Conference Calling During the Pandemic

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Conference Calling During the Pandemic

Our essential conference calling services are saving lives as we adapt to the unprecedented shift in the workplace and economy. As this is written, we are in the middle (we hope) of the coronavirus pandemic. Call it a culture shock, call it the new normal, call it anything you want — but life has dramatically changed for everyone. Until there is a vaccine, the disruption will continue and we all have to adapt to being separated. Businesses, organizations and even families, are using conferencing as they preferred way to stay in touch with each other.

Employees all around the world are shifting their regular work routines to help mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to the live coronavirus map (as of mid-April 2020) published by the New York Times, over 2,000,000 people have been infected with COVID-19 across the 177 countries in which the virus has been detected so far: of those infected, at least 131,000 people have died.

Non-essential businesses are now closed to regular traffic and lawmakers encourage (or, in some places, require) those who can practice social distancing to do so, as the risk of spreading or contracting the virus from spending time with a large group of people is immense. Though it may feel strange for those used to long commutes to all of a sudden venture no further than the living room, this “new normal” is for the best.

Head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, Dr. Allison Arwady, explains that the coronavirus’s chain of infection “highlights that really innocuous activities… can play into significant spread,” citing the case of the first patient in Chicago, Illinois who attended a potluck dinner, a funeral, and a birthday party; after days of unwittingly transmitting the virus to their friends and family members, fifteen people became infected as a direct result of the initial patient.

Because of how easy it is to spread the coronavirus, it is simply not an option for people to go to their workplaces anymore. Even those who are not experiencing symptoms could still be latent carriers, passing on the virus to the elderly, to the immunocompromised, or to otherwise healthy people who then carry the disease further on in turn.

Efforts to flatten the curve and stifle the virus are widespread, and so now more than ever, people are donning their sweatpants and setting up their laptops on their dining tables, trying to get comfortable working from home.

Transitioning into Working from Home
In this environment, it can grow increasingly more difficult for businesses to navigate their strategies and remain financially secure through the thick of the pandemic, especially for those deemed non-essential by regional lawmakers. Unless your business is in the food, medical, or infrastructure industries, chances are that if you’re still working, you are doing so from your home.

While it is a surreal shift, it is not without its silver linings. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, it was quite clear that working from home is laden with benefits. WFH policies allow people to spend more time with kids, pets, and spouses. Working from home eradicates time wasted on long commutes, and the atmosphere is quieter and more relaxed in a home office than in a shared office space. People are still capable of productivity from home, and the nature of the pandemic fosters a sense of community amongst all of us.

Efforts to socially distance and minimize inter-household interactions will only help us to overcome the worst of the coronavirus and to transition back into an interactive society when our mitigation efforts prove successful. The benefits of staying at home absolutely outweigh the risks of conducting life as usual, and we are counting ourselves lucky to have access to technology that helps ease our transition and encourage productivity in the workplace — even if our places of work double as bedrooms, playrooms, kitchens, or balconies.

How to Connect from Home
While no promises can be made about shared offices, break rooms, and other high-use workplace areas, it’s widely known that you can’t catch the coronavirus over the phone.

In recent months, conference calling has become wildly popular among people who are striving to perform in this new environment. Schoolchildren can tune in to their teacher’s broadcasts for story time, university professors lead online lectures to college students as the spring semester comes to a close, and businesspeople collaborate in digital meetings to strategize, discuss, and learn from one another.

There are a plethora of ways to engage with others online, and all of them are helping to keep businesses functioning. Conference calls and video calls allow businesses to succeed without sending their employees into potentially dangerous work spaces. Speaking over the phone or on a video chat is easy, quick, and more directly effective than email, as peers have the ability to give one another live feedback on projects and ideas.

Here at 24Conference, we care about your business needs. We want to help you stay productive, safe, and in contact with your teams across a variety of different mediums, each with their own benefits. Below are just a few of the different options that we offer.

Video Conferencing
Video conferencing is a great option for meetings that require face-to-face conversation. By connecting with your team members via video and audio, you’re able to work together while remaining separated in your own individual homes.

In fact, with 24Conference’s virtual meeting services, your company is able to conference face-to-face with your guests anywhere in the world. We have three different video conference plans for you to choose from: a fixed-rate plan with unlimited access, a per-minute plan that lets you pay as you go, and a professionally-managed plan that is handled by our experienced operators. So long as you have Flash installed on your computer and a webcam (either built-in or external), you’re all set to go ahead and conduct business as usual.

Conference Calls
That being said, 24Conference also allows people to enjoy the small comfort of connecting without webcams. A more private option that still allows you to collaborate with your coworkers and supervisors is to host or take part in a conference call meeting.

Conducted over the phone, these meetings can be joined by dialing in to a toll-free conference number and entering a guest passcode, calling a local phone number, or utilizing our trained professional operators to place each participant into the call.

When choosing between video conferencing and conference calling, one important thing to remember is that Internet connections are more frequently fallible than phone connections — not everyone is able to rely on their Internet services working properly all the time, especially when several members of a household are using the Internet at the same time.

Better yet, with our fast conference call set-up, you can obtain your conference call-in number and passcodes in the next two minutes and have your conference call immediately.  No reservations, no waiting, no set up fee — just have everyone call-in and you are on your way to streamlining communications.

International Overseas Calls
Another thing to consider when deciding which conferencing option is right for you is the location of your meeting participants. Do you conduct business overseas, or are some of your employees quarantined in a different country? 24Conference offers international overseas conferencing options that can help ensure that all of your company’s requisite parties are included in your meetings.

The CDC has advised against non-essential business and personal travel as the coronavirus has spread across six continents. Older and immunocompromised Americans are especially warned against travel, and those Americans who go abroad regardless of CDC warnings may have trouble re-entering the United States.

With our international overseas conference calling services, you can connect to people in other countries in a variety of ways. Participants located outside of America can dial in to your call on a toll-free number through one of our U.S. conference bridges, or can be connected by one of our professional operators. With the latter option, all they’ll need to do is answer the phone.

Alternatively, your international guests can dial a number within their country, or, finally, everyone can dial through to a single U.S. phone number.

With travel restrictions unlikely to be lifted for quite some time, the next best way to meet your overseas coworkers, partners, or other collaborators is through a digital medium. Our international conferencing options are outlined here.

We are living through unprecedented times, but we are grateful to have access to technology that keeps us connected to one another as we move through the pandemic together. Take a look at our Guide for Conference Calling During Coronavirus for more tips on how to stay connected using conferencing technology.

Let 24Conference Help You Transition to WFH Today
As circumstances grow more and more tenuous, it is clear that conference calling helps organizations to maintain communications. By working from home, you join millions of others in flattening the curve. By taking part in virtual meetings, you are helping to keep yourself, your family, and others safe.

24Conference takes pride in serving all of our loyal customers with personal attention. We offer the best conference calling services at the lowest, most reasonable rates.

Our company goals are to offer the best conference and communications services, maintain a low overhead to enable us to provide you with the most competitive rates in the industry, and enable you to use our excellent services without requiring you to purchase expensive hardware and software or paying development costs up front.

We can only succeed if you are successful, as well. Let us help you to make this transition easier. Give us a call today at (877) 254-2424 or contact us via our website form and we will email you back as soon as possible. With 24Conference as your conferencing experts, your satisfaction is guaranteed.