More Americans are working remotely. According to a Gallup survey released last year, 43% of employees in the U.S said they spent time working from remote locations. The practice of remote work is beneficial to both employee and employer, associated with boosting productivity, well-being and staff loyalty. However, remote work also presents challenges to businesses, including how to communicate with teams.
Free Remote Team Communication Tools
Luckily there are some easy to use and free communication options for remote teams. If you’re determined to improve the communication of your remote teams this year without adding cost, take a look at the following:
Skype is one of the most well-known and established methods of telecommunication available. This popular software product provides voice and video calls between multiple devices, including PCs, mobile phones, tablets, consoles and even smartwatches.
Remote teams simply need to download the Skype app for free onto any device and can then connect with team members from anywhere.
As well as getting free voice and video calls, businesses can use Skype for Instant Messaging. Use it to conduct virtual meetings, too.
Google Hangouts is a free communication platform, which provides instant messages, voice and video calls, SMS and VOIP features. With just one tap, team members can turn a conversation into a free video call and chat with colleagues from remote situations like they were in the same room.
With Google Hangouts, group calls can be up to ten people, perfect for meetings and catch-ups with small teams.
Google Hangouts can be accessed quickly and easily by opening Hangouts in Gmail or GSuite mail — really convenient for users of those mail services.
Zoho offers a streamlined chat app for teams called Cliq. Zoho Cliq allows text chat, and it also offers audio and video chat with other Cliq users. You can hold video calls with up to 100 users. You can share files, too.
Zoho Cliq offers a forever free plan, and what’s nice about it is that it has few limitations compared with other free plans. You can have an unlimited number of users on your plan.
While other services substantially limit the number of video callers in a free version, 100 users is a pretty large group size for free. And you can also mute other users if you have a large group, so everyone isn’t speaking at once.
What started as an internal tool used by their own company, the cloud-based set of team communication and collaboration tools and services provided by Slack have become a popular options for conducting business remotely.
Slack includes chat, but it provide a kind of virtual shared workspace. All your communications, files and information can accessed in one place, and you can organize it in channels or topics. It’s part messaging, part shared files, part project management.
Slack’s free version provides businesses with unlimited private and public channels, up to 10,000 searchable messages, and the ability to connect up to ten apps.
Zoom is a software-based collaboration and communication tool for holding conferences and meetings online. Zoom can be synced onto multiple devices, meaning users can communicate and collaborate from different operating systems, including Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
Teams can sign up for Zoom’s free basic plan. The basic plan includes unlimited one-to-one meetings, hosting for up to 100 participants, an unlimited number of meetings, and a 40-minute limit on group meetings. There are also video conferencing features and web conference features, along with screen sharing.
Make communicating and collaborating with your remote team members more efficient and productive in 2018 with the help of these simple-to-use and free communication tools.
Photo via Shutterstock
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