With remote work becoming increasingly common in the modern workplace, it has become a lot harder for workers to communicate and collaborate as a surging number of employees are now working from home. It is even harder for managers because managing a virtual team is not easy. Many experts say that this lack of communication has eroded teamwork, camaraderie and the brainstorming ability that is prevalent throughout the office.
That said, companies can nip this potential problem in the bud by taking advantage of the numerous business communication apps available for desktop and mobile – and many of which are free! By instituting these apps and making them a critical function or your day-to-day operations, you can still ensure that your personnel are working together and are readily available for powwows and deadlines.
So, what should you be looking for? Well, we have a breakdown to help get you started. Here a list of 20 business communication apps designed to help you select the right tools for your office.
Slack has become the go-to business communication app for millions of people worldwide. This popular app has outpaced and even out-funded its rivals. From a project management system to a digital office chat tool, Slack has been adopted by workplaces around the world and has experienced tremendous growth due to more people working remotely.
It can be used across multiple devices and on various platforms, and you can chat either one-on-one or in groups. It maintains a free basic plan, with the option to upgrade to a premium package.
2. Basecamp 3
Basecamp is another real-time communication tool that allows teams to collaborate remotely. The project management application has been celebrated for simplifying tasks, whether it is resource planning or long-term scheduling.
The freemium service offers a wide variety of features to facilitate greater productivity for an offsite staff, from working with to-do lists in bulk to utilising a focus mode to help stay on track. Offices always have the option of upgrading their accounts to access an unlimited number of users and projects, and 500 gigabytes of storage space.
Wrike has been an impressive and robust project management tool for businesses everywhere. The flexibility of the app, its powerful performance and ease of use have contributed to the pre- and post-pandemic work-from-home trend.
It does offer a free service, which includes teams of up to five and basic features (tasks, folders, and projects). With its premium plans, you can take advantage of its 24/7 customer support, enterprise-class security, and an incredible number of features (two-factor authentication, user audit reports and business intelligence integration).
How often do you Skype? If you are like many professionals nowadays, you are probably on a video conference more often than not. The service has dramatically evolved in recent years, establishing a better connection and quality, as well as improving the overall user experience. For a long time, Skype was the go-to business communication app, and it still is in many ways, despite now having bigger competition than before!
If you work remotely, no matter how little or how often, chances are you have participated in a Zoom call. A modern enterprise video communication tool, Zoom is an easy-to-use and reliable video platform with a diverse array of options, including audio conferencing, web chat, and webinars. Its security has also improved immensely, particularly as a lot of users complained about so-called Zoom Bombing and foreign government intervention.
What makes Zoom an even more compelling brand are its different plans. A free account allows up to 100 participants, 40-minute maximum group meetings and unlimited one-on-one meetings. But the more you spend, the more features you have, such as social media streaming, one gigabyte of cloud recording, unlimited cloud storage and transcription services.
6. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a one-stop-shop for project management and digital workplace collaboration, designed for large corporations and small business. Teams combines office, video meetings, file storage and application integration.
One of the latest developments from Microsoft Teams is that it can be utilised for personal use, including text chat and video calling.
Available on Android (free)
Security has been one of the biggest concerns for internal communication in offices everywhere. Chatwork has made security an integral facet of its service, which extends users with real-time communication, secure messaging, video chat and file sharing. It describes itself as an all-in-one project management system, but with additional emphasis on security.
8. Workplace from Facebook
A few years back, Facebook wanted to establish a business-oriented version of Facebook, something that combined LinkedIn’s concept with project management. Workplace from Facebook was born in October 2016, and it has had a positive reception so far but has yet to experience the same ubiquity as some of its competitors. That said, Workplace has many of the same benefits as Facebook, as well as tools you would find from its competitors, such as video communication, collaboration tools and cross-platform functionality.
Do you want to reach each person on your team with targeted communication? Perhaps you should give Connecteam a visit as its business communication app, created with employee needs in mind, aims to increase staff engagement. But how? The app lets users send out companywide surveys, create a suggestion box in real-time, publish live polls, set up an organisational chat and install an employee directory (you can call, chat or email the names, too).
Connecteam may finally have a solution to hosting a good meeting by learning what staff members want.
DialMyCalls is one of the most interesting business communications apps on the market today. Its business model is unique: send automated phone calls and text broadcasts to entire contact lists in seconds. This is beneficial for companies that wish to blast important messages at once to the entire team, which can be done in seconds. So far, according to the company, businesses, schools, churches, retail, and other industries have adopted DialMyCalls.
Redbooth is perhaps the web’s best-kept secret when it comes to project management and business communication apps. The app has had a noteworthy existence, going through a rebranding and partnering with Zoom and Apple.
That said, Redbooth possesses a wide variety of functions: task management, real-time communication, role-based permission to access projects, discussion forums and time tracking. These features have been created to facilitate an effective collaborative environment, which can be hard to achieve remotely.
Azendoo has everything you would want from a project management tool - and then some. Here is what you can anticipate from this app: task cards, time tracking, task planning, boards and organisational separators.
You can try Azendoo for free, but then it does come with a monthly cost per user.
Available on iOS from $39 per month
Blogging has become a critical component for company communications – internally and externally. A corporate blog accomplishes several things, including engaging with your clientele, sharing important news with the world and highlighting crucial developments within your organisation. This is where Blogin comes in.
Blogin allows you to create and manage an internal company blog that has been lauded for its simplicity and knowledge-sharing platform. Users have also pointed out its easy flat pricing, with zero hidden fees and the opportunity to cancel any time.
Do you need a better way to organise your workload with your team? Well, it might be time to give Trello a test drive. It is an excellent service for its visual Kanban boards that enable you to post as much detail as possible for your colleagues.
Overall, you can create teams, produce boards and collaborate with your co-workers on different projects. Some say it’s also a great way to manage your personal life, but we will let you be the judge of that!
Available on Android (free)
When you need to be super productive, Chanty becomes your ace in the hole. The website offers a diverse array of tools, from file sharing to task management to unlimited message history.
Over the last year, the company has become an alternative to Slack, that uses artificial intelligence bots to enhance communication, collaboration and focus on the tasks ahead.
Wait a minute, working with robots to enhance productivity? At this point, what difference does it make?
Do you need enterprise-grade cloud communications and collaboration software? Fuze may be what you are looking for, especially if you are a small business. The all-in-one communications platform has more than 70,000 small business users, possibly because it is as simple as it gets and has been designed for the modern-day worker, while still possessing an enterprise-grade platform.
In other words, Fuze has infused perfectly the concepts of tech-savviness and remote work.
StaffConnect has marketed itself as a tool that reaches, connects and engages the office-less workforce. Its goal is to reverse the $1 trillion in annual lost productivity because of unengaged employees.
The StaffConnect app has an incredible number of solutions, some of which are personalised and tailored to your needs:
- Mobile team management
- Team building
- Internal communications
- Engagement analytics
On the surface, Yammer is another workplace communication tool and enterprise social networking application. But once you scratch beneath the surface, you begin to see some noteworthy differences that make Yammer stand out from the crowd.
Its main selling point is that access to a Yammer network is determined by the user’s web domain, which means that only individuals with approved email addresses may join their respective networks. A few other features? A Discovery feed that allows you to build on your existing work, absorb knowledge from others and openly connect and engage across your firm.
It should be noted that its standalone service has been discontinued, but it has been integrated with Microsoft Office 365.
ProofHub is a centralised project management system established for project completion and collaboration. Internal research has found that users have reported higher productivity, better satisfaction and faster delivery times of assignments and projects with the help of this system.
One of ProofHub’s biggest challenges, according to various reviews, is its lack of recurring options for tasks. However, this is offset by cloud enterprise-level security and scalable features.
20. Amazon Chime
Remember, this is Amazon’s world, and we’re just living in it. Chime is another example of Jeff Bezos’ online retail giant delving into another realm of the Internet world.
Amazon Chime functions as a communications service that allows users to meet, chat and initiate business calls inside and outside of your small business or corporation. Many technology enthusiasts have celebrated the tool for its Voice Connector: A service that allows enterprises to migrate their telephone workloads to Amazon Web Services (AWS).
For many offices that depend on the in-person collaborative spirit, the latest work-from-home surge has been hard for these businesses. Many employees might dismiss the idea that you need to sit at a desk in a centralised location to get work done and partner with your colleagues.
However, the large number of business communication apps has ensured that not only are firms remaining productive, but they are also fostering an environment of teamwork. Who knows? Perhaps virtual work will eliminate micromanaging once and for all!
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 30 June 2017.