The world has changed rapidly since the outbreak of COVID-19. Many organisations have adapted to remote work and resorted to digital transformation on many scales. Maintaining communications in or out of the workplace between teams has always been difficult without proper systems in place, more now during the pandemic; however many businesses have embraced the online space by implementing project management tools and other applications to ease the burden and keep all employees productive! Along with a good fibre deal, online communication tools go hand in hand with these applications and are certainly worth looking into if you want to create a harmonious team that maintains effective communication and structure on a day to day basis, whether your team is working from home or the office. We have picked our top 3 favourite online communications tools below:
Skype or Skype for Business is a good, old faithful online communications tool. Founded in 2003, the tool has been used all over the world, both for personal and business use. The service is free to use, with several features like instant messaging, video calling, screen sharing and the ability to call normal phone lines. You can use this tool for instant chat and video calling purposes privately, but many businesses opt for Skype for Business (which is paid), in their organisations as this version provides better security and ability to hold and share large files and increased number of contacts on your account. This tool is perfect for individuals and small businesses, but we would recommend Skype for Business for larger corporations. You can use Skype on most devices including mobiles thanks to their trusty app.
Microsoft Teams is the ultimate online collaborative tool! Chat, voice and video call your teammates and work together virtually! Work on Microsoft apps online and work collaboratively on projects while keeping up with everything in between. Teams allows you to create your online team within channels, naming them as you wish. You can hold recurring meetings and have group discussions within these spaces while screensharing and even recording your meetings for later use. Enjoy quick access to your favourite apps like Trello, JIRA and Evernote and customize your perfect online collaboration tool setup. Microsoft Teams gives you access to a large file centre which serves as storage for your most important files that your team can work on collaboratively and even at the same time! You would have guessed that all Microsoft Office applications are integrated for this too! Private chat options are available for a quick check-in and you can even create private group chats for specific collaborators. You can contact individuals via the Call option that are not on Teams and keep track of your calendar on the tool. Microsoft teams is free to use for up to 300 members per team. Unfortunately, the free version does not allow for scheduled meetings, audio conferencing and meeting recordings as well as only allowing meeting members of up to 250 at a time. Free users get 1GB of storage per user and 10GB sharing. The paid version, however, provides you with much more and up to 1TB storage per person and the above-mentioned features. You get it all!
Slack is the perfect online work communications tool! Slack helps you create your online community by creating channels for teams to work in. Channels creates an online structure to ensure centralised communications based on projects, teams and any other themes you can think of! Create a channel for newbie employees and keep all orientation information stored for easy access! On Slack, you can work in more than one channel at a time and even create cross communication between departments that are working on projects together. Slack has a dynamic search function which assists you in locating important files and concepts in your channels. Enjoy open communication as well as private messaging between colleagues. Integrate other workplace tools like Google Drive and Zapier to create your perfect workflow, ensuring optimal productivity and convenience. The free version gives you great features: 10 000 of your latest messages on your channels. 10 integrations of other apps and 1 on 1 voice and video calls with your team, which is perfect for smaller teams, but you might want to investigate other tiers for larger corporations that offer enhanced security and tailored support from the Slack tech team.
Have you recently started using a new online communications tool for work? Let us know your experience and recommendations in the comments.