You cannot help but agree that communication is the backbone of any business. In an era of the remote working scenario where the teammates are far apart, communication needs to be given more attention than before.
Apart from the teams working remotely, the businesses that are back in the office space also rely on chat apps for better communication owing to the benefits and features they offer. That is where workplace chat apps come into the scene. These chat apps simplify communication and help introduce a healthy work culture among team members.
What is Workplace Chat Software? 💻
Workplace chat apps are communication tools that have taken over email, which was once the primary mode of workspace communication. These apps go beyond email capabilities and let the team members engage with each other, discuss work and come up with unique ideas to get things done. Workplace communication tools offer many features such as private chats, group conversations, voice, and video calls apart from the other productivity tools.
Let us take a look at the primary benefits of using chat software for your business:
One of the most important benefits that you will get after employing chat software is flawless communication amongst the team members despite being present at different locations. It lets them exchange messages, discuss ideas, attend video calls while being far apart.
Workplace communication tools assist the team in organizing the work and improving workflow in the organization. Employees can set up daily meetings to plan out their work, assign tasks and get feedback instantly.
Besides improving workflow and facilitating communication, the chat software also encourages the employees to engage in team activities, thereby improving productivity.
Being unaware of what is happening and forgetting the tasks that need to be done is a common office scenario but not anymore with chat apps. Team communication platforms keep everything organized, keeping you aware of what is happening and the tasks you need to complete.
Saves Time ⏳
It is essential to track time when you collaborate with other team members to finish a task. Workplace communication apps save the time you would have to spend on leaving your desk and going to the person for discussing things. Thus, efforts and resources are cut down to reduce insignificant expenses.
Build Team Relationships 👨💻
A healthy work relationship must prevail amongst the employees who work together as a team. Using communication software to collaborate on projects and tasks helps strengthen relationships and generate new ideas.
In this guide, we have put down the best workspace chat software available that can up the communication game of your business. What’s interesting about these communication platforms is that they offer free plans for small team sizes.
Workplace Chat is a communication platform for businesses that helps connect the team members working remotely in a simple yet, secure manner. Owned by Meta, it includes features like Chat, Video Calling, Posts, News Feed, and Groups that help broadcast all the business-related information.
Workplace Chat can easily integrate with the business tools of your organizations to chalk out a secure and productive way of sharing knowledge and building work communities. This chat software lets your team interact by giving real-time suggestions via comments, reactions, and instant messages. It becomes pretty easy to strengthen the work culture and connect with teammates from any part of the world.
Workplace by Meta allows you to form collaborative spaces known as groups. These groups help manage projects and assign tasks to teammates, give feedback, share updates, mention colleagues and share files securely without any storage limits. You can set these groups as private, public, or secret and, you can even create groups with members from multiple companies. The group admins can restrict access of the team members to ensure only the authorized people can access it.
Workplace Chat app can integrate with more than 50 business tools, the major ones being Office 365, Google Workspace, and ServiceNow. It is also possible to design custom integrations to connect the workplace chat with any other tool of your company. The company ensures that the sensitive information of the users remains confidential.
The key features of Workplace Chat from Meta are as follows:
- Live Video and Voice calls features act as a communication medium to broadcast your company’s events and information to boost the team’s spirit.
- Knowledge library comes in handy to create, store and share business documents in the chat app. This way, all the information is more organized and assessable on your PC and smartphones.
- Workplace groups help successfully communicate and collaborate with the team to grow the work culture.
- ML-based News Feed displays personalized, relevant, and prioritized information to help you stay focused and productive.
Workplace by Meta is platform-independent and, you can use it on desktop and mobile devices to stay informed from anywhere. The pricing of Workplace chat starts at USD 4.00 per month; you also get a 30 days trial period to test the software before purchasing it.
Chatwork provides teams with a new, streamlined way to work. There are chat rooms for each team project so, the conversations about each project stay organized in their separate rooms. All the team members can see progress, details, and decisions and participate in real-time.
Chatwork offers the following features to let the team members sync the work and bond with each other:
- My Chat section lets you note down important information
- Directly chat with any one of the team members
- Create a separate group for each project in the group chat room
- Search for old messages using keywords
- Create and assign tasks to your teammates so that everyone is aware of their responsibilities
- Track your assignment’s progress regarding the due date
- Mark the task as completed and, it will be automatically notified to the manager
- Share files of different formats such as Word, Excel, and Images.
- Preview the uploaded files in the browser before uploading them.
- Download files shared to you by your peers
- Set up a meeting video call with the group members
- Chat with the group members face to face
- Easily share your screen with other attendees of the video call
- Share images in the video calls via the smartphones
- Invite teammates to join your organization’s Chatwork.
- Accept or decline the joining requests.
- Enter Chatwork ID or Email to search for teammates
- Allow your browser to notify you about activity on Chatwork
- Enable or disable notification sounds
- Configure Chatwork to notify you when you receive emails in the inbox
- Add new members to the group (The user limit depends on the subscription)
- Categorize and review members
- Update user details such as password
- Add avatar or your image as the profile picture
- Add the cover photo that appears on the profile
Customize your Chatwork ID
- Add your contact details such as email address and phone number.
A free version of Chatwork is available but with limited features. If your company wants to upgrade to the premium version, it will cost USD 5 per user per month billed yearly.
Teams is a popular collaborative workspace by Microsoft within the Office 365 work suite. Organizations hail Microsoft Teams for its pivotal role in facilitating workplace conversations, collaboration amongst team members, video chatting, and sharing documents to improve the employee’s communication and productivity.
While Microsoft Teams is widely known for its video conferencing capabilities, its Group Chat segment does not fall much behind. They have successfully replaced email as the medium of conversation, especially for those team members that work remotely.
Apart from interacting with each other, Microsoft Teams Group Chat also allows you to integrate with other business apps. In short, the employees feel as if they are working in the office virtually. Teams Group Chat is available as a part of the core Microsoft Teams desktop client, web client, and mobile application. You can access Microsoft Teams from any operating system, iOS, macOS, Windows, or Android. Moreover, Microsoft Teams is also available as a browser extension that can be added to your preferred browser.
Teams Group Chat is feature-rich and contains all the tools present in any business chat app. Be it emojis, GIFs, rich-text editing, mentions, thread replies, and file sharing. Users can effortlessly switch from instant messaging to video calls by clicking an icon. Besides, you can mute the discussions to stop receiving notifications and even pin the important conversations.
Other features are as follows:
- Receive notifications when someone tags or notifies you.
- Share files with the team members and access files sent by them.
- The Message Search feature allows you to search for messages by typing the keywords.
- Apart from instant messaging, you can set up the audio call to communicate with team members.
- Microsoft Teams can integrate with other business-related tools used in your company.
- Allows users to download the tool as an add-on to subscriptions or specific services such as Outlook 365.
As mentioned, Microsoft Teams is available as a part of Office Suite 365. The free version Teams offers limited storage space and poses other restrictions. On the other hand, the Microsoft Teams Essentials provides several add-ons and costs USD 4.00 for every user per month. Microsoft 365 Business Basic starts at $5.00 per user per month.
Google Chat is a business communication software that is an integral part of Google Workspace. It provides the team members of businesses and organizations a means to collaborate and communicate on projects and tasks. Google Chat acts like a centralized hub where team members and managers can create virtual chat rooms, configure chat threads, monitor task progress, and take follow-ups.
Every chat room has separate options for chatting, file sharing, and task assignment and completion. That makes it possible to easily access the files shared by you and your teammates within the room. Besides, you can also assign the task to others and view the tasks assigned to you in the room. Apart from these, you get several buttons for doing different tasks like uploading attachments, inserting emojis and animated GIFs, and even setting up a video call using Google Meet.
Google Chat supports both direct messages and group conversations; employees can enable notifications to get notified when their colleagues share files, links, and comments on Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides. Businesses can effortlessly sync the messaging app with Google Calendar making it easy to schedule meetings depending on the availability of the team members. Google Chat complies with GDPR, HIPAA, ISO, and AICPA regulations and policies and lets you set up the sign-on method or two-factor authentication to strengthen the security.
Google Chat has API support, due to which it integrates with the GSuite applications and other third-party tools and applications. The chat platform also supports the widely demanded inbox search feature that allows the users to quickly search for old messages and shared files in the conversations.
Google Chat is platform-independent and can be accessed on Windows, Mac, Android smartphones, and iPhones via the web client and the standalone application. To access Google Chat, you need to have a Google Workspace account.
A workspace account is already present for users having a Gmail account. Google chat is part of Google Workspace and, you can use Google Chat from the Google Workspace free account. However, you can upgrade to the premium version of Google Workspace that costs USD 6 per person per month to access additional features.
Slack is a popular messaging and workspace communication app that aids companies improve communication and collaboration among team members and gives them access to business tools regardless of their current location and working mode. It supports channels that group the team members based on the project, department, office location, and any other thing. This way, users can easily stay aware of things that interest them.
Everyone can access the public channels so that all the teams are aware of what the other team is working on. For instance, new joiners can quickly get on the track instead of waiting for someone to guide them from scratch.
Slack also supports open discussions, private groups, direct messaging, message archiving, file sharing, and in-depth contextual searches. It can sync with other tools and services used by the company to help centralize the notifications, files, and other data in one place. Thus, it eliminates the need to constantly switch from tabs to dashboards, remember login credentials for different platforms, and juggle the work tools.
Slack is designed to integrate with tools like MailChimp, Dropbox, and Google Drive that assist you in working smartly and making effective decisions. It automatically indexes and archives everything, helping the company build an extensive knowledge base without any effort. Apart from these features that are common to all workplace messaging platforms, what makes Slack different is its three unique features:
- Schedule Send: Slack allows you to schedule your messages to send them at a fixed time in the future instead of sending them at the moment.
- Slack Huddles: This feature enables any team member to quickly invite others who are a part of a channel or group to join an audio or video call. It comes in handy when you want to organize a quick verbal communication.
- Slack Connect DMs: Slack Connect DMs is only a part of premium accounts and, it lets you invite other users who aren’t a part of the group to converse with you directly.
The free version lets you access only the basic features. The pro version, costing USD 2.67 per user, provides powerful features for small teams and, the business+ version costs USD 5 per user and helps scale your business. Slack also has an Enterprise version suitable for big companies that demand more powerful features.
Mattermost is a powerful all-in-one communication solution that lets the developers collaborate without compromising security. It includes three key platforms:
- Channels – It helps your team communicate and stay connected on a one-to-one basis and via messaging in the group.
- Playbooks – It enables the businesses to assemble and set up processes and achieve expected outcomes
- Boards – Mattermost includes Kanban Boards structures that facilitate project and task management to help achieve the key milestones.
The Channel-based collaboration prospect of Mattermost helps connect your business’s employees, processes, and all your business’s tools in one place. This unique and open-source workspace messaging app is platform-independent and is available as a browser-based app, desktop client, and mobile app.
Mattermost’s channel platform includes extensive features, such as compliance reporting, chat archiving, and message search. Besides these, Mattermost also incorporates other features like private/group chats, file and link sharing, custom emojis, multiple languages support, slash commands, searchable message history, webhooks, and more.
All these features help Mattermost emerge as a significant workplace messaging platform for businesses to carry out seamless communications amongst the team members without any pitfalls and confusion.
Apart from these features, the Enterprise edition of this communication platform provides several add-ons like Single Sign On (SSO), Advanced Permissions and Multifactor Authentication (MFA), performance monitoring features, compliance reports, custom branding, and enterprise search capabilities.
Other highlights of this production communication channel are as follows:
- Matttermost fulfills all the security requirements of the organizations, providing maximum control possible over the company’s sensitive data.
- It is highly extensible and is compatible with a wide range of third-party apps and integrations.
- Supports rich text formatting and code syntax highlighting to facilitate easy communication amongst developers
- Integrated voice/video conferencing lets you instantly switch to face-to-face connections mode at a button click.
The Starter version of Mattermost is available free of cost and is suited for small teams requiring limited features. If you need some additional features, you can avail of the professional version costing USD 10 per user per month. If you want to use the Enterprise edition, you will have to request a quote.
Mattermost is also available as a self-hosted solution means you can deploy on your favorite cloud server or get one ready on Kamatera for as low as $6 per month.
We hope you got to know about the best chat software that can improve communication and collaboration amongst the team members of your company, especially the ones working remotely. Regardless of the chat software you use, workplace collaboration among team members will surely improve in a remote working environment.