and school. Zoom has become very famous for its virtual background capabilities. The app is said to hold over 300 million daily meetings as of April this month.
- Can host up to 100 people per meeting with free plan
- Interactive additional features, such as virtual backgrounds and on-screen emojis
- Good audio & video quality
- Security problems
- Users can get dropped during the meeting often
- No third-party integration
Google Meet is a video communication platform developed by Google as a rebranded version of the classic Google Hangouts. Before March 2020, the app was not available for free.
- Full integration with other Google apps
- No download needed
- Able to share files through chat
- Have a messy dashboard compared to Zoom
- Able to use only with Google Chrome
- Only one person can share the screen
Skype is a telecommunication application that provides video chat and instant messaging between users both one-on-one and group calls. It was developed by Skype Communications S.a.r.l. in 2003.
- Clear audio capacities
- Integrated with Facebook
- Has a user-friendly layout
- Prone to freezing up often
- Quality drops when doing multi-person conference calls
- Security issues
Google Drive file storage enables people to share stored files with their teammates. Developed by Google in 2012, users are able to work on and share Docs, Sheets, as well as Slides via the platform. It allows users to share files, video, and photos that can be accessed anytime from anywhere without having to meet the file owner in person.
- Can share many different types of files (Video, photos, documents)
- Free 15 GB of cloud storage for every user
- Allow real-time changes tracking and auto-save
- Limited to only Gmail users
- Reliant on strong internet connection
- Data security concerns
Wetransfer is an online file transfer tool, founded by We Transfer B.V in 2009. The app uses Amazon Simple Storage Service, known as Amazon S3, to store and share files. Unpaid users can send files up to 2GB in size, using email addresses to recognize users.
- Able to share files with several people at once
- Allows users to transfer large files
- Able to set up your own background image
- Security problems
- The download link will expire after a week
- Easier to use on computer than mobile phone
Dropbox is a cloud storage tool that allows users to share and sync files. Released in 2007, the app was developed by Dropbox, Inc. The app has received many awards in recognition for its performance over the years.
- Large free storage (2-16 GB)
- Instant file backup
- Amazing search function
- The paid version is expensive
- Need to constantly update on mobile version to access files
- Security concerns
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