We’ve come a long way since the telegraph, morse code, telephone, and pigeons. In the era of high internet speed and hyper-connectivity, it’s never been easier to collaborate with others in any corner of the globe. Remote team communication tools are the bridge that allows us to see and hear each other in real-time as well as effectively collaborate asynchronously. While having the right hardware allows you to be more productive from your home office, the right software will expand your possibilities by connecting you to your squad. In this definitive guide, we’ll show you some fantastic remote team communication tools to enable you to stay connected with your team members no matter where you are!
What Are Remote Team Communication Tools?
Communication in a remote environment can be done in multiple ways and some tools incorporate more than one.
These communication tools are divided into the following categories on this page:
- Asynchronous communication tools
- Live communication tools
- Project management tools
- Specialist tools with live collaboration
That last one will not include every single specialist tool but will give you a few common examples.
If a tool falls under multiple categories, I’ll list it in its main one.
Asynchronous Communication Tools
Asynchronous (or async for short) communication is like sending a carrier pigeon or leaving a note on the fridge. You send your message without expecting an instant response. It’s the email you check in the morning, the project update you leave on your project management tool, or the chat message you reply to after lunch. In other words, asynchronous communication tools allow team members to communicate and collaborate without requiring everyone to be available at the same time. This flexibility makes working together especially easier for remote teams across different time zones.
Here are a couple of examples:
Slack is a powerhouse tool that serves as a comprehensive hub for team communication and collaboration. It combines messaging, file sharing, and integration with other popular business tools in one platform, enabling teams to streamline their workflows and boost productivity even when working remotely.
Flock is an efficient workplace communication tool that surpasses Slack in terms of speed. It not only provides fundamental communication functions like instant messaging, audio, and video calls, but also offers additional features such as integrated polls, reminders, notes, and to-do snippets.
Front is a bustling hub for your team’s emails. As an email client, Front goes beyond the traditional functionality, allowing teams to have shared inboxes, seamlessly integrate with other tools, and even automate workflows. It’s like having a personal assistant for your inbox, helping keep things organized, and ensuring nothing falls through the cracks, even when your team is scattered across the globe.
Live Communication Tools
Live communication tools are here to provide a space for colleagues to communicate in real time. It’s the virtual meeting room, the conference call, or the impromptu chat with a teammate. While asynchronous tools are great for exchanging messages and documents at any point in time, live communication tools create an environment where team members can discuss ideas and come up with solutions faster.
Here are some examples:
Google Meet is a reliable and user-friendly video conferencing tool that has become the go-to solution for many remote teams worldwide. It’s like the digital twin of your office meeting room, but with no booking needed! It allows for seamless real-time communication with easy screen sharing, robust security, and superb video quality. The best part? If you’re already using Google Workspace, you have Meet right at your fingertips, ready to jump into action whenever you need to brainstorm a project or simply share a laugh with your team.
Renowned for its high-quality video and audio, Zoom is a video conferencing tool that has given a whole new meaning to remote team meetings. It’s a virtual hangout spot where brainstorming sessions get as lively as a Friday night gathering! Additional features such as virtual backgrounds, breakout rooms, and screen sharing contribute to its popularity. Whether it’s a quick sync-up or a quarterly review, Zoom has got your remote team communication covered!
Microsoft Teams is another significant player in the remote team communication tools arena. Serving as a one-stop shop for all your collaboration needs, it seamlessly integrates with the broader Microsoft Office suite, making it a solid choice for those already immersed in the Microsoft ecosystem. Teams is more than just a conference call tool – it’s a virtual office that brings together chat, meetings, notes, and attachments. It’s like inviting your entire team into your digital living room, where you can discuss, strategize, and create, all while in your favorite comfy chair.
Project Management Tools
Project management tools are collaboration tools that allow teams to communicate and share context to achieve a specific goal. Remote teams need such tools to stay on the same page and track the progress of their projects.
Asana is a great project management tool, perfect for medium to large teams. Think of it as a digital taskmaster, keeping track of all your team’s milestones, due dates, and to-dos. With its intuitive interface and comprehensive features, Asana helps streamline task delegation and monitor progress, ensuring everyone’s on the same page. Whether you’re a small startup or a large enterprise, navigating your daily tasks with Asana can be as fun and satisfying as completing a crossword puzzle!
Monday.com is another great project management tool for small to medium size teams. Complementing your daily grind with its vibrant interface, it makes project management feel less like a chore and more like a game. From start-ups to scaling companies, Monday.com fits into every scenario like a puzzle piece that completes the picture of effective remote team communication.
Jira is an agile project management powerhouse designed primarily for software development teams, but its robust features aren’t just for tech wizards. With Jira, you can organize tasks, track progress, and manage deadlines like a pro, transforming your team’s workflow into a well-oiled machine. Picture it as the ultimate digital traffic controller for your projects – keeping everything moving smoothly and everyone heading in the right direction. For those remote teams wanting to take their efficiency up a notch, Jira might just be the magic spell you’re looking for!
Specialist Tools With Live Collaboration
These “specialist” tools can be used to communicate and/or collaborate more effectively in a remote work environment but don’t fully fit in the categories above.
This delightful tool is a must-have for any designer or team needing to convey ideas visually. Figma is a cloud-based design tool that permits live collaboration, meaning you can co-create, co-edit, and co-view your design with your team, no matter where in the world they are. Imagine it as the digital whiteboard for your design ideas. You can sketch, edit, prototype, and even get feedback, all in real time! Cast away the days of sending files back and forth and say hello to live creative collaboration. For remote teams that want to keep their design game strong, Figma is the remote communication tool that’s akin to having your cake and eating it too!
Miro is a digital whiteboard that allows live collaboration, ensuring that every virtual post-it note or scribble is instantly shared with your teammates. Picture it as the brainstorming room that never sleeps, always ready for your lightbulb moments. You can plan, collaborate, and visualize all your great ideas in one place, regardless of where your team is scattered around the globe. It’s very similar to Figma in functionalities with only a couple of small differences.
GitHub, the holy grail for developers, is a platform that makes collaboration on coding projects a breeze while it keeps track of all the changes made. Imagine it as a gigantic playground where developers can code together in real time, regardless of their geographical location. You can share, review, and merge code, keep an eye on project progress with issue tracking, and even host your software for the world to use. It’s like having a co-working space for your code, where everyone knows what’s happening, and no one steps on each other’s toes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can remote teams connect with each other meaningfully?
Building meaningful connections in remote teams is key to fostering effective collaboration and productivity. Regular communication is crucial – this can be achieved through daily check-ins or weekly team meetings via video conferencing tools like Zoom or Google Meet. Additionally, creating space for non-work related conversations, such as virtual coffee breaks or game nights can help build camaraderie. Tools like Slack or Google Meet can also be used for casual chats.
What are some effective strategies for virtual networking with coworkers?
Virtual networking requires a proactive approach. Here are a few strategies:
– Participate actively in team meetings and discussions.
– Initiate intentional one-on-one virtual coffee chats or lunches with colleagues.
– Provide value to your team by sharing tips, tricks, and meaningful updates they may have missed.
– Create or join communities based on your hobbies and passions.
What is the most commonly used online communication tool for remote teams?
Email continues to be a widely used communication tool for remote teams. However, instant messaging platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams have gained popularity due to their real-time communication capabilities. These platforms also offer features like file sharing, video calls, and integration with other productivity tools, making them ideal for remote work.
Which digital communication tool is considered the most effective for remote teams?
The effectiveness of a digital communication tool depends on the specific needs of a team. For real-time, collaborative tasks, tools like Google Docs and Trello are highly effective. For communication, Slack and Microsoft Teams are often recommended due to their versatility. Video conferencing tools like Zoom or Google Meet are essential for face-to-face interactions. It’s important to experiment and find the tools that best support your team’s workflow.
Remote team communication tools provide remote workers with a way to stay connected with colleagues and keep things running smoothly. Each tool mentioned above offers distinct capabilities to cater to specific needs and styles of remote work environments. The use of communication tools is necessary to ensure that remote teams can work efficiently, productively, and collaboratively to achieve their goals. Teams require the best communication tools that will enable them to stay in touch with others, and I hope this definitive guide has provided helpful insights into some of the best tools available in the market.
About the author
Karim Bel Hadj
As his name suggests, Karim is the founder of Creme de la Karim. He fell in love with remote working since he left his first corporate job and never looked back! And because something you love is almost always better shared, he is on a mission to help all remote workers and digital nomads make the most of this amazing lifestyle. You can reach out to him via Twitter @cremedelakarim