There’s no doubt at all that our work culture today has changed drastically compared to just a decade ago. Working from home had already begun to rise in popularity even before the pandemic, but now it’s an accepted way of working for millions of us, providing much greater freedom and flexibility.
This change in the way people work has inevitably demanded a change in the way we communicate, and technology has evolved to make that even more dynamic, versatile, and effective. Businesses that have taken advantage of these new technologies have already seen the benefits and embedded them within their work culture.
In this article, we are going to discuss 10 of the best online communication tools that teams can use in 2023 to stay connected with each other.
Let’s get started!
Atarim is one of the best communication tools designed for use by web design agency owners. Atarim makes it easy for teams to communicate with each other as it allows each team member to leave comments on different projects in real time.
More importantly, as the administrator, you can track team activity and performance, and get clear, insightful reports. Time tracking is also available in Atarim, which helps introduce a high level of accountability.
Atarim is a great choice for distributed teams as it lets you share project information through a centralized platform, instead of having to rely on multiple communication channels. Because at its heart Atarim supports the use of annotated screenshots of web pages to create and track tasks and projects, this makes communication far faster and more effective. When working with projects that are largely visual, such as websites, it makes sense to use a collaboration tool that places visual communication at the center of everything.
- Backend commenting feature to prevent any information being missed in translation
- The dedicated email inbox can be used to track tasks
- Ability to create internal requests on a client’s live website
- Free version available
- Task assignment and time tracking available
Slack is easily one of the best communication tools available today. Used by some of the biggest companies in the world, Slack makes it easy for users to communicate with each other, by allowing them to create specific channels, create custom workspaces, share files, and set reminders as well.
You can even send messages to yourself, which essentially serves as a way to add personal notes or messages. One of the biggest benefits of using Slack is that it integrates seamlessly with different tools, including Google Drive, Atarim, Zapier, and others.
- Free version available
- Lots of integrations with all popular work management apps
- File sharing is allowed
- Huddles allow users to share video or conduct a voice call
- All data is encrypted by default on Slack
- App available for all major platforms, including iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows.
3. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is an incredibly popular communication platform that’s used by some of the largest enterprises in the world. Teams integrates with Microsoft’s suite of apps, including Office, making it easy to share and collaborate on different files.
Teams conversations are fully encrypted, and two-factor authentication ensures that communication remains safe. Teams integrates with all popular apps including Asana, Skype, PowerPoint, and more.
Another excellent feature in Microsoft Teams is the panels, which allows you to create dedicated posts, and ask questions from different team members.
Video and voice calling are also available in Microsoft Teams, so your team members can communicate effectively with each other.
- Built-in integrations for the MS Suite and various other project management tools
- Notification scheduling
- End-to-end encryption
- Premade bots to automate routine tasks
- Screen sharing, voice calling, and video calling
Zoom shot up in popularity at the start of 2020, and has continued to grow rapidly. It’s a web conferencing platform that’s designed for holding virtual meetings and conferences.
A free version is available, which allows users to hold calls for up to 40 minutes before the call disconnects. With a paid version, you can hold calls for an unlimited duration, and also record calls.
Zoom lets you create custom meeting links, and supports up to 300 attendees joining in one call. Zoom is one of the most popular video conferencing apps available today, known for its reliability and ease of use.
- Free version available
- Screen sharing and call recording
- In-built chat option available
- VoIP phone option available too
- Online whiteboard to help in brainstorming and conveying ideas
5. Google Meet
Google Meet is another popular platform that’s used for communication by remote teams. Meet makes it easy for team members to communicate with each other through video, and offers all of the features that you’d expect: screen sharing, call recording, whiteboards, and rooms.
If you have a larger number of attendees, you can assign them to breakout rooms to manage communications, creating smaller teams. One of the biggest reasons why you should use Google Meet is because it’s entirely free to use.
If you get the paid subscription, you’ll be able to access advanced features, including the ability to record calls, and even partake in different virtual activities.
Meet also lets you create custom virtual backgrounds, or blur your background to maximize privacy. And with a subscription, you can invite up to 500 participants in one meeting.
- Integration with Google’s suite of apps
- Screen sharing and call recording
- Very easy to create meeting links and schedule them
- Free to use
- Chat option available
Basecamp is a remote collaboration tool that offers chat functionality, and greatly simplifies project management. If you need an all-in-one solution for communicating with your team and managing documentation and files, Basecamp’s a great choice.
Basecamp lets you organize different projects on the home page and create to-dos for each. There’s also a centralized file management system where you can store, share, and collaborate on different files.
Scheduling is also available to specify deadlines, events, and set general milestones. You can create check-ins for each team member to know what everyone else is up to.
Kanban boards are available here too, but they are known as the Card Table, which allows you to streamline workflows and get a better understanding of what each member is working on.
- Excellent project management functionality
- Built-in chat options
- Kanban boards to track project progress
- File sharing and document management
- You can also set milestones for specific projects
Trello is a highly popular project management tool that’s used by teams around the globe. The app has pioneered the concept of Kanban boards, offering a visual understanding of different projects and allowing users to customize each stage.
With Trello, you can organize each project into a separate board. For each board, you have the option of creating various columns that indicate different stages – and then creating cards that are essentially tasks.
When a person’s done with a task, they can leave a comment on the card and move it to the next column. It offers user tagging and color-coding, making it easy for you to communicate with your team members.
You can also use Trello to comment on tasks in real-time very easily. These comments then automatically trigger the sending of a notification to all users who are subscribed to that task. This streamlines communication and ensures every member is on the same page.
- Extremely simple Kanban board view
- Automations available for different tasks
- Integrations available for all popular apps
- Set priorities, color code, and label different tasks
Asana is generally billed as a project management app – and rightly so, since it excels in that department. However, Asana also has communication features built in, which makes it easy for teams to stay in touch with each other.
Asana Messages allow your team members to send messages to individuals or to different groups or teams. They can also send messages to all members who are subscribed to a specific project.
Asana gives you suggestions based on the work that you’re referring to in your messages, and you can use their full-screen compose mode to add links to different projects so that nothing is lost in translation.
Project messages can be viewed by all subscribers, showing the workflows and helping teams understand the discussion more easily. Users can also define periods for when they want to receive notifications.
- Third-party integrations available
- Offers a combination of messaging and project management in one package
- Multiple project views available
- Personal notepad for recording important information
Used by some of the biggest agencies in the world, ClickUp is a fantastic solution for distributed teams that wish to streamline communication and improve workflows.
When it comes to communication, ClickUp has a Chat view, which lets you consolidate team communication throughout your team. You can set up chat channels and add users with a simple @mention.
And, like others on this list, ClickUp makes it easy to embed different conversations, share files, or link to any of the documents that you’re using on the platform.
ClickUp also prioritizes organization by allowing you to create Chat views for specific projects, or for specific teams, making it easy to recall different conversations.
ClickUp does offer a free version for you to try that includes unlimited tasks and unlimited members, but you’ll probably want to upgrade to one of their other plans, starting at $5 per member, per month, rising to $19 for the top package.
- Easy to link different documents and projects in chat
- Formatting options available
- Fully customizable project management app
- Offers support for hundreds of integrations
- Free option available, with affordable plans for small businesses/agencies
Dialpad is a VoIP solution that’s designed for video conferencing and voice calling. It’s a fairly basic and straightforward tool that allows teams to remain in touch with each other.
You can share your screen, record calls, and invite multiple users to the project. It’s also ideal for businesses to offer support to their customers, especially with its mobile app.
One of the biggest advantages of Dialpad is that it assigns a different number to each employee, so it’s akin to calling them over the phone.
Dialpad is incredibly reliable and features High Definition audio. Mobile and desktop apps are available, making it easy for teams to remain connected on different devices.
- Video calling
- Call recording
- Mobile apps available
- TLS encryption for all data transferred within the app
Verbal Communication Is Essential in the Workplace
While we mainly communicate through writing, it’s critical for users to communicate verbally with each other as well. It helps foster teamwork and allows employees to remain personally connected with one another.
In fact, The Importance of Oral Communication, by Sue Hetherington, is an excellent read for individuals that want to understand just how important such communication is in the modern workplace.