According to The New York Times, we all live in Zoom now.
But, where’s the lie? Tech platforms like Zoom are keeping our work and social lives going right now. And, we’ve gotta say we’re pretty proud of these folks for making it easier for all of us to stay connected with colleagues, friends, and family while many of us are unexpectedly living remotely.
It’s safe to say we’ll continue to spend a lot of time on this awesome video conferencing platform and apps like it over the next few weeks. So learning how to use these teleworking apps will be key to finding success in our newly remote workforce. Make the most of the app with these expert Zoom tips.
What is Zoom?
If this is your first time navigating a remote workplace, you may be wondering what all these new tools actually are. Your boss may have asked you to download Zoom and you’re not sure if it’s a kids show from the 90s or an iPhone app. To keep it simple, Zoom is a video conferencing platform that allows users to utilize real-time messaging and content sharing. On it, you can host webinars, conferences, meetings, and phone calls. You can use it via desktop or smartphone to connect with up to 1,000 people at a time, which differentiates it from other video-calling apps like FaceTime.
Why is it so popular right now?
It’s safe to say Zoom is the new black right now. It’s being used primarily to keep teams connected as companies host remote meetings, team lunches, and happy hours. But many brands, gyms, and influencers are also using the app to host online events and workouts during the extended quarantine. And of course, universities and K-12 schools are taking advantage of Zoom to teach classes for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. College students are even using it to party together during social distancing, and many in the Class of 2020 wonder if their commencement ceremonies will happen on the platform.
Which features should I try?
Zoom comes with many dope features which not only streamline the video conferencing process but also make it more fun and just plain human. Some of the basics allow you to mute yourself or hide your video (something we can all appreciate on those messy hair days). The mute button is especially helpful when conferencing with a large number of people. It puts the spotlight on the speaker and eliminates unnecessary background noise from everyone else. So don’t forget to mute yourself during your next company all hands!
Spice up your team’s next morning stand-up by turning on Virtual Backgrounds. This feature is not only fun but it can be great if you aren’t comfortable with any backdrops in your home. With this, you can choose from standard backgrounds like the beach or the Northern Lights. Or, add your own image. One of our team members used a photo of Rihanna as her backdrop at a recent remote lunch (yes, it was me). Get fancy with it by connecting a green screen to the platform.
If you’re away from your desk but need to make a quick meeting, turn on Safe Driving Mode. This will automatically mute you, stop your video, and switch your phone audio to speaker mode while you’re on the road. You can tap the screen to talk if you need to chime in (obviously we don’t recommend playing with your phone while driving).
Need to send an important document during the call? Instead of navigating multiple apps, you can just type your message or send your doc via Zoom Chat. This feature is also perfect for live events as it gives space for attendees to send in questions or feedback for the speaker without interrupting.
College students will probably be using Screen-sharing a lot in the upcoming weeks. This will allow them to make presentations efficiently as others on the call follow along. It’s also useful for showing off dank memes during Zoom parties.
Other features are focused on participant engagement — something teachers switching to virtual classrooms will appreciate. Virtual Hand-raising, polling and Q&As, and the Attention Indicator (which tracks user engagement and multi-tasking) could prove essential for online learning.