The Best Chat Tools for Boosting Team Collaboration
With the growing number of remote workers today, the demand for chat tools and other collaboration apps has skyrocketed.
While having your team members working from different places can make it difficult to work closely together…These days being in the office can be just as problematic.
Covid restrictions have transformed the office workspace. Between face masks and staying 6ft apart, it’s not surprising that most teams are in need of a collaboration boost right now.
Since the start of the pandemic, businesses have been looking for beneficial apps for teams who are working both in-office and remotely.
So, What is a Chat Tool?
Chat tools are apps that allow teams to send messages, and share data like videos, images, and hyperlinks. Some more sophisticated apps also allow for screen sharing and task management.
Here’s a rundown of the best business chat tools for boosting collaboration:
Key Features: Slack is one of the most popular business chat tools at the moment. It’s user-friendly and allows you to create one-on-one as well as group
Slack channels. Slack is a comprehensive chat tool that allows you to organize your team You can also easily share files for quick collaboration.
Pros: You can create unlimited channels. Slack also boasts several integrations with project management and video conferencing apps.
Cons: According to reports by various users, Slack is clumsy for large projects for a few reasons including:
- You’re unable to see messages after 30 days.
- Notifications only go out when you’re mentioned in a group chat, instead of when there’s a new message.
- It doesn’t offer any actual project management tools only APIs to 3rd party platforms.
Pricing: Slack’s pricing plan includes a free, $6.67 USD/mo, or $12.50 USD/mo.
WhatsApp Business Chat Tool
Key Features: WhatsApp has gained global recognition for transforming international communication. You can send virtually any kind of data through the app, and it’s easy to use…Even for those who aren’t tech-savvy.
Pros: It’s one of the most affordable ways to communicate with people around the world. In places like Latin American, WhatsApp has essentially replaced texting and calling. It’s easy to add/remove contacts, create groups, and share data.
Cons: While WhatsApp allows you to stay connected with loved ones from all across the globe, it’s not a favorite for work-related needs.
Some users have reported problems such as:
- You’re unable to add important information to your contacts including their email, website, or address.
- Users are only allowed one active business account, which is not ideal for anyone with multiple businesses.
***WhatsApp is also owned by Facebook and Facebook tracks and keeps records of confidential information. Many users see this as a security issue.
Pricing: WhatsApp is FREE to download.
Skype For Business Chat Tool
Key Features: Skype For Business is great for small businesses who just need basic chat and light screen sharing.
Pros: Skype allows workers to update their status so that team members can work together more efficiently.
Users can choose from multiple status choices, including:
- Be right back
- In a meeting
- In a call
- Do not disturb
- In a conference call
- Out of office
This is also an easy way for managers to monitor and track the status of all their employees.
Cons: Skype is a straightforward communication tool, but it hasn’t kept up with the data sharing capabilities or speed of newer apps.
Many users have experienced:
- Lagging during screen sharing
- Issues with the calling feature
- Out of sync with internal email
- Connection issues
- File sharing issues
Pricing: Skype For Business offers two plans: Online Chat Plan 1, which costs $2/user per month (with a yearly contract) and covers only the basics. Online Chat Plan 2 offers significantly more at $5.50/month and includes high definition video, meeting recording, and the ability to join a meeting from a web browser.
Zellim Productivity Suite
Key Features: Zellim’s chat app allows users to set up numerous channels AND includes an exclusive feature called Voice Channels.
Voice channels open up a live audio stream where colleagues and teams can share screens and work their way through projects. It’s as close to working side-by-side as you can get right now. Zellim has set itself apart by adding Voice Channels to their chat platform.
Pros: Zellim’s seamless integration of 5+ business productivity & communication tools makes collaboration easier than most chat tools. Since Zellim has combined more than 5 business apps in one place, the app functions as an alternative to several other business apps like Slack, Zoom, Calendly, Monday or Click-up, and Discord.
Additionally, there’s no need to switch between your chat tool and your project management, video conferencing, or appointment calendar apps while working. Zellim becomes your one-stop, collaborative workspace.
In addition to Voice Channels and the other integrated productivity & communication tools, another distinct advantage of using Zellim’s chat tool is the option to create multiple profiles. You can keep your personal profile and your business profile(s) separate yet still integrated into one platform. With Zellim you can go completely offline from your work, but still enjoy the benefits of the app to stay connected to your loved ones and friends.
Cons: Zellim is one of the newest business apps to hit the market. So, right now there’s not enough user feedback to pull from.
Pricing: Zellim’s productivity suite offers pricing plans for $14.99, and $24.99. Zellim also gives you a FREE 30-day trial that gives you full access to all of the tools, including their exclusive voice channels.
These days, chat tools are more than just a way to stay connected and improve team collaboration, they’re the new office. But not just for remote teams, anyone who’s looking to collaborate in-office or not.
While chat tools are not all created equal. Hopefully, this list gives you insight into some of the best chat tools available.
Still not sure?
Luckily, most chat tools offer some type of free trial so you can give it a test drive and find the right fit for your team