5 Zoom Alternatives That Raise Employee Engagement in 2022

Zoom is still a high-quality meeting app, but the remote teams of tomorrow are using alternatives to build a stronger remote culture and hold more engaging virtual meetings. Here's our top 5!

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5 Zoom Alternatives That Raise Employee Engagement in 2022

Photograph of Philip Wang
Johanna Gonzalez

Virtual meetings fill the vital need for remote teams to communicate and collaborate, and for a long time, Zoom filled this purpose.

It's relatively easy to use and offers good features that enable productive meetings to be held. Overall, Zoom provides high-quality connections for productivity. 

Yet, many of the remote teams of tomorrow feel it lacks in some aspects. Many are looking for Zoom alternatives to hold more engaging virtual meetings and build stronger remote cultures.

4 Reasons Why Employee Engagement Matters When Opting For Zoom Alternatives

When members of your team are disconnected from their work, productivity drops. Businesses lose time, sales, and opportunities.

And exhausting virtual meetings can certainly contribute to this disconnect. Staring at a video grid all day just to talk to your teammates makes it harder to keep employees engaged with their work. Communication becomes a chore, feeling tedious and fatiguing instead of energizing and inspiring.

When looking for a Zoom alternative, we highly recommend choosing a tool that will enable people to feel: 

  • Included and heard in meetings
  • Empowered to contribute ideas
  • Certain of achievement because meeting goals will be met
  • Connected to their team and energized by collaboration

In addition to these benefits, building a strong remote culture can empower: 

Low Turnover Rate and Reduced Cost of Hiring

Companies save and profit when top talent and productive workers stay engaged. Quality video conference apps ensure everyone on your team can contribute to the conversation.

Robust Company Culture

High-performing Zoom-like platforms provide seamless online interactions. They build strong connections, mimicking those made during real-world, in-person communication.    

People who are clear about the same goals and enjoy working together create a thriving company culture with which they can strongly identify.

Effective Collaboration 

A strong company culture provides a backdrop for genuine cooperation and effortless sharing of ideas

The best alternatives to Zoom provide ease of communication (in and out of scheduled meetings) and smooth integration with other productivity tools.

Dynamic Growth

With people willing to work together, there is nowhere for a company to go but up. State-of-the-art features in high-quality Zoom alternatives create engaging virtual environments.

As well-developed software increases productivity and ROI, be on the lookout for these six must-haves when shopping for the best Zoom-like platform.   

6 Features Quality Zoom Alternatives Should Include

Reliable HD Video and High-Quality Audio

No one can feel engaged or inspired talking to a blurry face and a tinny voice. People need to feel like they are there in the room. HD video and clear audio are the bees’ knees for successful online conferencing.

Chat Features

Share text messages or react with emojis with everyone or just one specific person in the virtual meeting without disrupting a presentation or talking over someone’s head.

Collaboration Features

For people to easily share their work and concepts, Zoom alternatives should have enough flexibility to allow:

  • Screensharing
  • Whiteboard features 
  • Chat options
  • Note sharing
  • Calendars

Ease of Use

Anyone, even those you invite outside your company, should be able to quickly join in and navigate their way in-app. The fewer technical issues encountered, the more quality time spent on business matters.

Security

Ease of joining shouldn’t compromise security, though. Even free zoom alternatives in 2022 must have top-notch encryption standards. Never cut corners on security and privacy.

Now that you know what features to consider, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of our top choices for the best alternatives to Zoom. 

What is the best alternative to Zoom?

Before we get into the alternatives, let's recap Zoom quick. Because of its extensive audience reach and ease of use, Zoom remains as a quality virtual meeting app. 

Here is why:

Zoom

Best Scaled For: Enterprise-level companies

Pros

  • Has almost all features for all business sizes
  • HD video up to 1080p, 3 editable whiteboards on the free plan, file sharing, screen sharing, and chat
  • Integrates with other third-party applications like Zapier, Hive, and Google Workspace
  • Very scalable

Cons

  • On mobile, many controls and options are not available as they are on the desktop 
  • It's not very engaging and prone to meeting fatigue

Pricing: So many pricing options under a large category of services

  • Lowest: Free Plan. 40 minutes, up to 100 participants, 3 whiteboards, chat and file transfers
  • Highest: Enterprise Plan. Contact sales for pricing. 

There are still a lot of features that make it great, but other virtual meeting apps have caught on fast. Today, there are better Zoom alternatives.

Luckily, you can get started with several of the top-rated Zoom alternatives for free, making it easy to try new tools before bringing introducing them to your full team.

Here's our list: 

Our five choices have all the above features that merit their “high-quality” rating. We have ranked them (in no particular order) according to what they function best at.

Google Meet

Best Web-Based Video-Calling Service For Small Groups

Unlike Zoom, there’s no need to download and install Google Meet to connect with anyone. Just sign in with your Google account on the Google Meet website to create your meeting. Share the URL with a small team who also signs in for an instant meeting. Straightforward yet rife with powerful features, Meet is excellent for small to large virtual conferences. 

Pricing:

  • Lowest: Free Plan - 60 minutes max. for 3+ participants; max. 100 attendees.  
  • Highest: Google Workspace Enterprise  - Contact Sales for pricing. Includes up to 500 participants for Google Meet, unlimited Google Drive storage, and 24/7 multi-language support with a designated Google advisor. 

Pros

  • Free for a maximum of 60 minutes, 20 minutes more than Zoom’s time limit. 
  • No need to download additional apps or plug-ins
  • Available: HD video up to 720p, file sharing, screen sharing, chat
  • Better encryption and security than Zoom
  • Offers the full range of controls on both desktop and mobile
  • Deep, seamless integration with other Google apps

Cons

  • Cannot serve over 100 participants for its Business Starter Plan
  • Cannot help those without Google accounts
  • No whiteboard
  • No support for HD 1080p 
  • Not much video customization allowed

Gather  

Best Virtual Meeting App for Remote Team-Building and Company-Culture Creation 

Also the Best Fun Alternative to Zoom

In the world of virtual meeting apps, Gather brings an innovative, out-of-the-box concept to an otherwise stale landscape of similarly formatted online meeting platforms. In fact, Gather adds a totally different dimension to “going to the office.” 

This unique video conferencing platform makes it feel like you are actually connecting with co-workers, albeit through your avatar in a virtually designed office space. 

In fact, you don't even need to schedule a meeting with your workmates. You can walk right over to them, start talking, and show them your work -- just like you would do in a real office.

Gather is so engaging that you can even interact with objects. Each employee can decorate their own desk, offering a new way to interact with each other. For example, you can leave a gift box on your boss’ desk for them to open and find your pitch deck. Someone in advertising may slide over a folder with an embedded video. Neat, right?

You can hold various-sized meetings in spaces you design, share your screen, scrawl on whiteboards, and move around a shared space together.

Gather provides virtual venues for serious work and fun. It has upped the ante on making meaningful connections happen online while working towards building the foundations for the impending Metaverse.

Learn how the marketing company Lynton created their Gather virtual office and allowed them to reap the rewards of good employee engagement and strong company culture. 

Gather almost shouldn’t even count as a Zoom alternative; t’s beyond Zoom in terms of keeping your remote team engaged.

Pros

  • Feature-packed - so many options for building and personalizing environments
  • HD video with the option to switch to SD quality to preserve performance
  • Whiteboard features for shared drawing and note-taking
  • Easy screen sharing
  • Unlimited chat
  • Best app for team building
  • Best app for building a company culture even with remote workers
  • Takes remote work, interaction, and collaboration to the next level

Cons

  • Not made for over 500 participants
  • Some controls available on desktop is not accessible on mobile
  • No recording from the app, but you can use any free online tool to record your Gather meetings

Pricing:

  • Free Plan - Max 25 users. Includes: customizable maps, unlimited interactive objects, and password-protected access
  • Paid Plans - All benefits of the Free Plan, up to 500 participants, email guest list, domain-restricted access

Microsoft Teams

Best Zoom Alternative for Heavy Users of Microsoft 365 

Suppose you don’t mind being dependent on Microsoft’s 365 ecosystem. In that case, Teams is excellent for integrating smoothly with MS Office products such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and One Note. It also works seamlessly with Microsoft project management software. Teams offers a refreshingly clean user interface and ample cloud storage.

Pros

  • Option for live captions for added clarity
  • Available: HD video up to 1080p, whiteboard with templates, screen sharing, file sharing, and chat
  • Up to 300 participants for meetings
  • Generous cloud storage for free plan users

Cons

  • Not easy for external participants to join a meeting. They need to download the app and attend the meeting with a phone or tablet only. To participate via browser, they need Chrome or Microsoft Edge. 

Pricing:

Free Plan includes:

  • Unlimited 1:1 meetings, max. of 30 hours
  • Endless group meetings, max. of 60 minutes
  • Up to 100 attendees in a meeting
  • 5GB of cloud storage per user
  • File sharing, surveys, tasks
  • Data encrypted meetings, calls, files, and chats

Highest: MS 365 Business Standard - $10/user/month (annual subscription):

  • Unlimited group meetings for up to 30 hours
  • up to 300 participants
  • 1 TB cloud storage per user
  • Recordings with transcripts
  • Premium desktop version and web and mobile versions of Office apps
  • Business-class email
  • Webinar hosting
  • Attendee registration and reporting tools
  • Customer appointment management
  • 24/7 phone and web support

Hopin

Best Virtual Conference Platform for Events

Hopin is an event-focused virtual conference platform. Hopin provides a way for event organizers to create their own events with the help of themes and templates. Speakers can share their presentations online with an audience. Attendees get the opportunity to learn from others who have similar interests and build connections in the process.

Pros

  • Offers promotional tools for event-marketing
  • Offers an event-registration suite with many handy tools like form builders and attendee management
  • Provides analytics of ticket sales, attendance, etc.
  • Handles ticketing in any currency

Cons

  • Commissions on tickets up to 15% on the free plan
  • No event recordings for the free plan

Pricing:

Lowest: Free Plan includes:

  • 1 admin. seat
  • Max 100 participants per event
  • Max of 2 hours per event
  • Unlimited events
  • Email/chat support
  • Virtual venue with stage, sessions, networking, and expo areas
  • Customizable registration
  • Basic analytics

Highest: Advanced Plan - Contact sales for pricing:

  • 10 admin seats
  • Customizable event interface and length
  • Full-service packages with dedicated customer support, training, and onboarding
  • Your event can be fully customized according to your needs

Dialpad

Best Zoom-Like Platform with AI Transcription

If you often need your meetings transcribed, Dialpad can do it for you. Its AI provides real-time transcription and captions during the event, tracks actionable items, and detects and monitors people’s moods. Post-call, it delivers meeting highlights in summary.

Pros

  • HD video and crisp audio
  • Screensharing capability
  • Live-meeting and post-meeting transcriptions and summaries by AI
  • Multiple video layouts like Spotlight, Screen share, Grid, and Filmstrip
  • Chat and file sharing capabilities
  • Polished user interface
  • Integration with Microsoft, Google, and Salesforce

Cons

  • Offers the lowest limit on the number of participants on its Free Plan than any online meeting platforms reviewed here
  • No whiteboards

Pricing:

Free Plan includes:

  • Maximum of 10 participants
  • Total time limit of 45 minutes
  • Join instantly on desktop or mobile through. No need for downloads
  • Virtual backgrounds
  • Unlimited audio recordings 

 Business Plan: Standard - $15/user/month (billed annually)

  • All in the free plan
  • Maximum 150 participants
  • Maximum time of 5 hours
  • AI meeting transcriptions
  • Automated action item capture
  • Post-meeting summaries
  • Unlimited video meetings
  • Unlimited video recordings 
  • Integration with Google Workspace & Microsoft 365
  • 24/7 web and chat support

Bottom Line: Choose a Zoom alternative that helps you raise employee engagement

All five Zoom alternatives on the list have quality features for boosting employee engagement and productivity. Meet, Gather, Team, Hopin, and Dialpad all have free plans with robust features, making them no-brainers for start-ups and small businesses.

But if you want an app that gives you and your team an added layer for building meaningful connections, Gather would be the hands-down choice. 

Gather provides exciting ways of collaboration with fun, customizable virtual environments, avatars, and objects. Every team member can feel more invested in their work through these unique concepts.  An engaged group is more inclined to foster their own culture. This is how Gather helps you build a strong team.

With Gather, you get more than just connections. You build a culture. 

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Feel like a team again on Gather

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