Amidst the upheaval caused by 2020's essential social distancing measures, many have found themselves working remotely and from their homes, instead of from the office. Luckily, we have been able to maintain our work communications, thanks to video communication platforms like Zoom.
Many will be familiar with the interface and general video-calling functions of Zoom; a platform that has enabled colleagues to stay seamlessly in contact with one another, as though they were actually in the same room. Not just that, but Zoom allows us to personalize our calls, with Virtual Backgrounds and maintain some privacy - with the Mute feature.
However, as with most digital platforms, there are other features that you may not be so familiar with. These functions allow you to get the most out of your calls. You may also not be able to find these types of features in other competing video communication platforms such as Skype and Facetime.
Here are five Zoom features that you didn't know about.
When you're not physically with the person you are working with, it can be difficult to properly deliver your points without being able to show a presentation or visual reference. Sending files separately doesn't properly give the speaker total control over how the listeners are reading along. Luckily Zoom has a feature that resolves that.
Instead of having to describe what you are referring to, Zoom's Screen Sharing function enables you to show it instead. Whether it's for a group project, part of a training exercise or even just to show off your work - Screen Sharing lets you literally share your screen with everyone else involved in the call.
To share your screen on MAC, simply press COMMAND+SHIFT+S, or ALT+SHIFT+S on PC. To conveniently pause the Screen Share at any time during the call, press COMMAND+SHIFT+T for Mac and ALT+T for PC.
Just like with a regular, physical meeting at work or school - you don't want to be late. No one enjoys awkwardly being the last person to join a meeting that has been delayed, or to have missed important information from the beginning.
That's why Zoom's Meeting Reminder feature is perfect for those who are working remotely. Yes, it might be a lot easier to remember you have a meeting when you are stuck at home anyway - but I'm sure many people are easily distracted when they're not in the typical working environment.
In the Zoom App, there is a function that enables you to turn on a setting for reminders about upcoming meetings. You'll never miss another meeting - even if you are preoccupied with making lunch or watching something on the TV.
Meeting Transcription (for paying Zoom account holders)
You are probably aware that Zoom permits participants to make recordings of their calls. To capture a video recording of a Zoom meeting, organizers of the call just have to click a few buttons.
If you are a paying Zoom Business, Education or Enterprise account holder, it is even more useful when recording meetings. Zoom has the ability to automatically transcribe meeting records that are uploaded to the cloud. Administrators have to turn on the automatic meeting transcription feature - so make sure this is done and set-up properly before conducting a meeting you wish to transcribe and record.
This feature is perfect for when workers may experience technical difficulties, are absent from a meeting, or wish to look over and review previous meetings efficiently.
When we're not leaving the house - we can all tend to lose motivation with upkeeping our physical appearance. Zoom is well aware of that, and has a feature that's got us all covered.
In amongst your video settings on Zoom, there is a feature (desktop & iOS only) that you can toggle on called Touch Up My Appearance. This essentially puts a filter on your camera and 'beautifies' you. With this toggled on, we can notice that our blemishes disappear, we look less tired and generally appear more fresh-faced.
Of course, it's good to still make an effort whilst we're working - even if it's from home - but sometimes you just need a little extra help.
Zoom & Slack
If you're able to do a lot of your work through Zoom, chances are you may have heard of another handy and convenient communication platform called Slack.
If you are acquainted with the functions of Slack in your workplace, you'll be pleased to know that both Slack and Zoom have integrated functions that make using both of them very convenient.
Should you be working on a project through Slack and in need of a quick group meeting, Zoom is right there for all your video communication needs. Simply type /zoom in Slack, and a menu will promptly appear regarding all of your options regarding Zoom calls.
It's the perfect way to deliver an important piece of information to everyone in one fell swoop!
All in all - Zoom is one of must have tools for people working remotely. Most of us will just use it for the bare minimum - a simple video call - but seeing as we're going to be accustomed to using Zoom a lot more regularly, there's plenty of benefits in trying out these less-known Zoom features that are right there waiting to be used.
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