COVID-19 Lockdown: Services aiding ‘virtual working’

The conception of working right from home had been perceived by many as a fanciful yet unrealistic proposition. This was rightly so until the advent of the novel COVID-19 virus and it’s ensuing Covid-19 lockdown, which has successfully halted much of the world’s industrial activities.

Governments around the world have barred social gatherings and pencilled down strict regulations. These necessary actions are made to reduce the spread of the highly contagious disease.

Health professionals have taken it upon themselves to advise individuals on hygienic living while at home. Compulsory wearing of masks and social distancing have been encouraged when on essential trip outside of home. Lockdowns are being imposed, indicating a temporary break from ‘outdoor working’. In Nigeria, the federal government imposed restrictions in two states (Lagos, Ogun) and the FCT. Lagos and the FCT, Abuja are the two major flight entry location in the country, while Ogun state serves as a satellite town to Lagos State. Several other state governments have as well imposed independent restrictions in their different states.

COVID-19 Lockdown: Services that facilities working perfectly from home

The workplaces appears to be the most hit by these impositions, with many workers instructed to work from their homes. While several industrial workers are advised to steer clear from workplaces, some on ‘essential duties’ are cautioned on best hygienic practices while at their jobs. However, this idea of ‘working from home’ is still yet to be put into application by many firms and business outlets. Reason being that businesses in the country gives little interest to it, and foremostly due to the cost of setting up a virtual workplace.

In all, working from home during the Covid-19 lockdown although challenging might be a relishing process given that excellent services and tech tools help to convert your house into a unique workplace.

Videoconference with Zoom

Connect with your partners and employers with the popular teleconferencing app, Zoom, safely from the comforts of your home. The live conferencing service allows for free video meetings up to 40 minutes. Aside this bound, there’s another which limits the volume of participants that could be hosted at a time to 100. Both limits could however be extended with paid subscriptions.

The California-based tech firm has experienced increase in use from January, surpassing 200 million daily users. This is a giant leap considering the maximum number of 10 million daily users usual of the platform. This surge in users comes without its own incommodity though.

The conferencing platform have been faulted in failing to provide necessary user privacy and security measures. One of the widely alleged flaws is the case of an uninvited bomb into some other person’s live meeting — a defect popularly termed Zoombombing. The tech company recently concessed to this deficiency, citing the quick rise in users due to Covid-19 lockdown for it.

Covid-19 lockdownZoom meetings

Zoom meetings

Various Zoom packages

Zoom offers three subscription packages for it’s growing customer base. There are:

  • Zoom Meetings Basics — Here, 1-on-1 conversations are free and not time fixed. However, group meetings with participants more than one have a 40 minutes time benchmark. File sharing and messaging is free with this basic plan.

This package comes at no incurred charge to the host, neither to the participants.

  • Zoom Meetings Pro — This option gives unlimited meeting duration for all group sizes, reporting features and user management features. An add-on package to this plan allows for toll-free dialings, extra storages for cloud recording, and video webinars. Zoom Meetings Pro costs the host £11.99 per month.
  • Zoom Meetings Business — This Zoom package is uniquely meant for businesses. The package allows for company branding, custom Emails, managed domains, dedicated admin dashboard plus all the features of Zoom meeting pro. Zoom meetings business requires a minimum of 10 hosts with each paying £15.99 per month.

Another tier of zoom Meetings is it’s ‘enterprise package’. This package opens up many premium features and goes for £15.99 per month. It requires a minimum of 100 hosts.

The video conferencing service bags other added-on packages like: Zoom for Education, Zoom for Telehealth, and Zoom for Developers. These are specially made for professionals in the different sectors.

Video Chat with Skype

Skype is another video conferencing service that allows users to communicate over the Internet by video using a webcam, and by voice using a microphone. The conferencing service also allows for instant messaging between parties.

Skype’s use skyrocketed due to an increased need for virtual meetings, all thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. Reports has it that the communication service has received a 70% surge in daily use over the period of last two months.

Covid-19 lockdownSkype conferencing

Skype conferencing

Like Zoom, it has a basic plan which is free. This free traditional version supports up to 250 participants unlike Zoom’s maximum of 100 for a similar package.

Skype’s business plan complements on the free version’s features. A $2/month plan allows for conferencing tinted with alluring additional added-ons. The second class of business plan tagged: online plan 2 offers up to 50 GB mailbox, 1 TB file storage and technical supports. This plan costs $5.50 per user per month with an annual commitment required.

If price charges are the basis upon which a video-conferencing service is chosen between Zoom and Skype, Skype has a clear advantage.

WhatsApp Video chat could shorten the distancing

With strict social distancing rules implemented daily, WhatsApp Video calling function might turnout to be an indispensable work service tool.

Covid-19 lockdownWhatsApp Video calling

WhatsApp Video calling

The popular social messaging platform allows for initiation of calls with up to 8 participants. This is in addition to the text and voice messaging features of the platform.

The platform is free of access and doesn’t come with any charge, even for it’s video call function.

Connect with friends via Facebook messenger in the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown

Facebook messenger has risen to be one of the most popular messaging app across various countries.

Covid-19 lockdownMessenger video chat

Messenger video chat

The platform allow initiation of video calls between a limited number of 25 persons. And like WhatsApp, which is aswell owned by Facebook, video calls are free in addition to text and voice messaging.

Rounding up

Lockdown doesn’t necessarily mean isolating from friends and work. While Zoom and Skype proves to be a powerful work conferencing platform, WhatsApp, Messenger and other social media video calling platforms gets one in touch with friends.

WhatsApp and messenger video calling effectively serves limited number of participants. Friends and family members are best connected with these services. On the other hand, Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, and several other conferencing platforms is ideal for large meetings. Business webinars, live tutoring, and in-work discussions could easily be made with these tools, while adhering to the lockdown restrictions.

Covid-19 lockdown: Conferencing from home

Conferencing from home

Governments and organizations have encouraged the use of these virtual meeting platforms. Courts in the country have been mandated to re-open cases and hear applications using Skype or Zoom application, while state governors have opted for virtual meetings in the midst of this pandemic.

Although virtual conferencing had been in use for some time now, business owners, brands, and companies in Nigeria seems alienated from the practice. One vital reason for this is the cost in setting it up. With the coronavirus cases on the rise, coupled with a constantly changing work ethics, brands in the country would be left with no option than to go virtual with their businesses.

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A potential electrical/electronics engineer in the making, a phone addict and a motivating partner.While he's not researching through with his phone, Daniel spends his time with the books.Twitter: @MrDoubleDaniel Fav. quote: The habit of persistence is the habit of victory!

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