Over the past few months, we’ve seen a huge shift in how we socialise and communicate, with lockdown restrictions meaning we can’t see people as frequently as we normally would do. Office life has transitioned to working from home and we’re all making the most of video calls and technology to keep us connected. For many people, getting used to new technology has been a challenge, but with so many great options out there, we can still feel close and connected no matter how far apart. Zoom Here at AYKO, we’ve been using Zoom for a long time and it’s something we’ve continued to make the most of throughout lockdown. Zoom is ideal for hosting meetings; department catch-ups and even the AYKO pub quiz. With such a large team, it’s important for us to be able to have everyone in one place and Zoom is perfect for that, not only can we speak to each other but we can video chat too, which makes it much easier to feel connected and keep the team spirit high. You can access Zoom on iOS, Android, Mac and Windows. You can also customise your Zoom background to make things a little more fun with some of the great templates available on Canva! Google Hangouts For those looking to partake in smaller video calls, Google Hangouts is a great option. Whilst Hangouts allows up to 150 people in a chat, you can only have 25 people in one call, making it ideal for those wanting to host smaller meetings or simply catch up with friends and family. If you simply want to make calls and have video chats, Google Hangouts is completely free, which is a bonus for many. Google has recently added its Hangouts tab to Gmail too, making it much easier to click through and chat straight from your inbox. Slack Another great way to stay connected within your team is through Slack. Not only does Slack provide you with a great place to have internal conversations but you can also make the most of their video conferencing tool. Slack enables you to share information quickly and easily, catch up with the rest of your team and collaborate from anywhere. You also have a screen share option, to help you work closely with other members of your team. Microsoft Teams Encouraging people to work together no matter where you are, Microsoft Teams is another great tool for keeping people connected and productive. With Microsoft Teams, you can ‘call from anywhere, chat from anywhere, collaborate from anywhere and meet from anywhere’ which is extremely beneficial when working from home. Not only does Microsoft Teams give you the ability to video call, but like the others mentioned above, you can have your own chats and message running to keep you in the loop with the rest of your team. Facebook Messenger Rooms Recently launched, Facebook Messenger Rooms is a new part to Facebook that allows you to video call up to 50 people at one time. You don’t have a time limit when using this tool and more importantly, you don’t even need a Facebook account in order to join a particular room. When using Facebook Messenger Rooms, you’ll have the option to share your screen and see how many people are included in the call. One thing to note is that this tool doesn’t come with a chat feature, as you have Facebook Messenger for that. This new tool from Facebook is perfect for those wanting to keep in touch and connected with friends and family, which we’re extremely grateful for during these difficult times.