The 8 best tools to improve communication within your team
“Teamwork makes the dream work!”
Everyone has heard or used this sunny phrase at least once, whether they’d like to admit it or not – and for good reason; a well-connected team is a more collaborative, more engaged, and more productive team.
When employees keep open lines of communication with one another, they are more likely to remain emotionally healthy, which has a hugely beneficial impact on their overall wellbeing. Employees that work effectively together, too, are more likely to share and learn new knowledge and skills from one another – and there’s no denying, either, that good communication leads to better decision-making and forward planning.
The benefits of good communication are all too clear to see – and the negatives of poor communication, too, have been widely documented. Indeed, according to David Grossman in “The Cost of Poor Communications,” a survey of 400 companies with 100,000 employees each found that poor communication between employees cost each company $62.4 million (approximately 58,086,912 euros) annually on average.
Basically, communication is hugely important to the successful running of any company – perhaps even more so now so many of us are working in remote or hybrid models.
But how best to enhance communication within a team that works remotely? Thankfully, there are many brilliant tools in place that will do the job for you — we selected the best ones to get you started.
Perhaps the best-known online communication tool, Slack basically does it all. From file sharing to video calls, it also allows employees to communicate via online messages either individually, in specific groups, or as an entire company. Employees can also set up designated chats for specific topics, which means you can keep your virtual watercooler chat separate from your big campaign planning session.
Better still? Slack works and syncs across all platforms, which means you’ll have access to all the same files and up-to-date information whether you log in via your smartphone, laptop or tablet – making it easier than ever to work on the go.
Zoom made a name for itself in 2020 as the ultimate video messaging tool, allowing friends, family and colleagues to connect remotely during the multiple pandemic-induced lockdowns.
Not only is it ideal for hosting remote meetings, one-to-ones, conferences, presentations and brainstorming sessions; it’s also perfectly set up for virtual team-building activities, too – whether that looks like a meditation class, a quiz, a cooking lesson, or an icebreaker activity.
It’s also worth noting that Zoom integrates with a number of online team management tools, ensuring all involved participants have the information they need to collaborate effectively throughout their meetings.
Microsoft Teams is fast becoming the easiest way to improve communication within a remote team, and for good reason.
This clever tool allows teams to work on Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files directly within the app – which means that they can update documents and files together in real-time, from anywhere in the world.
Microsoft Teams also boasts an online video meeting function, too, which means you can use it to host meetings, conference calls and presentations, – not to mention host interviews and team-building activities, too.
Throw in the fact you can connect it to the likes of Trello and Asana, and you have a brilliant tool for communication with your remote team.
Trello is a visual work management tool that encourages collaboration and communication within teams. How? By utilising lists, scheduling, tags and online sticky notes to keep track of:
1) what’s being worked on
2) who is working on what
3) what progress has been made
Essentially, it’s like an online whiteboard – one which everyone has real-time access to, no matter where they are in the world.
Much like Trello, Asana utilises lists and boards to let you know who is doing what, and by when. This clever team communication tool also features an internal inbox, which means that you can communicate with others – be it a client or team member – about a task, and keep all of your comments in one place; no more trawling through emails to find feedback!
Even better? You can sync Asana with a number of other platforms, including your Google, Outlook or iCal calendar. This means that you can keep a track of your deadlines and never lose track of the tasks that you need to complete
Notion has been described as an “all-in-one workspace” – one which helps teams to communicate, but also to collaborate in a smarter fashion.
Thanks to its customisable design, you can use Notion in a way that works best for you. This might mean that you use it to schedule tasks, manage files, save documents, set reminders, keep agendas, organise your work – as well as take notes, write and plan, and collaborate!
This online collaborative whiteboard platform promises to bring teams together, anytime, anywhere. All you have to do is open it up during a meeting and you will be able to brainstorm ideas, take notes, and visualize concepts… together.
It can also sync up with the likes of Google Drive, Slack, Asana, Trello, and SurveyMonkey, making it easier than ever to communicate with your team effectively.
Another excellent issue tracker/project management tool, Linear has been designed with high-performance teams in mind. In fact, its speedy design helps users to streamline software projects, sprints, tasks, and bug tracking – and it does so with a minimalist approach, which means users can organize their workflows with clear priorities and less clutter, too.
There are a lot of great tools out there, you just have to find the ones that better suit your team’s needs.