Good communication between team members is incredibly important, especially for remote teams that cannot be in each other’s physical presence. Research into the importance of communication tools in the workplace shows the following statistics:
86% of employees and executives cite a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.
Companies that communicate more effectively are 4.5 times more likely to retain the best employees.
27% of employees who plan to leave within the first year cite feeling "disconnected" to the organization.
Workplace collaboration can increase successful innovation by 15%.
Invest in team communication software that fits your exact needs. For example, provide your project managers with a list of potential team communication tools and ask “which of the following is a comprehensive tool for communication?” It also helps if your PM had some sort of project management training and can evaluate tolls according to the company’s needs.
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Below we list 5 tools that can help you make up your mind.
Evernote is primarily for pinning notes, files, documents, and anything else you need to share with team members.
Evernote Business really shines for collaborative projects where team members need to share files such as Office documents or Photoshop designs. The best part is that even if an individual doesn’t have Evernote installed, they can still receive links to access the shared notes in a web browser.
Evernote is also great for pinning ideas from brainstorming sessions. And as previously mentioned, Evernote does include a Work Chat mode where team members can communicate, although it’s more of an afterthought. Evernote is best paired with a primary chat app that offers Evernote integration, like Slack or one of the others on this list.
Evernote Business starts at $14.99 per month, with a monthly upload limit of 2GB per user, and unlimited collaboration spaces.
Incredibly simple to set up and use.
Easy to access from nearly any device type.
File upload size limits, you’d be better off using a cloud storage service for larger files.
If your organization doesn’t spend a lot of time doing group chats, you need a good solution for pinning notes and ideas from brainstorming sessions and team meetings.
What Microsoft Teams offers is pretty much unparalleled Office 365 application support. So to put it simply, Microsoft Teams is perhaps best for large enterprise organizations that heavily depend on Office 365 applications and not much else. In terms of overall third-party integration support, Slack wins hands-down.
While Microsoft Teams looks similar to Slack in terms of UI design, it isn’t as easy to use. For example, in order to add individual users to Teams workspaces, they must first be added to the Office 365 admin panel, and an invitation will be emailed to the user. They must then accept the invitation and register a Microsoft Teams account. This is just one example of how simple processes become fairly complex in Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams starts at $5 per month for the premium features, but this also requires an Office 365 subscription first.
Natively integrates with Office 365 applications.
Integrates with Skype for Business for team meeting functionality.
Difficult to set up, complex to use.
Requires subscription to Office 365, Microsoft Teams is an additional subscription.
If your organization depends heavily on Microsoft Office 365 products, and not much else.
If your organization needs a cloud-based project management solution, ProofHub is worth a look. It can best be described as something akin to Google Drive, Dropbox, and Slack rolled into one service. It offers scalable features and pricing that is suitable for business sizes ranging from tiny startups to larger enterprises.
Some useful features of ProofHub include the ability to upload documents and share with team members and clients and get instant feedback with the built-in markup tools and comment threads. You can also share files and documents with people outside of your member list - this makes it useful for sharing designs and plans with customers and getting their feedback, for example.
You can create notes, to-do lists, Gantt charts, calendar milestones, and more to keep your team on task and productive. Overall, ProofHub is quite straightforward and intuitive and pretty much eliminates the need to email files back and forth with team members or clients.
Easy to start using, even for non-technical users.
Can organize teams into groups with various permissions and security settings.
Limited third-party app integration, only supports a few of the most popular project management tools.
Some reviews complain that the software sends too many notifications and can easily fill up your email inbox.
If your organization requires a solid cloud-based collaboration service which eliminates the necessity of emailing files between team members and clients.
For small teams that don’t need a lot of fancy features, Ryver offers an elegant and easy interface, and plenty of the most useful, yet basic features you’d expect in a team-based software.
Within Ryver you’ll find the staple features such as private teams, direct messaging, and open channels. Private and open channels support chat communication and file sharing, and Ryver’s notifications are useful for instantly navigating to the content that requires attention.
Overall Ryver is useful for small teams that need to be in communication and pin important notes. The most basic plan starts at $49 per month and supports up to 12 users. This gives your team unlimited file sharing, and unlimited voice/video calls for up to 5 users.
The unlimited plan at $79/mo has most of the same features as the basic plan, but for an unlimited number of users. However, the same limitations on voice and video calls apply. The most expensive enterprise plan also only supports up to 5 users for video and voice calls, so overall, Ryver is useful as a team chatting software only, as its voice and video functionality is severely limited at all price levels.
Unlimited team members at $79/mo is a good deal.
You can add external users as guests, such as clients to communicate with your team.
Limited to 5 users in voice/video calls, even at the enterprise plan. How is that even enterprise?
For smaller teams that need a simple chat and limited call features on an affordable pricing budget.
Workmates is an employee experience platform that delivers valuable employee communication, engagement, collaboration, and recognition and rewards functionality -- all in a single, intuitive solution.
Why Workmates? Research has proven that an exceptional employee experience drives culture, increases productivity, and elevates the corporate brand. Also, companies that invest in the overall employee experience have a more positive culture, happier, more productive employees, and even better financial performance.
As a single platform, Workmates delivers:
A personalized newsfeed, including customizable channels, so all employees can receive valuable updates tailored to them specifically.
A modern, social intranet, helping any employee quickly find exactly what they’re looking for.
Communication and collaboration tools that are perfect for geographically distributed teams and remote employees.
Recognition functionality that let any employee offer a coworker an official “kudos” for a job well done.
Rewards capabilities that let kudos recipients exchange them for a gift card, corporate item, or other “thank you” gift.
For those organizations suddenly facing the challenges of managing a remote workforce, Workmates gives HR teams and managers the best tools to increase communication and teamwork, enhance morale and productivity, and align employees’ efforts against the company’s most important business goals.
After the worldwide lockdown, many companies found remote working beneficial for their workflow. Thankfully, the market for communication tools is wide and you can find the best one for you.
About Author: This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly software increases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk.