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Need to self-isolate? Here are the best applications to help you work from home

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The world is in the grip of coronavirus with places, businesses and events shut down and people encouraged to keep a social distance or self-isolate. But on the work front, being away from the office doesn’t mean you can’t get your work done.

There are several applications, many of them free, which can be used to hold virtual meetings and even share documents and presentations.

With the speed and convenience of the internet, we’ve often said work is a thing you do, not a place you go.

And that couldn’t apply more right now as we’re trying to keep our distance to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Here are the applications you can use to stay in touch with colleagues and still get your work done remotely.

FACETIME

The Apple video calling app is one of most popular and easiest to use among iPhone, iPad and Mac users.

And it’s not just one to one video chat, Facetime now includes a group chat feature for up to 32 people at the same time.

SKYPE

Skype is probably the world’s most popular video calling applications and it works across all platforms and from computers, phones and tablets.

Skype also offers screen sharing so you can share images and presentations.

The application can also handle a video or audio conference for up to 50 people and live subtitles and captions can also enabled.

GOOGLE HANGOUTS
Google can facilitate group chats for up to 100 people and video calls for up to 10 people with the ability to share photos.

And it works across iOS and Android devices and from a web browser.

GOTOMEETING
GoToMeeting is a more professional product and can be used for instant meetings, group meetings and also offers meeting transcription.

It’s also possible for people taking part on the group video call to individually message each other in real time.

Pricing starts at about $17 a month and offers HD video, screen sharing, web audio, Google calendar plug-ins and AES-256-bit encryption.

ZOOM

Zoom is aimed at business users who are able organise HD video calls with screen sharing and the ability to choose gallery view or full screen view for their video streams.

Customers can take up free and basic plans with the higher plans allowing even more participants and longer video calls.

LOGMEIN

With LogMeIn you can securely access your computer desktop as if you were sitting in front of  it, store, share, and collaborate on files with one click, conveniently print documents from a remote computer to the nearest local printer and enjoy complimentary access to LastPass Premium to store all your passwords in a secure password vault.

LogMeIn is giving governments/municipalities, educational institutions, healthcare organisations and non-profits free, company-wide use of its collaboration and remote access products for three months.

The “Emergency Remote Work Kits” cover solutions for meetings and video conferencing, webinars and virtual events, remote IT support/management and remote device access (GoToMeeting/GoTo, Pro, Central, Rescue), to ensure these critical organisations stay connected when it matters most.

SLACK

Slack is an internal communication tool for businesses of all sizes.

Users can set up meetings, share agendas and keep track of action items and follow ups.

It also allows 1:1 video calling and screen sharing if you’re working remotely.