When it comes to starting and maintaining a successful business, we all know that communication is key. In times like these, keeping in touch not only ensures that our teams are on the same page, but it also reminds us that we have each other to rely on.
What Is Video Conferencing?
Secure video conferencing is one of the greatest tools for workplaces around the world to stay connected and move forward together. We communicate mostly through body language, so seeing co-workers face-to-face—even virtually—is absolutely key to getting through this time.
Though we are not affiliated with any particular program, we’ve found that one of the best platforms for team video conferencing is the Google Hangouts Video Chat software. This software is especially efficient if your business is already using the G Suite because it’s so easy to integrate with Mail, Calendar, Drive, etc.
This communication software can be used by up to 25 people at once for business or educational purposes. Video meetings are encrypted, which means your call is safe.
How to Use Google Hangouts Video Chat on a Computer
Google Hangouts is a very intuitive platform. The hardest part is making sure your computer is set up to enable video chat. To get it set up, use the following steps:
1. Connect Necessary Hardware To Your Computer
This will include a video camera, speakers, and a microphone. Most laptops and many desktops already come equipped with these features.
When you start using Google Hangouts, you’ll be prompted to “allow access” to these features—make sure you click “Yes.” If you’re using external hardware (a video camera/speaker/ microphone), you might have to take some extra steps to connect them to your computer in your computer settings.
You’ll also need to be connected to WiFi for this to work. The faster the WiFi connection, the better video quality you’re going to see during the chat.
2. Set Up Hangouts
Next, set up Classic Hangouts. It is compatible with all major operating systems (Mac, Windows, Chrome, and most Debian-based Linux distributions) and web browsers (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft, and Safari – and you’ll need this plugin if you’re using either Microsoft or Safari).
3. Start The Call
- Open hangouts.google.com
- Select a user from your Hangouts list or search for them via their email address(es). When you find the person or people you want to call, click their name(s). You can invite people to join by email or in a calendar event by clicking the screen in the call window, clicking “Add People,” copying the link to share, and pasting the link wherever you need to
- Click “Video Call”
- When you’re done, click “End Call”
How To Set Up Google Hangouts On Another Device
If you don’t have the necessary hardware to host or participate in a Google Hangouts Video Chat on your home computer, you can always use a smartphone or camera-equipped tablet to stay connected! Setting these tools up is even easier than it is on a computer, all you have to do is find the Google Hangouts app from the Apple App Store or Google Play (depending on the brand of your device), log into or create a Google account, and follow the steps above.
If you’re a little nervous about getting the call set up and going without any hitches, Google has put together this excellent cheat sheet to keep you on the right track.
If you are looking for something for video chatting purposes that has different features, Zoom, Go To Meeting, and Skype are amongst the most popular platforms. As with anything associated with your business needs, be sure to research the program that you choose, check their website and other reviews for security information, and choose the platform that is the best fit for your specific needs.
Tools like these connect us. With the best free video conferencing app at your disposal, staying in touch with your team in times of uncertainty like these is no problem at all. Plus, using these tools when we are all able to gather again will make video conferencing with folks all around the world second nature. Our conference rooms have AV capabilities and bandwidth to be able to host a call across the globe. You can learn more about our Escondido meeting spaces here.