All posts
The 4 best virtual meeting rooms for successful online collaboration
Share this

The 4 best virtual meeting rooms for successful online collaboration

Building a sense of community for remote teams can be hard. Discover how virtual meeting rooms can help boost team collaboration and connectivity.

Table of Contents

Imagine a remote or hybrid team that’s as engaged, collaborative, productive, and connected as any in-person team—with a strong sense of community. 

Only one obstacle: your current virtual workspace tools are designed for one-way communication like screen sharing, not collaboration. So your teams feel disconnected from each other, limited to passively watching presentations and waiting for a chance to contribute.  

Fortunately, a new breed of virtual meeting rooms is specifically designed for easy collaboration, team building, and cross-team productivity. More than just a place to share documents, they’re an interactive space where ideas can grow. 

Here’s a guide for when to use a virtual meeting room, the advantages of these tools, and four options to transform virtual teamwork and create a collaborative, connected environment where your teams will thrive.

Want a virtual meeting room that’s built for collaboration?
Switchboard enables a multiplayer experience so anyone in your workspace can contribute —without sharing their screen. 
Sign up.

When do you need a virtual meeting room?

A virtual meeting room in your team’s online workspace helps you achieve real-time communication and build community. It also lets your team align on important projects, clients, or tasks. Virtual meeting rooms are powerful for remote or hybrid organizations that need a place for:

  • Team meetings
  • Company-wide meetings like all-hands or town halls
  • Client presentations or kick-off calls  
  • Team-building meetings, activities, or events 
  • Training calls 
  • Webinars 
  • Spontaneous collaboration 

Traditional video conference software only enables collaboration through screen sharing. But virtual meeting rooms let you create a truly interactive space where employees can reach their full potential. This is because a virtual meeting room lets you upload any files and connect multiple work apps to work together as if you were sitting next to each other. 

Benefits of using a virtual meeting room

The obvious benefit of using a virtual meeting room is the team feels more connected and it’s easier and more fun to work together. Why? Because working together feels more like you’re sitting around a table together instead of stuck in boxes on a traditional video call. This brings people together and helps build community even when you can’t get together in person.  

It’s also easier for teams to locate each other and see when people are contributing to a project. This improved visibility encourages spontaneous interactions and boosts teambuilding. 

Additional advantages of using a virtual meeting room include: 

  • See the actual files and documents rather than in a list in a traditional text-only folder system 
  • Ability to work side by side on documents in real-time 
  • More engaging meeting content when you upload browsers, images, videos, notes, and PDFs into your virtual space
Pro tip: When you use Switchboard’s interactive canvases, team members can see who else is in the space and what they’re working on, so it’s easy to get involved.
Switchboard virtual meeting room showing people’s icons and collaborative documents
With Switchboard, you can see people’s names on cursors over the document or app they’re using, so it’s easy to get involved.

How to run successful virtual meetings

To run a successful virtual meeting, you need an online meeting platform that’s designed for remote teams to work together. And, of course, you need to prepare. 

Here’s how to run smooth, engaging, and productive virtual meetings.  

Create an inclusive virtual space where everyone can get involved 

Ever been in a team meeting where it’s nearly impossible to share your screen or get a chance to talk? When one or two people dominate a meeting, collaboration can be an uphill struggle.  

To avoid this, ensure your meeting agenda and virtual meeting room software are set up so everyone has a chance to weigh in and work together. This will keep people engaged, productive, and feeling valued.  

Create a face-to-face working experience

Working asynchronously can make it hard to empathize with your colleagues, especially when you can’t see who you’re working with or chat as you would in person. And when communication is non-verbal, misunderstandings can happen. For example, difficult-to-decipher comments in a Google Doc take time to figure out and can hinder effective teamwork. 

Improve collaboration with video conferencing tools that go beyond screen sharing and presentation mode. For example, multiplayer browsers allow several people to log in and interact with their own view of the app and work on shared files in the same browser. This lets you make progress on projects without leaving the app, sharing tabs, or switching screens. When people feel like they’re working on the same computer, it brings them closer. 

Add all relevant documents and apps to the virtual meeting room  

Ensure all the resources your team needs are available in your virtual meeting room before you start. This helps keep teams productive and facilitates collaboration across the board. 

If you’re using Switchboard, you can securely upload any browser-based app or website, PDF, video, and images you’ll need for your meeting or project. 

Keep meetings on track

On average, remote employees attend 11-15 meetings a week, so it’s important to be mindful of their time. Only schedule meetings that you know will be productive and move projects forward. 

Use an agenda with clearly defined points and time slots to keep the meeting on track and actionable. Leave enough time for everyone to speak and to cover all your points. This will help everyone feel included and like they’re an equally important part of the team. 

If it’s a large meeting, though, try to avoid the temptation to extend it or let it run over to accommodate everyone. Trust us, your team will thank you for keeping it short, productive, and on time. 

Don’t be afraid to cancel

If there’s nothing on the agenda or your work can be done asynchronously, cancel the meeting. Everyone will love getting the time back in their day. And you’ll gain respect for not wasting precious time!

The 4 best virtual meeting platforms

Now you know what to look for in a virtual meeting room, let’s explore some of the best virtual meeting platforms

Use the list below to help you pick the best tool for your team and foster a company culture centered on collaboration. 

1. Switchboard

Switchboard is a browser-based collaboration platform that lets users collaborate on documents and apps inside a virtual room without having to share their screens.

Switchboard users communicate in real time with video, audio, and chat. They can also work side-by-side so everyone can scroll, type, and browse at the same time. 

Switchboard is designed to foster team connection, collaboration, and productivity through intuitive meeting rooms that double as a virtual canvas. You can create cloud-based virtual rooms for brainstorming, host spontaneous meetings with your team, and connect with clients—and each other. 

Throughout the meeting, your teams can explore any file within their workspace as well as move around and view whatever they want without getting in the way of what others are doing. Best of all, Switchboard automatically saves files at the end of each meeting, so you can pick up right where you left off. No lost work and no need to upload or download anything again. 

Key features: 

  • Shared workspaces and rooms for recurring meetings
  • Web-based canvas to add multiple apps, websites, PDFs, and images side by side
  • Persistent rooms that save your work
  • In-meeting video, audio, and chat
  • Secure, fast cloud browsers for instant collaboration
  • Screen sharing for native apps
  • Presentation mode
  • In-app support
  • Google Calendar integration
  • Unlimited rooms for 1:1s, meetings, and projects
  • Meeting recording
  • No integration required for web-based apps—they all work
  • Room permissions for members and guests
  • Sections to organize documents and apps
  • Host not required for members to enter a room


  • Switchboard is currently free with all features included. It plans to introduce pricing tiers in mid-2023 and there will always be a free option. 

Best for: 

  • Highly collaborative small remote or hybrid companies looking for a comprehensive and team-oriented solution to traditional video conferencing tools.
Screenshot of a remote team collaborating on a document in Switchboard
Share any type of file in your Switchboard room and it becomes instantly multiplayer.

2. Slack 

Slack is a team messaging app and virtual meeting room tool that lets remote teams connect through live messaging channels. You can also easily share files and join video conferencing huddles on the fly. 

Slack makes it easy to manage team communications and keeps a searchable record of your conversations and files. It also integrates with third-party tools to build community and drive engagement. For example, the #virtualcoffee channel connects you to a new team member every other week. However, with multiple channels and incoming messages, Slack can sometimes feel overwhelming. 

Key features: 

  • Integrations with popular tools 
  • Public and private channels 
  • File sharing 
  • Searchable record of chats and files 
  • Channels designed for team relationship building 
  • Instant messaging 
  • Video chat huddles 
  • Personalized notifications  


  • Free to start  
  • Standard: $6.67/month per user 
  • Plus: $12.50/month per user  
  • Enterprise: custom priced   

Best for: 

  • Asynchronous work, instant messaging, and individual conversations.
Screenshot of teammates talking on Slack on their laptops and mobile phones
Access Slack from your laptop or mobile phone for streamlined team communication.
Source: Slack

3. Zoom

Zoom is a well-known video conferencing and virtual meeting room tool. It’s great for teams that want a quick way to join a 1:1, team, or company-wide virtual meeting.  

As a single host, you can create multiple meeting rooms and send one-click invites to your team so they don’t have to download anything. It also lets you respond to your coworkers in a live group messaging panel alongside your video call—so people can contribute without breaking the flow of the presentation. 

However, depending on the size and nature of your meetings, Zoom can be too formal for effective brainstorming and collaboration.  

Key features: 

  • Video and audio conferencing 
  • Virtual whiteboard
  • Live group messaging 
  • Grid view of meeting participants 
  • Screen sharing 
  • In-browser app 
  • One-click join 
  • Live preview 


  • Starts for free
  • Pro: $14.99/month per host  
  • Business: $19.99/month per host 

Best for: 

Online educational events, webinars, single-presenter information sharing, and top-down meetings hosted by team leaders.

Screenshot of a man taking a Zoom meeting and chatting with colleagues.
Zoom lets you share your screen and record meetings.
Source: Zoom

4. Google Meet 

Google Meet is an accessible virtual meeting room software that lives in your Google Workspace. It lets teams connect through high-quality video and audio conferencing and live chat

If you’re using Gmail and have a Google Calendar, it automatically populates meetings with Google Meet links, making it easy for everyone to securely connect online. 

However, Google Meet doesn’t let you create a permanent meeting link without scheduling a meeting first. That makes it less useful for highly collaborative remote teams that need a fixed and secure meeting room they can jump into whenever they need. 

Key features: 

  • Video and audio conferencing 
  • Live chat 
  • Meeting recording 
  • Multiple view options
  • Special effects and virtual backgrounds 
  • Secure 


  • Google Meet is free to use with access to premium features when you sign up for the Google Workspace.
  • Business Starter: $6/month per user
  • Business Standard: $12/month per user
  • Business Plus: $18/month per user
  • Enterprise: custom priced

Best for: 

  • Team hangouts, check-ins, and meetings.
Screenshot of Google Meet meeting information
Google Meet lets anyone start a meeting in seconds, without having to download or install anything. 
Source: Google Meet

How to set up a virtual meeting room with Switchboard

Virtual meeting room software like Switchboard can inspire remote teams to participate and engage with each other through collaborative virtual rooms and canvases. 

Drop any kind of file or browser-based app into your multiplayer room and get everyone pitching ideas and collaborating on content. When the session is over, your virtual room automatically saves everything you’ve worked on, so you can pick up where you left off next time. 

If you’re choosing Switchboard as your virtual meeting room, here’s a quick rundown on how to get started, so you can optimize team collaboration and improve the remote work experience: 

1. Create a free Switchboard account.

To get started: 

  • Sign up for a free account with an email address or Google login.
  • Name your workspace—this is where all of your rooms will be stored–and take a quick onboarding tour if you’d like.
Screenshot of Switchboard virtual workspace
Switchboard makes it easy to start collaborating on projects.
Source: Switchboard

2. Create a few rooms. 

Create rooms for recurring meetings, like weekly team meetings and or project check-ins. Be sure to make each room name unique for each team: Product team, Engineering team, Operations team, etc.

Pro tip: 1:1 rooms are automatically created for anyone you invite to the space.
Screenshot of Switchboard’s web page for naming your room
Switchboard lets you pick a unique name to identify each room in your workspace.
Source: Switchboard

3. Invite teammates.

Invite people from inside and outside your company to join your workspace by entering their emails. You can also copy the invite link and send it to team members. Workspace members can access any public room. You’ll also have the option to invite people to individual rooms.

Popup for inviting people to your Switchboard workspace.
Invite people to join your workspace and get access to all your public rooms.
Source: Switchboard

4. Start using Switchboard rooms.

Drag, drop, and collaborate on important documents, files, PDFs, images, apps, etc. Everything you add to your rooms can be viewed side-by-side and instantly becomes multiplayer.

Screenshot of Switchboard Room with multiple documents and web browsers open
Switchboard lets remote teams work on the same project and files during video calls.
Source: Switchboard

Virtual meeting room software: Empower your remote teams  

The shift to remote and hybrid work has revolutionized many industries and brought benefits like flexibility and work-life balance to employees. But it can be harder to feel connected to your coworkers when you never interact in person and communication is often async. 

That means leaders need to find creative ways to build a productive, connected remote work environment. Creating a space where everyone feels included and like they’re contributing to something bigger than themselves has huge benefits for company culture, employee motivation, and wellbeing.

One barrier to achieving this, however, is that virtual meeting tools often stop short at screen sharing and lack the features needed for agile interaction and community building.  

Luckily, your teams no longer have to settle for communication that feels merely transactional.  There are several virtual meeting rooms on the market designed to facilitate collaboration and bring remote employees closer together. Notable among them are Switchboard and Slack. Zoom and Google Meet are also great for collaboration but they fall short when it comes to community building as they rely more on one-way communication like screen sharing. 

Selecting the right virtual meeting room platform lets your teams enjoy the benefits of remote or hybrid working while still creating a collaborative, engaging work environment they’ll want to be part of

And when you use Switchboard, you can securely collaborate and store your work in the same virtual meeting room and come back to it anytime. Since you can also share files and work on them simultaneously, you’ll never again have to choose between remote work or effective collaboration.

Want a virtual meeting room that’s built for collaboration?
Switchboard enables a multiplayer experience so anyone in your workspace can contribute —without sharing their screen. 
Sign up.

Frequently asked questions about virtual meeting rooms

What is the best platform for virtual meetings?

Although there are plenty of virtual meeting platforms out there, well-known virtual meeting spaces include Slack, Zoom, and Google Meet. There are also newer products like Switchboard that go beyond these tools to create a truly interactive, collaborative space.   

What is a virtual meeting room?

A virtual meeting room is a digital conference room in a virtual office where remote meetings and team collaboration take place. With the rise of remote work, these virtual collaboration tools are essential for remote or hybrid working. As well as allowing businesses to hold remote or hybrid virtual conferences and events, they foster a greater sense of community by being more interactive and collaborative than single-presenter meetings. 

How do I prepare a room for a virtual meeting?

To prepare your virtual meeting room, consider the following: 

  • Invite participants to the meeting 
  • Make sure your audio, video, and physical settings are adjusted and everything is working correctly 
  • Make sure all the relevant documents and apps are available to use

What should virtual meetings avoid?

During virtual meetings, you should avoid doing anything that disrupts your team’s workflow. For example, make sure everyone’s mics and webcams are properly set up and that they can access and edit documents simultaneously. This will help avoid distractions during the meeting and ensure it’s as productive and collaborative as possible. That’s why it’s important to look for virtual workspace tools with features like: 

  • Virtual canvas and rooms for collaboration
  • Sticky notes and comments
  • Video conferencing and meeting recording
  • Security 
  • Integrations 

What are some disadvantages of virtual meeting platforms? 

One disadvantage of certain virtual meeting platforms is that it’s difficult to get all participants engaged or involved. Other disadvantages include: 

  • Losing your files and progress at the end of a meeting if these aren’t automatically saved 
  • The time it takes to switch screen sharing between participants  
  • Only one person is in control of the view at any given time
  • Too much focus on the speaker rather than on collaboration

Stop, collaborate, and listen

Get product updates and Switchboard tips and tricks delivered right to your inbox.

You can unsubscribe at any time using the links at the bottom of the newsletter emails. More information is in our privacy policy.

You've been added to our newsletter full of tips and Switchboard updates.

You can unsubscribe at any time using the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Want a virtual meeting room that’s built for collaboration?

Switchboard enables a multiplayer experience so anyone in your workspace can contribute —without sharing their screen.