Zoom calls can be too formal. These alternatives encourage casual chatting

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The next generation of video-calling tools aim to encourage the spontaneous conversations that are such a quintessential part of work, school, and events. Since the coronavirus pandemic shut down traditional offices around the world, workers have learned to adapt to videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Microsoft Teams, picking outfits and spots in their houses that look good on camera. The living room is the new conference room, and people have learned how to professionally field sales calls and communicate with managers from their sofas or kitchen tables. Read Full Story

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“Virtual” doesn’t have to mean second best. Your remote team can outrun traditional ones.

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If your teams aren’t crushing it online, you’re doing it wrong. Over the course of the last three weeks, as corporate America has made the transition from meetings in conference rooms and common spaces to Zoom calls and other online sessions, I’m struck by the number of confident, competent executives who’ve confessed to me that they’re struggling to lead teams in the virtual world. Their efforts to get groups to collaborate or coalesce around a topic are met with crickets in the background and listless bobbing of heads on a screen. Read Full Story

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Here are the funniest memes about working from home during the coronavirus outbreak

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Of course Twitter has ideas about the call for more and more people to punch in from their home office. Various countries around the world are reacting to the coronavirus outbreak by canceling festivals and conventions, closing schools, and encouraging social distancing as much as possible. Increasingly, that distancing is extending to employees working from home to minimize exposure to the virus. Google advised its North American employees to clock in from their living room/home office/wherever if they can, at least until April 10. Offices will remain open to workers if they have to be physically present for their jobs, but this is a growing trend born out of safety precautions. Read Full Story

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The Best Conference Call Services (In-Depth Review)

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. Just a decade ago, conference calls were challenging to set up and manage. But today, I can click a few buttons and hop on a call with my entire team in a matter of seconds from the comfort of my home while my teammates stay safely in theirs. However, the best conference call services go beyond basic phone calls. They also offer a suite of collaboration and connectivity tools that make our current situation easier to navigate… together. As the demand for remote connectivity rises, new services are popping up left and right. Plus, there are already hundreds of options to choose from, making it feel impossible to choose the right conference call services for your team. So to help make your life a bit easier, I looked at …

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Got an important Zoom meeting? We’ve got six tips for dressing up your background, from an interior designer

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There are entire social media accounts dedicated to rating Zoom backgrounds. Here’s how to brighten yours up. Look—it doesn’t really matter what the background of your room looks like when you’re on a Zoom meeting. These days, something as small as a perfect piece of statement art here or a new throw blanket there are pretty trivial. But if you have a big presentation, an important meeting, or a cable news interview coming up, some extra touches can be the perfect boost to help you feel confident and cool while broadcasting live from your living room. That’s why we tapped Emery Forehand , an elite designer at Decorist —the online interior decorating gurus—to offer simple tips and accessible products to give your (real life) Zoom room a little love (and a very attractive background). Read Full Story

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Why adding ‘Plus’ to the name of every streaming service is actually good

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What appears to be a widespread lack of imagination might just be saving us all time and energy. Picture this: You’re a big time media executive. (Yes you, congrats!) Today, your job is to figure out what to call your company’s new streaming service. It takes the content from all your channels and properties, and combines that with a bunch of stuff you own the licenses for. It will also be home to a lot of new, original programming. You gather your team into the conference room and/or Zoom call. Read Full Story

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You have a job interview over Zoom. The kids are home. Now what?

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No need to panic, says the founder of a new parenting company, who offers some sound advice after nearly a year of hiring in the pandemic. The office used to be a place where children only visited on a designated day once a year—now, things are much different. We’ve brought our workplaces home with us, and in many ways, it’s a privilege. Yet, it has also blurred the line between private and professional life, and our manicured desks and quiet meeting rooms have been replaced with dining room tables and the sound of children’s TV shows in the background. Read Full Story

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Facebook’s Messenger Rooms take on Zoom and Houseparty

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As folks turn to video to stay social, Facebook is launching a service that lets you chat with friends—even if they don’t have a Facebook account. Of all the tools we’re using to survive this time of social isolation, none has seen more explosive growth than videoconferencing. Zoom, which had 10 million users last December, now has 300 million . Houseparty, which lately felt like a fad whose time had passed, added 50 million users in a month and became a top download on both Apple and Google’s app stores. Read Full Story

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Zoom doesn’t really have 300 million users

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Zoom counted users who participated in multiple calls in a single day as separate users, artificially inflating its user base. If there’s a single tech company that has benefitted more than others from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s Zoom. Before the pandemic, not many people outside the business world had heard of the app, but now it’s become a household name thanks to its usage skyrocketing as millions are forced to work from home during lockdowns. Read Full Story

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