Using Zoom for home working

The Zoom desktop app

Zoom is a video conferencing service that is fast becoming one of the most popular tools for online meetings, lectures, seminars, webinars and video calls. It is simple to use, yet loaded with advanced features. With a few simple steps you can get set up to host or participate in online meetings.

What hardware and software do I need?

A laptop with a built in-webcam and microphone is the most common (and simple) hardware setup. If you don’t have a laptop Zoom will run on an iPhone or Android mobile via the Zoom App. You also need to hear audio either via speakers or headphones. If you don’t have a microphone you could use the text-based chat feature to participate.

You can use a desktop computer but you may need an external webcam and microphone.
As usual, try to keep your web browser up to date to avoid any problems.

Here are the detailed system requirements for Zoom. 

Do I need an account?

Participants in meetings do not need an account to join in meetings. If you would like to host a meeting, GSA staff must get permission from IT via their line manager. 

Do I need to install the Client Software?  

Participants do not need to install the software, but will be prompted to. If you don’t want to or can’t install the app, there is an option to ‘join from browser’. If you want to host a meeting you will need the Client installed.

How do I invite participants to a scheduled meeting? 

When you create or schedule a meeting you will be given a meeting ID that you can share with participants prior to the meeting starting. 

How can I do a test before my meeting?

Visit this Zoom test session to test your connection, audio and video settings or just to get a feel for the interface.  You can share this url with participants so they can test their settings before a scheduled meeting or lecture.

Test URL: 

Where can I find more info?

GSA’s Canvas for Staff course has more information on using Zoom and other online conferencing tools.
The Zoom Support Centre has ‘getting started’ guides and detailed documentation.

GSA’s IT department has published guides to installing and using Zoom here.

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