There’s a good chance if you’re reading this it’s because your organization is one of the many that has decided to embrace remote work. And if you’ve worked remotely for any time at all, you know that having the right tools makes all the difference when it comes to virtually collaborating with your co-workers.
If communicating with your co-workers feels harder than it should be or deadlines are slipping through the cracks, it might be time to reconsider your current remote work software. We’re here to help with this list of the top 10 tools for remote teams.
10 tools that help remote teams communicate and collaborate effectively
The products listed below are the 10 highest-ranking remote work software in terms of customer satisfaction in our April 2020 Software Advice FrontRunners. Let’s see what makes these solutions unique and what users think of them. Products are listed in alphabetical order.
Brosix is a collaboration tool that helps businesses of all sizes connect and work together from anywhere. Brosix’s bread and butter is its communication functionalities, which help organizations communicate between departments via messaging, as well as share announcements through broadcasting. Brosix also includes functions to help remote team collaboration go smoothly, such as file sharing, data import and export, and group chats.
Brosix’s key features include:
- Audio/video conferencing
- Broadcast messaging
Pricing: Brosix offers a free version that allows you to create your own private team network and invite up to three users. The first paid plan starts at just $4 per month and includes unlimited team members and audio/video conferencing.
CloudTalk is a contact center management solution mostly used by small businesses that has your call-related needs covered. This system includes functionality to support inbound and outbound calls, retrieve interaction history from various sources, and provide personalized support to clients. In addition to acting as a phone solution, CloudTalk works like a database, storing information on clients and previous interactions, which make it a valuable tool for a distributed team.
CloudTalk’s key features include:
- Call queuing
- Call recording
- Automated call distribution (ACD)
- Interactive voice response (IVR) menu
- Call notes
Pricing: CloudTalk’s pricing starts at $20 per month and includes unlimited inbound and intracompany calls, as well as click-to-call (a function that allows you to dial any number on the web with a single click), automated call distribution, and international numbers.
View interaction history and details on a caller’s profile in CloudTalk (Source)
Flock is a communication and collaboration platform suitable for businesses of all sizes. Flock’s primary offerings include team chat, virtual meeting, and file sharing functionalities. The platform also includes a handful of features that are typical of a project management tool, such as shared reminders, team to-do lists, and process automation. Flock helps keep teams aligned on project progress, which is particularly helpful for remote team collaboration.
Flock’s key features include:
- Chat/instant messaging
- Task scheduling
- Productivity reporting
- Company directory
Pricing: Flock’s free version is available for teams with fewer than 20 employees, and includes unlimited one-on-one and group messaging, 10 public channels, and one-on-one video calls. The first paid tier, Flock Pro, costs $4.50 per user, per month and works best for teams with 20 to 100 employees. This tier adds group video calls, unlimited channels, and 24/7 support.
Chat with your team or one-on-one with Flock (Source)
4. Google Drive
Google Drive is a cloud-based storage solution for organizations of any size. Storing your files on Google Drive allows you (or your team) to access them from anywhere via laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Remote teams can use Google Drive to collaborate in real time on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, and you can rest easy knowing your files are protected with extra measures like data-loss prevention and automatic backups.
Google Drive’s key features include:
- Document storage
- File access from anywhere
- Permission management
- Version management
Pricing: Google Drive is available with any Google account, and 15GB of cloud storage is provided for free. If you need more storage or want access to additional features, Google One paid plans start at $1.99 per month and include 100GB of storage, plus access to Google experts.
5. Live Agent
Live Agent is a help desk solution designed for small to midsize ecommerce businesses. LiveAgent helps you field incoming questions or support tickets, as well as engage with potential customers. You can respond to customers via chat, call, email, and social media messages from one centralized dashboard. You can also use LiveAgent to build resources for customers to access outside of support hours, such as an FAQ page, community forums, and how-to articles. Remote support teams can use LiveAgent to direct incoming requests, track response time, and access interaction history.
Live Agent’s key features include:
- Ticketing system
- Universal inbox
- Time tracking
- Live chat
- Time and event-based automation rules
Pricing: A free version of LiveAgent is available and includes one support email address, one phone number, and access to your past seven days of call history. LiveAgent’s lowest paid plan starts at $15 per month and adds unlimited ticket documentation, as well as an unlimited number of support email addresses.
A chat log in LiveAgent shows live conversations (Source)
As you might have guessed from the name, LiveWebinar is webinar software used by businesses of all sizes. With LiveWebinar, you can invite participants to your presentation through a shareable link, assign roles to team members, and host smaller breakout rooms within your live session. LiveWebinar allows remote teams to replicate the feel of attending an event and deliver presentations to their team or external stakeholders no matter where they’re located.
LiveWebinar’s key features include:
- Custom branding
- Live video streaming
- Interactive whiteboard
Pricing: LiveWebinar offers a free version that can host a webinar with up to five participants. Their first paid level starts at $11.99 per month and lets you host webinars with up to 100 participants.
Hosts can use LiveWebinar’s whiteboard feature to illustrate ideas and take notes (Source)
LoopUp is a video conferencing and communication tool made for midsize to large businesses. LoopUp’s video conferencing function lets you connect with internal and external stakeholders, add late joiners, mute background noise, and include additional details on participant profiles (such as their LinkedIn profile or job title). LoopUp has a number of other features that assist with remote collaboration, including real-time alerts, one-click screen-sharing, and breakout rooms.
LoopUp’s key features include:
- Video conferencing
- Attendee management
- Presentation streaming
- Contact database
Pricing: LoopUp offers a free version that allows for an unlimited amount of video meetings with up to 10 participants. The first paid tier starts at $20 per month with up to 20 participants and includes the ability to invite international stakeholders.
The video conferencing interface in LoopUp with employee profiles shown to the left (Source)
Notion is a collaboration platform that helps businesses of all sizes manage ongoing projects. Notion provides your team with a digital workspace where they can access shared notes, tasks, records, and calendars. With the built-in calendar and Kanban boards, your team can create roadmaps and monitor tasks based on completion status, category, priority, or assigned team members. They can also add comments on tasks and projects in order to start discussions, a particularly helpful feature for remote teams.
Notion’s key features include:
- Database management
- Task progress tracking
- Kanban board
- To-do list review
Pricing: Notion offers a free plan, but it’s designed for personal organization purposes. The lowest available paid plan for professional use starts at $8 per member, per month and includes unlimited file uploads, unlimited guests, advanced permissions, and a collaborative workspace.
A task list in Notion shows the status of outstanding to-dos (Source)
Slack is a team communication and collaboration tool used by organizations of all sizes. With Slack, you can create public and private channels to start conversations with your co-workers.
You can also send direct messages or start a video or audio call with your colleagues. Slack is a popular remote working tool because it helps remote employees stay in close communication with one another.
Slack’s integration capabilities let you import information from other tools or social media into the application, allowing updates to seamlessly blend with ongoing conversations in your channels. Files such as PDFs, images, documents, and spreadsheets can easily be shared via drag and drop.
Slack’s key features include:
- Chat/instant messaging
- Real time notifications
- Audio/video conferencing
Pricing: Slack offers a free version that works best for small teams. The free plan offers access to the 10,000 most recent messages sent between team members and one-on-one voice or video calls. Slack’s paid plans start at $6.67 per month for access to unlimited message history and video calls with up to 15 team members.
Create channels or private message team members with the Slack app (Source)
Zoom is a video conferencing tool designed for organizations of all sizes. Zoom helps you conduct virtual meetings in HD video and audio so communicating with internal or external stakeholders goes smoothly. Zoom’s features include unlimited voice and video conferencing, screen-sharing, messaging, video webinars, virtual workspaces, and polls. Zoom is a great tool for remote teams, because it helps mimic the feeling of sitting down together to collaborate.
Zoom’s key features include:
- Audio/video conferencing
- Chat/instant messaging
- File sharing
- Video recording
Pricing: There is a free version of Zoom (named Zoom Meetings) that offers unlimited one-on-one meetings and group meetings of up to 100 participants for 40-minute sessions. Zoom Pro is the least expensive paid plan at $149.90 per year. Zoom Pro is designed for small teams and allows for meetings up to 30 hours long with a max of 100 participants.
Zoom’s interface where you can launch or join a meeting (Source)
Choose a tool that makes remote working a breeze for your team
There are many factors to consider during the software-selection process, but here a few tips to keep in mind during your search for the right tool:
- Identify the features you most need in remote working software first, as well as what you might want in the future. Then, shortlist the tools that offer all or most of them.
- Choose a tool that is within your budget and offers scalability in terms of licenses or number of users. Also, make sure that there are no hidden or unexpected fees involved in the subscription before making a purchase.
- Many of the products in this list have free versions of their tool available. Use these free versions to test drive software before committing.
- Visit our remote work software directory to find more tools, read reviews from real users, and scroll through our remote work software buyers guide.