In the onslaught of the COVID-19 outbreak, chat apps have been one of the saving grace for people to stay connected to one another. The pandemic has indeed made a significant toll not just for every individual, but also for all industries around the world.
As countries try to manage the continuous spread of the virus by locking every nation’s borders, businesses also have to deal with the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way we work
In response to the lockdown measures, businesses of all shapes and sizes have been forced to take their daily operations remote. Not to mention, these organizations also have to combat the economic effects brought about by the pandemic.
While it is still quite uncertain as to when this global crisis will end, organizations remain in a remote work setup to mitigate the spread of the virus. Even with the vaccine rollouts, social restrictions are still being implemented as the entire global population hasn’t had their own jabs yet.
Luckily, we live in an era where technological innovations make nearly everything possible. With the help of the present day’s tech breakthroughs, companies are able to effectively adapt to the drastic shift to their business landscape.
Through the various tools and software that organizations utilize for a successful work-from-home setup, more and more businesses have also been recognizing the great perks of having to work remotely.
In fact, there are companies that are thinking about fully embracing the remote work setup, even in the post COVID-19 stages. While other countries are starting to slowly ease out of their lockdown conditions, other organizations are also opting to adopt a hybrid work setup.
A lot of business organizations have come to a conclusion that working remotely is the future. For instance, Coinbase is a cryptocurrency company that has been recorded to be the first “remote-first” company, to enable most staff to work remotely.
Dropbox is another multinational corporation that will be allowing employees to permanently work from home. According to the firm, all its physical office space will be used as Dropbox Studios wherein employees have the option to go in for work.
How chat apps are revolutionizing the remote work setup
Without modern technology, working from home during these trying times will not be possible. Staying connected and communicating within the entire team is perhaps one of the biggest challenges in a remote workforce.
Through different chat applications, organizations are able to have a seamless conversation between individual remote team members. More so, these chat apps have become the primary communication tool for the remote workforce since everyone started isolating.
Chat apps also enable remote workers to productively brainstorm ideas and keep track with individual tasks or projects all throughout each working day
Top 12 messaging apps for your remote team
- Hangouts Chat
- Troop Messenger
- Facebook Workplace
Messaging applications that companies make use of these days are not just solely for communication purposes anymore.
Below we have listed down twelve powerful chat apps to help firms stay well connected to each members, as well as work collaboratively within the remote workforce:
Connecteam is considered as an all-in-one employee app. Users are given access to group or private chats, immediate updates, employee directory, social posts and more.
As for its chat feature, remote workers can create chats according to their locations, projects, or departments. They also have the option to start a private dialogue discussion via browsing through their work contacts.
The app also has an HR suggestion box and survey features to help business leaders collect feedback and suggestions regularly.
Connecteam supports IOS, Android and Web platforms. Its Basic plan starts from $29, Advanced plan $59 and Expert plan with $119 each month.
Rocket.Chat is an open source communication tool that was launched in 2015 for remote teams. Employees can share files, communicate in real-time or perform audio and video call conferencing through the app.
This messaging app supports Android, IOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms. The app also has a Freemium plan, Pro $3 monthly and Enterprise (varied price).
Slack is one of the most utilized chat applications that a lot of businesses make use of. One of its features is automatic syncing of files from different devices. Further, the app also has file-sharing and it integrates with Instant Messaging (IM) app.
This chat app also has a drag-and-drop feature for PDF files, images, videos and it allows over 1,500 other applications to be integrated into it. Its support platforms are IOS, Android, macOS, Linux, Windows and web. Slack also has 3 plans – Freemium, Standard ($6.67 per user/monthly) and Plus ($12.5 per user/monthly).
Hangouts is a messaging app that is created by Google. Its unique features include HD group conferencing and voice calls, screen sharing, custom admin control options and it also supports several computing devices.
Hangouts Chat can work on IOS, Android, mascOS and web platforms. Its Basic plan starts at $5 per user, Business $10 per user, and Enterprise $25 per user monthly.
Proofhub is a communication software for an entire remote team or even clients. This chat app has individual chat and grouchat features to help organizations work collaboratively whenever and wherever they want. Users can also “@mention” a team member to every discussion.
It supports IOS, Android, Windows and web platforms. It has two offered plans – Essential ($45 monthly) and Ultimate ($89 monthly).
Chanty enables chat, audio calls, video and screen sharing across remote staff. Users can also turn messages into individual tasks, and it also has a light project management feature. This chat app can also be integrated into other management apps like Trello, Google Drive and Dropbox
This chat application tool works in IOS, Windows, Android, web and macOS platforms. It also offers a Free plan and Business plan with $3 charge per user monthly.
Troop Messenger is not your average chat application. Aside from communicating features, it also has screen sharing, file sharing, file preview, content filtering features and more. It also has custom admin controls with an admin dashboard, self-hosting, and API delivery options.
Its supported platforms are IOS, Linux, Windows, macOS, Android and web. Troop Messenger has a Free plan, Premium ($1 per user/monthly) and Enterprise ($3 per user/monthly).
Brosix is an instant messaging application with several collaborative features. It enables teams to send and receive different types of files, perform audio and video calls, interact in chat rooms, and share individual screens.
Brosix can work in IOS, Linux, macOS, Windows, web, and Android. It has a Startup free trial plan, Business ($4 per user/ monthly) and Premium ($6 per user/monthly).
Facebook Workplace can be utilized by remote workers through instant messaging. Other departments may also create their own private chats to have a more meaningful interaction. This messaging app also has several administrative controls, and API features for bots and custom integrations.
Its supported platforms are IOS, web and Android. Facebook Workplace also has two offered plans – Standard (free) and Premium ($3 per user/monthly).
Flowdock is a chat software with over 35 integrations enabled. The app’s highlighted features are conversation threads, message tags, gifs, custom emojis, and more. Flowdock also lets remote teams invite stakeholders into conversations to have more collaborative discussions.
The app works well on Android, IOS, Windows and macOS platforms. It also offers a Standalone plan ($3 per user/ monthly) and Enterprise plan ($9 per user/monthly).
Aside from being a messaging app, Ryver also helps business leaders manage their remote staff easily and hassle-free. The app includes file-sharing, group messaging, conversation search tab, screen sharing, tags, checklists, and more.
This messaging app supports Windows, IOS, Android and macOS. Its Starter plan is at ($49/monthly), Unlimited ($99/monthly) and Enterprise ($399/monthly).
Glip is a collaboration software application with free messaging features, task management, and group video chat features. It also helps remote working teams to keep their projects on track with its timelines and action items. Users can also add comments to shared files within the remote team.
Glip works in desktop apps, web, Android and IOS platforms. It also provides users with a Free plan and Standard plan ($5 per user/monthly).
Significant perks of utilizing chat apps for remote work collaboration
Aside from increasingly improving remote work employees engagement and communication, these chat apps also provide the following benefits to various companies:
These messaging apps eliminate the challenges of having a clear, seamless, and insightful conversation among employees. As a result, remote teams are able to do their individual tasks right on track and more efficiently.
Improved project management
Being able to communicate effectively with every remote employee helps business leaders to properly manage their staff and track individual job functions. A successful project management can only work if there is coordination between all team members.
As we have mentioned earlier, these chat apps also function as collaborative tools to help teams keep track of their daily tasks. Through these apps, remote workers can prioritize which tasks should be done first and also track improvements of certain projects.
Chat apps enable each remote worker to be accountable for their own job responsibilities. Through these messaging apps, remote staff are able to report and update their managers on the status or progress of their own individual tasks.
Beyond these amazing benefits discussed above, these chat apps help remote teams to strengthen work relationships even if they are not physically working together. These collaborative tools promote a healthy working environment that will result in business growth and development.