31 Jul 2020

In this challenging time, we are all having to adapt, mainly to working from home and remotely. Keeping in touch and keeping our businesses running is vital and communication is obviously part of that.


At Stopgap we are extremely lucky to have a fantastic IT team in place who are incredibly supportive and have managed to move us all to remote working this week, very smoothly. 


With that in mind, our Head of Systems and Operations, Paulo, has been looking at the various video conference tools out there and which have worked best for us.  So we thought we'd share his findings with you... 




We have all experienced Zoom before and it has been our go-to over the last week. 


Some of the main Pros / Cons to Zoom:


+ Easy to create an account using your work email address

+ Invitees don't need to register to be able to join a meeting

- Users need to install Zoom software to be able to use

+ Unlimited 1 to 1 meetings - That means if there's only two of you in the meeting, there is no time limit.

- 40 mins limit on group meetings - That means if you have three or more in your meeting, then there will be a limit of 40 mins. (There were reports that Zoom were offering unlimited meeting times on all their accounts, but that has been limited to 1 to 1 meetings and group meetings for the education industry)

+ Unlimited number of meetings - Even if you are limited to 40 mins on group meetings, you can easily restart a new meeting if you need longer. My tip would be to book back to back meetings within Zoom if you feel you need more than 40 mins. You just need to all click on the next meeting link once your first meeting ends.

+ You can have up to 100 participants in any meeting - Sophie our Marketing Executive experienced this back when she was at college, which 100 students in a Zoom call at one time!

+ You can share your screen even with the free version.


Google Hangout


This is free to use if you have a gmail account.


Some of the main Pros / Cons to Google Hangout:


-/+ You do need a gmail account, but you can create one using any email address.

- All participants need a gmail account

+ No need to install any software to use

- Unlike Zoom, Google hangout is a live chat room, so the free version doesn't allow you to create a meeting room in advance. This means that the host will need to create the meeting and then send a live link/invite to those they wish to join the meeting.

- Google hangout chat (free version) is limited to 10 participants

+ No time limit on meetings

+ Unlimited number of meetings

+ You can share your screen even with the free version




This is free to use if you have a Skype account


Some of the main Pros / Cons to Skype:


-/+ You do need a Skype account, but you can create one using your work email address.

- All participants need a Skype account

- Users need to install Skype software to be able to use

+ You can have up to 50 participants in any meeting

+ No time limit on meetings

+ Unlimited number of meetings

+ You can share your screen even with the free version


Paulo's Summary


I would recommend Zoom, it caters for most needs and the experience we have had of it so far as been pretty seamless. However, if you're interested in quick team catchups of up to 10 people, then Google Hangout is really easy to use and you can start a video meeting within seconds (as long as you all have gmail accounts).


Skype is still a solid platform and many users already have a Skype account, so again a viable option, but as we all know Skype constantly has software updates, which users need to run before they join a meeting.


If you need any help or support in how to  manage your team and how to hire remotely, please don't hesitate to give us a call - 020 8332 765

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