The presence of healthy and open communication is one vital indicator of a growing and thriving business. Building teams with a desire to communicate and providing tools that will help facilitate that communication should be top priority for business owners and upper management.
With the help of technology, communication can now happen even in the absence of physical proximity. You can constantly keep in touch with your team no matter where you are in the world! This has made maintaining and even growing a remote team easier. These tools can also be used for non-remote teams to talk when other members might travel for work often.
Are you in search of a communication tool that will work for your company or team? Here are five communications tools that you need to check out.
Slack is one of the most popular work chat applications. It’s mainly used for maintaining chat conversations internally within an organisation. Slack has great features. You can upload and download files, create chat groups, tag members, and add other apps that will make collaboration a whole lot easier.
Slack is best only for internal communications though. So communicating with people outside of your organisation on Slack can be a challenge. You will need another app to talk to one-off customers, suppliers, or anyone whom you need to talk to only a few times.
The Microsoft-owned communications tool is one of the oldest out there. Skype is known for giving people the ability to chat and do voice and video calls. You can also transfer files through the app as well.
While the video can be great, there have been issues with voice pickup as Skype quickly captures background noise and is easily affected by bandwidth.
Chances are very high that the team you’re currently working with already uses Facebook. So it makes sense that Workplace by Facebook would be a popular choice for companies. Workplace’s interface is as close as it can get to Facebook’s highly familiar experience hosting features such as groups, chat, reactions, and a news feed.
Unlike Facebook, however, Workplace is not free. Although charities and educational institutions do get a waiver on the $3 price tag Workplace charges per user per month.
Another popular video conferencing tool is Zoom. The best parts about Zoom has to do with the ease of use and stability of group calls on the application. It’s also easy to invite others to conferences as you can do so by sending a link that people can join through. The one feature that stands out with Zoom is the time limit on the free account.
Though this can be removed by subscribing to a paid account, some people have actually seen the 40-minute limit as a good thing as it keeps video meetings at bay and avoids lengthy and dragging meetings. It really depends on the perspective of the team.
Early this year, Google quietly launched Meet. Much like Zoom and Skype, it’s mostly a video conferencing application, although the application also has a chat feature (Which Zoom and Skype also have, by the way.)
Also, like Zoom, you can invite people to join your calls with the send of a join link. Most of Meet’s best features are available only to those who have a G Suite accounts, but some of the more basic ones are available as long as you have a Gmail account.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
When it comes to communication tools, there’s never a one-size-fits-all solution. It really depends on the context and culture of your company. How do you communicate and what’s more important for you? You will also find that sometimes it’s also good to mix and match two communication tools and determine which one you use for which.
For Outsourcing Angels we use Slack for internal chats and Zoom for video calls but that’s only what we find suits us best for our priorities and needs. How about you? What are your priorities and needs as a company? Determine what those needs are and find the best tool to help you.
VA Writer: Patrick Mabilog
VA Position: Technical VA- Writer and Designer