People who hate the daily commute to the office often wish that they can work from home. They cling onto this idea like how a hopeless romantic boy longs for his manic pixie dream girl. They only see what they want to see—working in pajamas all day, no pesky co-worker, no sandwich thieves, no bath for an entire week, and all the seemingly good things.
It is true that some freelancers power through their projects on a beach in Bali while drinking pretty cocktails. However, most remote workers get their job done in a co-working space, a coffee shop, or a home office. They constantly pick their hair out, trying to figure out how they’ll complete everything while ignoring distractions.
Aside from that, they also face the challenge of isolation. There is a reason why non-remote workers think that most freelancers have a tendency of becoming hermits. People who work from home can get too engrossed in their projects that they forget to get some sunlight or hang out with friends. Who can blame them? No one will come to their cubicle and invite them to lunch. If you’re working remotely, it can be a struggle to stay connected—not only to your team but also to your clients and other stakeholders working in your project.
So, what are the best team chat apps? Here are some of the tools we recommend:
If anyone tells you that Slack is lame, tell them, “OK, boomer!” There are many reasons why this tool has achieved a devout following. If you ask anyone which message app is best for remote work, they’ll always have this tool at the top of their list. Slack is packed with features that simplify communications and project management. You can use this tool to collaborate, brainstorm, share files, and give everyone in your team a transparent view of your work’s progress.
What sets Slack apart from its competition is its built-in Slackbot which sends reminders about messages and deliverables. You can even customize its capabilities, enabling it to start projects, create reports, and approve invoices with the right buzzwords. Slack pushes the envelope by allowing users to juggle multiple tasks and join different teams. You can use the app for your work, your side project, or even your book club!
2. Zoho Cliq
This team messaging platform features a panel-style interface that allows you to get a glimpse of several conversations in a single window. For the most part of Zoho Cliq, remote workers won’t have difficulties navigating through it. It features familiar core features like file-sharing, workplace collaboration tools, group chat, and video/voice call functionalities. You can also create separate channels for discussions around specific topics or individual teams.
What makes Zoho Cliq a cut above the rest is its integrated suite of tools. Within the app, you can use Zoho Mail, Zoho CRM and Zoho Docs. You can open Cliq via an individual browser, your mobile device, and desktop. What’s more, you can access its messaging tool from within its other applications.
How many times does Jim have to ask about the protocols in handling complaints? Do we really have to tell him over and over again? No one wants to be the bad guy to tell him, “Hey, Jim. For the nth time, this is how you do it!” Well, there is a civil and easier way to handle this. You can use Twist for your team conversations. What makes this tool different from other chat apps is it turns chats into threads.
Group chats are a great way to discuss any relevant topic or project with your team. However, when your remote workers are actively engaged in the conversations, vital info can easily get lost in the messages. Twist resolves this issue by creating standard channels for group conversations. However, when a user has something else to say, they can create a new thread or comment on an existing thread. Meanwhile, you can click the Messages tab to send messages directly to anyone on your team, allowing you to enjoy a more traditional chat experience.
4. Microsoft Teams
When you’re asking, “What is the best collaboration tool in 2020,” you should not forget to consider Microsoft Teams. Designed for managing documents and organizing meetings, this tool works best when you’re powering through a presentation, a proposal, or a project with your team. It allows you to organize channels under different teams. Anyone included in the channel can chat, as usual, reply to every message, or turn any discussion into a thread.
Now, if you’re the type who loves turning a simple message into a dramatic essay, you can also access the app’s rich text editor. With this feature, you can write email-style messages that contain an important indicator and subject. You can even create a comprehensive index of documents for permanent records that your team needs. In this way, you can cover your ass and you’ll always have proof of processes that you roll out.
5. Cisco Webex Teams
What is the best app for team communication in the graphic design and arts industries? When you work with creatives, having a traditional chat app may bore them out. If you find them ignoring your messages or simply having no interest in group discussions, Cisco Webex Teams may help. After all, a picture can be worth a thousand words.
With Cisco Webex Teams, chats are kept simple and topics can be discussed in pictures. It features an app pane that allows you to share files with your team or start a video/voice call with them. Meanwhile, you can use the Whiteboard feature to open a blank space where you can sketch the ideas you want to discuss with your team. However, what makes this tool excellent is the fact that Webex Teams features Cisco-powered voice and video chat, which you can use on Cisco’s VoIP devices.
Indeed, there are plenty of tools that allow you to communicate with your team. Some tools even let you organize your chats into conversations and discussion threads. However, if you want to maximize your team’s productivity, you’ll need more than a chat app. We recommend that you use a task monitoring tool like Traqq. This app will let show you activity levels per project, ensuring that everyone is accountable for the tasks that they are assigned to. With its simplified stopwatch and user-friendly interface, Traqq makes billing more transparent and convenient.