Advantages of project management software
March 26, 2020

What Are the Best Video Conferencing Tools for Remote Teams Using Office 365?

By Brian McHale

There are plenty of reasons to switch to remote work (AKA working outside of traditional offices).

But when you manage distributed teams, you need an efficient tool for communication and collaboration.

In this article, we’re going to cover the best video conferencing tools for remote teams, and help you choose the right one for your team:

  • Microsoft Teams
  • Slack
  • Zoom
  • Skype
  • TeamViewer
  • Go To Meeting.

Let’s take a look!

 

Why Do You Need Video Conferencing Tools for Remote Work?

If you want a high-performing and successful team, they’re going to have to collaborate.

This is especially true if you’re managing projects.

No team member lives in a bubble, not even when they’re working from home.

Instead, distributed teams still have to be in constant contact.

The first prerequisite for successful collaboration is communication.

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, if your employees are connected, their productivity improves by 20-25%.

So in addition to using project and team management tools like Office 365, you should look into video conferencing tools.

Nothing can replace seeing your colleague’s body language as you discuss important information.

The following tools are easy to use, and they will help you improve remote collaboration (and productivity), even if this is the first time you’re managing a distributed team.

 

The Best Video Conferencing Tools for Remote Collaboration

 

Microsoft Teams

If your company is already using Office 365, then using Microsoft Teams for video conferencing is an intuitive decision.

Key Microsoft Teams features for remote collaboration:

  • Team chat
  • Video conferencing
  • Team calls
  • Real-time collaboration: Word docs, PowerPoint presentations, and Excel sheets.

 

Bonus Perk: Apps and Workflows

A special advantage of using Microsoft Teams (if you’re already using Office 365) is that you can integrate other Office 365 apps with Teams.

This is great for managing distributed teams. You can easily create a central hub for collaboration.

 

Slack for Remote Teams

We all know of Slack as the go-to real-time chat tool.

However, Slack has a few other features, as well:

  • Channels for team members (private, public, 1-on-1)
  • Searchable conversation history
  • Video conferencing.

 

Can You Integrate Slack with Office 365?

You can’t fully integrate Slack with Office 365. It does have special apps for Outlook, Outlook Calendar, and OneDrive, but that’s it.

 

Zoom

Zoom is definitely one of the most popular video conferencing apps today.

It has a great free plan, offers high-quality video conferencing, and their stocks are going up – they added over 2 million new users so far in 2020 because of the coronavirus crisis.

But is it that good?

Zoom’s features include:

  • Team chat
  • Video conferencing
  • Screen sharing
  • Meeting recording
  • HD video and audio for up to 1,000 participants.

 

Can You Integrate Zoom with Office 365?

You can integrate Zoom with Microsoft Teams, yes!

 

Skype

Skype is a relatively safe solution for chatting and video conferencing.

However, it was not made with remote teams in mind, so you might face a few difficulties.

Skype features include:

  • Phone calls
  • Video conferencing
  • Screen sharing
  • Call recording.

 

Microsoft Recommends MS Teams Instead of Skype

Since Skype is a Microsoft product, they officially recommend using Microsoft Teams for remote collaboration instead.

 

TeamViewer

TeamViewer originally started out as a screen sharing software which can be pretty useful for remote collaboration.

TeamViewer features primarily include:

  • Remote device control
  • Screen sharing
  • File sharing
  • Online whiteboard
  • Team chat
  • Voice and video conferencing.

 

Who Should Use TeamViewer?

In general, TeamViewer is a great solution for remote tech support teams.

Their features mainly focus on remote device control and screen sharing, with only a few add-ons that other distributed teams can use.]

 

GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting is a solid choice for video conferencing with your remote team.

GoToMeeting features include:

  • Screen sharing
  • Conference calling
  • Video conferencing
  • Meeting recording & transcription
  • Virtual whiteboard.

 

Should You Use GoToMeeting?

If you use other tools for remote collaboration, then yes, GoToMeeting is a great choice for conferencing online.

 

What’s the Best Remote Collaboration Tool in 2020?

Now that we’ve covered the top 6 tools, it’s time to decide which of them is best for remote collaboration.

The Best Tool for Remote Collaboration: Microsoft Teams

Our main criteria for this category are additional collaboration features. So the winner shouldn’t only have video conferencing features, but a plethora of others.

The fewer tools your team has to use, the better.

The winner is Microsoft Teams.

Why?

Firstly, Microsoft Teams fully integrates with other apps in the Office 365 suite.

So if your company is already using Office 365 for coordination, you can simply start using Microsoft Teams without additional costs.

Secondly, Teams offer real-time collaboration on docs. Other tools don’t offer this feature. Yes, you can share screens, but you can’t directly collaborate.

Finally, Office 365 integrates with both Microsoft Teams and Project Central, a project and task management tool.

Project Central takes remote collaboration to the next level level.

The integration is pretty tight for file and document management, allowing you to make the best of both worlds with just a single collaboration tool.

You don’t need a remote collaboration tool stack; you just need Office 365 (Microsoft Teams) and Project Central. Talk about savings

Ultimately, the choice is yours.

But if you’re already using Office 365, simply start using Microsoft Teams, add Project Central for better coordination and task management, and you’ll win at remote collaboration!

Get started with simple project management for teams using Office 365.

All-inclusive, No Per-user Fee. Unlimited Projects.

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