It shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes to search for a conversation that you had on one of the 50 channels a few weeks back. Remote work is becoming more permanent and there are now top communication tools.
“COVID-19 has overcome cultural and technological barriers that have prevented remote work in the past, setting in motion structural shifts in where work takes place,” McKinsey Global Institute writes in an article. Many people are moving to hybrid or remote work.
According to FlexJobs 10th Annual Survey, 58% of respondents want to work remotely after the pandemic. 39% prefer a mixed environment. This means that 97% of workers want some type of remote work. Learn more about this new hybrid work model.
Top 10 Communication Tools for Remote Teams
Remote collaboration tools that are innovative and simple to use allow for meaningful communication. These tools offer both audio and virtual capabilities. Communication tools can reduce the friction associated with remote work such as communication lag, messaging fatigue, and virtual clutter.
Zoom can be used by many teams to hold meetings. It is a great substitute for face-to-face interaction and you can get started free of charge. It can also be used to record and store meetings.
- Videoconferencing + In-Conference Chat
- Call recording
Best for: Zoom works well with distributed teams and internal departments that need larger conferences, webinars, or meetings.
Pros: Zoom allows you to create custom meeting links and host webinars. You can also hold larger conferences.
Cons: Users report that recording and playback are not perfect. Also, occasional low audio and video.
Cost: $19.99 – $19.99 per month
Also read: Top 10 Live Chat Software for 2022
2. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is an alternative to Slack. It is the best communication tool that allows you to chat, create channels and manage your day-to-day correspondence.
- Integrations with other Microsoft Tools
- Chat and messaging
- Audio calling
- Meeting scheduling (links from Outlook)
Best for: Microsoft Teams is a great tool for startups and companies that use Microsoft products. They also need one messaging app.
Pros: Users love the integration of Microsoft Teams with MS 360. It makes it simple to keep everything connected.
Cons: Microsoft Teams is not compatible with any other tool, such as Google Docs.
Cost: Free to sign-up
3. Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts has become a very popular communication tool. It is easy to use, especially if you’re already using Gmail or other Google Apps.
- Video and messaging
- Integrations with Google applications
Best for: Google Hangouts can be used by any size team, remote or in-house.
Pros: Hangouts integrates seamlessly with many Google apps so you can access it directly from your Gmail inbox. It is used by many people for personal and professional use. Users can install it on their desktops and then download the app to their phones.
Cons: Chats are too similar in appearance to instant messaging and texting, and are not intended for casual conversations.
Cost: Free to sign-up
Slack is a great communication tool. It’s known for its intuitive UX. It is used by many teams as a virtual headquarters, where they share files and integrate tools.
- One-line messaging
- Integrations and plug-ins are possible
- Create separate channels
Best for: Slack works great for any size team, no matter if they work in-house or remotely.
Pros: Slack’s modern interface is loved by users. It is easy to set up and use. It’s possible to add apps or integrate such as Zoom, Github, and Google Drive. You can also set up channels to communicate with your team, such as marketing communications or sharing memes.
Cons: Slack was designed for online communication. Users get overwhelmed with messages and experience notification fatigue.
Cost: Free to sign-up
GoToMeeting is a web conferencing platform specifically designed for businesses. Collaboration is possible with audio, visual, and on-screen drawing tools. Later, users can use automated transcripts to take notes.
- Video conferencing using 25 high-definition feeds per session
- Toll-free phone
- Meeting rooms for private meetings
Best for: GoToMeeting is suitable for all sizes of teams, remote or in-house.
Pros: GoToMeeting was designed for businesses, making it great for meetings. Smart Meeting Assistant is one of the latest features. It automatically transcribes calls.
Cons: Users report occasional issues with audio, and inconsistencies when using GoToMeeting for Macs versus on PCs. These can cause users to have additional complications.
Cost: $14 – Custom pricing
6. Basecamp 3
Basecamp, version three, is a very popular project management tool. It is great for large teams that have many ongoing projects or tasks.
- Task management
- Chat and messaging
- File sharing
- Document management
- Tracking Milestone
Best for: Basecamp 3 works well with large, in-house teams or remote teams.
Pros: You need to increase your team’s ability to organize projects and provide updates on deliverables, Basecamp is great at tracking milestones and managing timelines.
Cons: Users have reported problems with document transfer and maintenance.
7. Dialpad (previously UberConference).
Dialpad provides a simple, low-cost videoconferencing platform for teams who need it.
- Playback and recording
- Mobile access
- To join calls, you don’t need pins
Best for: Dialpad works well for small to medium-sized remote and in-house teams.
Pros: It is easy to use. It is easy to log in and begin a meeting immediately.
Cons: People report that screen-sharing may not work properly due to connectivity issues. To screen-share, you will also need Chrome.
Also read: Top 10 Time Tracking Apps For Remote Workers
Free conference offers a simple web conferencing tool and is similar to UberConference. It is easy to get a link and join meetings immediately. This makes it a great communication tool for those who are looking for something straightforward.
- Video and conference calls
- No hidden charges
Best for: FreeConference can be a valuable resource for freelancers and small teams.
Pros: FreeConference is an excellent choice for users who want a simple web conferencing tool. Log in to launch a meeting and get started for free.
Cons: FreeConference is too limited in features for your team.
Join.me is another web conferencing tool with few features.No need to download any software. Log in using your web browser to get started.
- Video calling and conference calls are easy
- Background and URL customization possible
Best for: Join.me is an acceptable option for small and mid-sized organizations.
Pros: Join.me has an intuitive interface and is easy to use. No training or onboarding is required.
Cons: Customers report that users have issues with audio and video. It is also difficult to integrate the tool with Google Calendar.
Price: $12/month lite
Gather is a video chat platform that makes virtual interactions more human. It works via a browser.
- You can create your own spaces.
- Whiteboards and sharing documents
- You can play games with your team
Best for: Small to medium-sized teams that want to connect and collaborate in virtual spaces.
Pros: It’s easy to meet up with colleagues via your virtual space and have happy hour-style meetings. You can easily pop by your colleague’s desk and ask a question or simply say hello.
Cons: Some users reported audio breaking down and that customization was difficult.
Cost: Up to 25 participants are free, after which will cost between $2-7 depending on the user or time period.
Remote teams can use all of these top communication tools to communicate with one another, but none of them are as fluid and effective as the conversations that take place in an office.
Remote work is becoming more common, thanks to technology. There is now a component that can be integrated into all of these platforms, and even more, that will make your team feel as though they are actually in the same place.