If there's one demand in the technology industry that took center stage in 2020, it's likely the demand for a robust, easy-to-use video conferencing tool. This past spring, Google answered that demand by announcing the free availability of their Google Meet video conferencing tool. This announcement was a boon for smaller businesses especially, who were struggling to find ways support their newly remote workforce, while at the same time trimming costs to remain profitable.
Benefits of Google Meet
Google has made it easy for company teammates to interact with each other in spite of their geographic location. Google Meet works within any browser and is also available through the mobile Gmail or Meet app, available on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. External participants can also join video meetings by simply dialing-in from their meeting invitation.
As with all of their other productivity tools, Google remained committed to high security standards in order to ensure that corporate video meetings remain protected. All video meetings are encrypted in transit and any recorded meetings stored in Google Drive are also encrypted, both while in transit and at rest. Anyone hosting a video meeting has the ability to admit or deny entrance to potential meeting participants, as well as the ability to mute or remove participants.
While Google Meet is flexible enough to work with other solutions such as Skype for Business or any other meeting system based upon SIP or H.323 standards, it works particularly well for those already working with Google Workspace. Participants can easily jump from a Chat into a video conference, or join a meeting from an event in their Google Calendar.
Q&A and Polls
Along with features such as an expanded layout that allows visuals for up to 16 participants at once, background noise cancellation, and enhancing video quality under low-light conditions, Google has recently included other in-demand features such as Q&A and polls.
Q&A — Meeting hosts will be able to easily incorporate Google Meet's Q&A feature by performing the following simple steps:
- Turn on the question submissions feature.
- Answer the most highly-ranked or relevant questions.
- Follow up on unanswered questions by reviewing an auto-generated email of all submitted questions.
By organizing questions and answers, all users will have an opportunity to voice their questions and moderators can quickly see which topics were of greater interest. A Q&A email that summarizes all submitted questions allows moderators to review the finer points as well, and address those questions not discussed during the meeting.
Polls — Polls are a useful feature that allow meeting moderators to assess the pulse of their meeting audience. Obtaining real-time feedback affords moderators with an opportunity to see those areas of most interest to meeting participants. It also provides a gauge of meeting content understanding and identifies areas that may need further focus or clarification. Increasing the understanding between the moderators and meeting participants, allows video conferences to become more useful, engaging, and productive.
The polls feature within Google Meet is administered as follows:
- Moderator formulates questions, which are viewable only to them.
- Moderator launches the poll(s) during a relevant time in the meeting.
- After poll closure, meeting hosts receive a tally of poll results.
- An email with poll results is automatically generated with tallied results deposited into Google Sheets.
- If desired, meeting hosts can share results with participants through display of a summarized bar chart.
The typical office environment abruptly changed in 2020, but fortunately Google productivity tools rapidly scaled to meet the changing demand. By adding useful meeting features such as team polls and a question and answer feature, managers and the companies they work for are able to make better decisions through increased knowledge gained from critical feedback obtained both internal and external meeting participants.