Work from Home Communication Tools
Communication is one of the keys to the success of a startup, most importantly for those who work remotely. In this article, find out the latest and most efficient work from home communication tools to try in 2020.
“If a team can’t communicate, then they can’t be efficient,” that is one of Matt DeCoursey’s million-dollar lessons indicated in his published book, Million Dollar Bedroom. Communication is what binds the team together. Without it, an organization can lose productivity and quality output.
When the pandemic hit the globe, a lot of organizations fought for a viable solution to keep their operations up and running. Some, like Full Scale, resort to sending their employees to work from home.
However, this bold decision limits communication between teams. The solution, efficient work from home communication tools.
Work from Home Communication Tools
There is a lot of work from home communication tools emerging in the market every year. The latest tools are better than the ones launched earlier before. To learn more about remote work tools and how they work, we compiled some of the most popular tools that startup organizations are using.
Slack is a cloud-based tool aiming to be a central platform where teams can efficiently communicate. It is gaining much popularity for organizations with offshore and remote work teams since it simplifies communication.
The tool operates like group messaging or Internet Relay Chat (IRC), eliminating the complex sorting and formal compositions of emails. Moreover, Slack allows the creation of private channels where team members can freely communicate while restricting others to view or search the conversations.
Only pre-approved members can join the channel. There are also public channels that team members can participate in their own volition.
- Integrate with a wide variety of third-party services – it can integrate developer tools (GitHub, Bitbucket), file storage (Google Drive, Dropbox), project management tools (Zendesk, Monday), and even social media (Twitter).
- Run in any modern browser – Slack can run as desktop applications for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. For those who prefer mobile phones, it can also run both in Android and iOS.
- FREE plan offers a lot – its basic free features can help boost communication and productivity among the team. It provides unlimited private and public channels and connects to up to ten third-party applications or services. It can even hold voice and video calls, file sharing, and personalized notifications.
- PAID plans open more possibilities and opportunities – its paid plans offer unlimited third-party integrations and a full channel archive. You can quickly initiate a video call or share your screen in real-time for up to fifteen team members, these, and a lot more with their paid subscriptions.
Skype is a well-known name in communication. Why? Because it is under the radar for quite a while, and surprisingly is still in the loop among all the new technologies. Its resilience could only mean that this tool is efficient in communication.
Skype is a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) that offers free voice and video calls with the use of the internet. Anyone can access this tool through their computer, web browser, or mobile phone. Not only can Skype make use of voice and video calls, but it also offers instant messaging similar to Slack.
During the early days of VoIP in 2003, Skype was one of the most popular tools that bridged the barrier of long-distance communication. It became a popular tool for personal communication and even business communication. However, the emergence and evolution of communication decreased the demand for Skype.
However, Skype seems not to cease the fight for innovation. Instead, it is still improving its features and functionalities.
- Meet now – a Skype feature that allows users to create and share meetings. The user creates a session and gives out a shareable link for people who want to join the meeting.
- Skype manager – this feature is usually used for business where you can manage Skype usage for the members of the group. With the use of this feature, the primary user or manager can allocate credits and control the functions available for each member.
- Alexa – Alexa is a popular digital assistant with Amazon Echo devices. Now, Skype presents a feature that can integrate with Alexa.
Zoom is one of the current’s most sought-after remote work communication tools for team communication. Similar to Skype and Slack, Zoom offers features such as live video calls and chat. This tool’s strengths lie in its other features that gear on team conferencing.
- Access meeting analytics – Zoom’s reporting is one of its features that can help a business measure the meeting’s productivity. It also has a daily report for meetings, participants, and meeting minutes. You also have the webinar and live in-meeting monitoring.
- Record feature – Zoom has a record feature for meetings that you want to be correctly documented and saved for future reference.
- Whiteboard feature – one of the struggles of remote work communication is the struggle of conveying ideas when brainstorming. Zoom addresses this problem through its on-screen whiteboard feature where users can draw and expound discussions.
Remote work communication is being able to talk and message your team personally but making sure that tasks are conveyed successfully.
One remote project management tool so often used by organizations is monday.com. Monday.com is one of the leading collaborations and communication platforms for teams. It is ideally suited for remote work.
- Agile project management – monday.com promulgates Kanban, which boosts agile project management. The boards within the project management platform are easily customizable according to the user’s convenience. Moreover, the user can create multiple boards for different projects. For example, an advertising team is using monday.com. The project manager can create individual boards for content creation, social media posts, graphic design, and fulfillment. These boards contain different tasks but fall under one whole project.
- Impeccable visuals – project management tools are often confusing since it has a lot of data and tasks that the manager should assign and delegate. monday.com found a more natural way to manage these tasks eliminating confusion by incorporating color schemes. This bright color-coding system allows managers to view, organize, and track progress at a glance.
- Comment and tagging feature – monday.com is equipped with board comments where you can leave essential notes. If these notes are specifically addressed to a particular member of the team, the user can use the tagging feature. This process eliminates misinformation and miscommunication for tasks that overlap that of other team members.
ProofHub is closely similar to monday.com as an online project management software. This tool aims to provide a centralized workspace where projects can be assigned, automated, accurately tracked, and communicated among team members and other stakeholders.
More than 85,00 teams and organizations are now using ProofHub since its launch in 2011. Some of the big names include Netflix, Disney, and Nike. This project management platform has a free 30-day trial that can prove its worth.
- Quick feedback and approval – teams can use ProofHub to upload their work to share with clients and stakeholders quickly. Since it has a quick share feature, feedback is also instant cutting short turnaround time and making approvals faster (that is, if the other end is also immediate in giving their feedback as well).
- Efficient task management –ProofHub is also an all in one place where members and stakeholders can create, assign, fulfill, attach files, collaborate, and approve.
- Integrate into various file-sharing apps – the tool can integrate with storage apps like Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, and even Dropbox.
Freeware vs. Paid Tools
Keep in mind that not all remote work communication tools offer free services. Some are also paid. What difference do they have? Should you stick to the freeware, or should you opt to subscribe to a paid plan?
Tools such as Zoom, Skype, Slack, and monday.com offer free features. Though relatively open, they serve their purpose in communication. However, their free status gives them a limit to some elements in which the user is restricted.
Take Slack, for example. The free feature allows users to integrate up to ten third-party applications and services, which is not bad at all for a small team. But then, if you are using Slack for a large company, it would be best to subscribe to a plan which allows unlimited integration and full channel archive.
Paid tools also offer more flexibility through add-on features that can boost the team’s productivity. For Zoom, you can conduct longer meeting sessions than what’s in the free Zoom feature.
Choosing a freeware or paid tool solely lies in how your team uses the application. There is always a free trial when using remote work communication software. If freeware limits your collaboration and communication, then upgrade your software. If you deem it a waste of resources to improve, then you can switch to other options.
Which Work from Home Communication Tool is the Best?
Labeling the best remote work platforms for communication is subjective; everything depends on the team size, industry, and end-user. What is most important is that the application serves its purpose of uniting the team through collaboration.
At Full Scale, we make sure that we have the best communication tool, even if we work from home due to circumstances. We do this to uphold the quality output that our company strives to achieve every time. Being a remote offshore team, we communicate with our clients through remote work communication tools. So far, we deliver the best results.
If you are looking for a remote offshore development team that you can collaborate smoothly, there is no better option but Full Scale. With our tried and tested process of Guided Development, you can monitor your offshore team even from across the globe.
Build your remote development team now. Schedule a consultation and start scaling your business.