In recent years, the move toward remote and hybrid working has generated new ways to communicate and collaborate. But when colleagues are not together physically, it can be tricky to keep everyone on the same page.
Businesses need to invest in high-quality software to help them handle the new challenges they face and improve collaboration—and there are plenty of apps around, offering everything from video calls to instant messaging.
Online meetings are ideal for a dispersed workforce, as they can save time and money, as well as giving access to colleagues all over the globe. Sharing your screen has become an increasingly important part of video conferencing, too, as it offers a great opportunity for successful collaboration.
We’ll take a closer look at how screen sharing works, why it’s so advantageous, and what’s the best software to choose.
How does screen sharing work?
Screen share, also known as desktop sharing, is basically when you allow people on other devices to view the contents of your screen. You can choose to show your entire screen or just one application window.
A screen sharing application gives you the ability to share any form of media that’s on your desktop, iOS, or Android device, without having to send anybody the files. It’s perfect for collaboration between colleagues, especially as the user can make real-time alterations while other team members watch from a connected device.
Screen share is often used for client communication, such as presenting a business plan or concept artwork. It is also handy for technical support, with IT staff able to remotely access someone’s device to fix a problem.
Screen sharing works by turning the information shown on the user’s device screen into encoded packets of information, and sending them via the internet to another device or multiple devices. An offshoot of screen sharing is screen mirroring, where you project content from your phone screen to a computer or smart TV.
What are the advantages of screen share?
Screen sharing has almost unlimited uses, and the advantages are many. We’ll show you four major ways in which screen share and online meetings can improve collaboration and make the workplace more productive.
- Closer collaboration
- Visual communication
- Effective training
- Improved productivity
Online meetings and screen sharing software are a real bonus for remote workers, who need to stay in touch and feel connected. The software also lends transparency to working practices, with all team members able to see what the others are doing even from a remote desktop or device.
Successful collaboration also brings extra benefits including:
- Increased efficiency and productivity
- Better working relationships
- Trust between colleagues
- Commitment to shared goals
- Developing a company culture
Screen share is one of the easiest ways to improve collaboration, as colleagues based in different locations can work on documents side-by-side. Apps such as RingCentral Video include an annotation tool, which helps you to collaboratively edit a file by making annotations in real time.
Meanwhile, presentations and training sessions are a breeze, as all participants are able to view and follow shared content without shuffling through paperwork.
There are times when it’s far easier to explain an idea visually rather than just verbally. A shared screen is a great way to present material such as charts, graphs, or design mockups to help others understand a concept. Screen sharing sessions can function a bit like a remote whiteboard since it allows users to view ideas visually and voice out their comments in real time.
Using visual content is also more likely to keep viewers interested, which has benefits for employees and clients alike. A screen sharing app lets you share content including audio, video, and graphics to create a multimedia presentation.
RingCentral Video also has annotation tools that allow you to annotate images in real-time, which is a bonus for design teams and visual studios, where a picture is worth a thousand words. (The app’s unlimited file sharing and storage function also means it’s no problem to share very large images.)
Training sessions need to be interesting and interactive, to ensure the recipients remain fully engaged. Screen sharing offers a great opportunity to make virtual workshops and training more effective, as it doesn’t rely on static slides or pre-recorded content.
Instead, trainees can watch and follow the exact workings of a specific process on their device’s screen. Plus, because everything’s happening in real time, there is plenty of scope for questions, feedback, and discussion.
Sharing your screen could also help you host a webinar with a guest speaker, offer a live tutorial for customers, or guide new employees through their contracts.
Screen sharing software takes the hassle out of file sharing, as it reduces the need to send documents via traditional means. Workers spend less time trying to attach large files, reply to multiple emails, or search for documents within a long email thread.
The ability to share, discuss, and edit files in real time—while keeping a clean inbox—will help you maximize efficiency and productivity, saving money in the long run.
If you use a collaboration app like RingCentral Video, you’ll also get built-in team messaging. Not only does this speed up communication, it also lets you share and organize files within the feature.
What do you need in online meeting software?
When it comes to choosing software for online meetings and screen sharing, you’ll find there are plenty of options available. But not all apps are created equal, and some of them will want you to pay for their best bits.
Here are some key features to look out for:
- Full functionality
- Ease of use
- Built-in extras
- Top security
- Value for money
Whether you want a quick daily huddle or a full video conference, look for a platform with a robust web conferencing feature. As well as screen sharing options, it’s worth investing in an app that gives you crystal-clear sound and vision—and top-notch security for peace of mind.
RingCentral Video’s HD-quality video and audio means you’ll never miss a word or see a fuzzy image, whether you’re sharing your entire desktop or from an iPhone or iPad. The screen share feature works just as well from a phone screen, so you can rest assured that your mobility won’t be compromised with RingCentral Video. Even in the free version, you’re not restricted to a 40-minute time limit, as each call can last up to 24 hours with up to 100 participants.
The host can keep meetings secure by muting or unmuting participants, disabling video, and using a password and waiting room. Other useful tools include:
- Background noise reduction
- Choice of virtual backgrounds
- Closed captioning
- Private or group chat feature
RingCentral Video also allows you to save meeting recordings to the cloud for up to seven days. Calendar clashes, staff absences, or differences in time zones can make it impossible for everyone to attend every meeting—but nobody needs to miss important discussions, as they can catch up later with the recording.
Screen recording is a helpful way to create and store resources for the future. For example, if you record a brainstorming session as soon as you’ve started sharing, everyone can access it at a later date. Similarly, a particularly successful training session could be used again. This saves time and fosters good practice through continuous learning.
Ease of use
Remote working and a growing BYOD culture means teams are likely to be using a range of mobile devices and operating systems; even more so if you’re working with overseas colleagues. It’s best to pick collaborative online software that works across multiple settings—and with increased productivity high on the list of goals, you’ll want a system that’s super-easy to use.
RingCentral Video couldn’t be simpler, with the ability to start or schedule a conference call in just one click. All you’ll need is a meeting ID to join a video conference and you’re set. You don’t even have to download anything—just start from your web browser using wi-fi. Simply click “share screen”, then choose to show your full screen or a single application window. If you’re messaging and need to switch to a video call, again it’s one click.
Whether you’re using a desktop or a mobile phone, and whether you’re on iOS, Android, a Chrome browser, or a Mac, RingCentral Video’s screen sharing works smoothly. If you’re out on the road and need to flip between devices, you can do that without losing the call.
Sometimes you’ll need to communicate with people outside your normal team, such as clients, freelancers, and customers. RingCentral Video lets you add unlimited collaborators for free!
When working with people outside your organization, you’ll likely find they use different apps to the ones your own team uses. But that needn’t be a pain, if you choose software that allows integrations.
With RingCentral Video, you won’t need to download specific applications for certain tasks and functions. RingCentral Video integrates with hundreds of handy apps for communication and productivity, including Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace calendars. This also means that if your team has gotten used to using a favorite app, you don’t have to ditch it when you start using RingCentral Video!
- Transport Layer Security (TLS)
- Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (SRTP) encryption
- HITRUST CSF Certified
- HIPAA and SOC2 compliant
Value for money
What’s the best software for the job?
Well, if you’ve been paying attention to this article, you’ll know that RingCentral Video is our pick for successful collaboration and communication. The online screen sharing features are second to none, and you can use them in conjunction with the other tools in one single, easy-to-use app.
RingCentral Video has a basic plan which you can check out for free, but if you want more tools and features, you can also try out RingCentral Video Pro. Get started with RingCentral Video today!