Team Communication Tools

10 Best Team Communication Tools to Scale Up Productivity

If you were to survey the most productive teams, you’d find a common ingredient – good communication.

You’ve probably also been part of teams that don’t communicate, including the inefficient workflows, misunderstandings, and disagreements that cripple morale.

By simply better connecting with employees, organizations can increase productivity by 25%.
And there are many ways to connect with your team and engage them. Gathering regular feedback, recognizing individual and team strengths and successes, and even holding fun team-building activities all improve communication and productivity around the office.

Technology also plays a critical role. Team communication tools provide a hub for chat, document sharing and collaboration, task management, and voice and video communication, enhancing how teams communicate and work together.

But with so many different types of communication software, you’re sure to have questions. Which tool is right for your team? What should you look for? What are the benefits?

Below we’ll lay it all out. So without further ado…

Best Communication Tools for Team Productivity

Brosix

Brosix screens

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and Web

As the builders of Brosix, it only makes sense to start with what we know – Brosix is a highly capable, secure, and customizable communication tool for teams.

Brosix is built for teams of all sizes and kinds. Chat instantaneously via one-to-one text chats, tailor chat rooms to meet specific group requirements, and make crystal clear voice and video calls, all over fully encrypted, peer-to-peer channels on a private team network.

Our rich collaboration features and administrative controls allow you to fully customize and manage the team communication experience. Delegate features and tools on a user or team basis, tailor shared chat spaces and contact lists, authorize multiple team admins, and more.

Top Brosix features:

  • Administrative control options
  • End-to-end encrypted communication channels
  • Fully trackable User Activity Logs
  • Searchable chat histories
  • Unlimited size file transfers
  • Virtual whiteboard conferences
  • Screen-sharing with remote desktop control
  • Instant screenshots
  • The ability to broadcast messages to targeted audiences

Pricing: Free team communication and modest admin control with Startup; $4 user/month for Business; $6 user/month for Premium gets you full control and customization of your team network.

The Verdict: Combining robust, real-time communication and collaboration tools, powerful administrative control options, and best-in-class security, Brosix improves the quality and productivity of teamwork while safeguarding data and information. Take it for a spin and see how it can improve your team communication.

Chanty

chanty

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Web

One of the newer team communication apps here, Chanty has made a name for itself by offering an unlimited messaging history and AI-powered tools at startup-friendly prices. Chat one-to-one or in public and private channels. For good measure, Chanty throws in voice and video calls, file sharing, screen-sharing, and a hub to organize tasks and conversations.

Top Chanty features:

  • AI-powered search and suggestions
  • Teambook organizes tasks, messages, links, and files
  • Message and task tracking
  • Automated workflows through Trello, Mailchimp, and Zapier integrations

Pricing: Free for up to 10 members; Paid plans from $3 per user/month.

The Verdict: Customization options are limited and some features and integrations still aren’t available, but Chanty’s up front about that. That said, the free unlimited messaging history is an obvious slight to Slack. Chanty is an up-and-comer worth keeping an eye on.

Slack

Slack

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Web

No doubt the app you’ve probably heard of. While Slack provides the features you need in a team communication tool – instant messaging, voice and video calls, file transfers, and screen-sharing – integrations are its bread and butter and Slack delivers more than a thousand of them.

Top Slack features:

  • 1,500+ integrations
  • Slack bots can remind you of tasks and messages
  • Keyword notifications
  • Customizable sidebar and themes
  • RSS feed capabilities

Pricing: Slack’s free option limits you to 10K messages, 10 integrations, and 5GB shared storage; Standard from $6.67 user/month; Plus from $12.50 user/month

The verdict: More than 12 million users will attest, Slack is a worthy team communication tool. It’s got a hip UX and more integrations than anyone.

But Slack’s price point puts it out of reach for many small to mid-sized businesses and startups. Slack’s powerful integrations also mean that many of its capabilities are a result of other tools and technologies. What’s more, questions have been raised surrounding Slack’s handling of user data, as well as the threat that third-party apps can pose.

Flock

Flock team chat

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and Web

Born in India, now Flock is aiming at Slack. The team communication tool provides one-on-one and group chat, audio and video calls, task management, and around 60 integrations.

Top Flock features:

  • Built-in task management
  • The ability to create auto-generated mailing lists, shared to-do lists, and polls
  • 60+ integrations
  • The ability to invite guests onto the platform

Pricing: $4.50 user/month for screen-sharing, unlimited messaging history, and 10GB storage per user; Enterprise from $8 user/month; A freebie Plan limits you to 10K message history.

The verdict: Flock’s interface isn’t the most user-friendly and there are limited customization options. That said, it’s an affordable option that claims to be faster than Slack.

Ryver

ryver app
Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Web

Ryver is a communication tool for teams that ups the ante by providing task management on the same platform. Communication happens in direct messages, open forums, or private groups – all of which can be turned into tasks and tracked on a Kanban board.

Top Ryver features:

  • Voice and video calls, screen-sharing, and unlimited integrations through Zapier
  • Reminders to follow up on messages
  • Social media, news, and RSS-feed streaming
  • Chat, task management and automated workflows on one platform

Ryver Pricing: Plans from $49 per month for up to twelve users; $99 per month for unlimited users; $199 for enterprises. There’s no freemium plan, just a 14-day free trial.

The Verdict: Ryver bucks the trend by charging a flat rate for unlimited users, team communication, and task management on one platform.

Bear in mind, customization options are few and there’s no free plan. And if your team relies on Zapier integrations, get ready to pay up. At $250 for 50K tasks – Zapier plans aren’t cheap.

Microsoft Teams

Teams by Microsoft

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Web

Part of the Office 365 package, Teams is Microsoft’s communication tool geared toward large enterprises. Aside from the usuals – chat, audio and video calls, and screen-sharing – Teams stands out for its deep integration with the Office 365 range of tools, allowing teams to collaborate on virtually any type of document.

Top Teams features:

  • Office 365 integration
  • Team collaboration on Office documents
  • In-messaging word-style formatting
  • AI-powered functionalities

Pricing: Essentials from $5 user/month; Premium from $12.50 user/month. A limited free tool aims to push you toward a Microsoft subscription.

The Verdict: For collaboration on top of Office 365 products, Teams can’t be beat. Same goes if you’re an Office 365 account holder or just happen to be a fan of Microsoft in general. Just have your patience ready when deploying Teams, as well as your credit card – you’ll need a Microsoft account just to access Teams.

Troop Messenger

Troop Messenger

Available on: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux

Troop’s platform for teams facilitates one-on-one and group communication, as well as audio and video calling and file-sharing but at an affordable price. Enterprise plans get you message-flagging capabilities, burnout chats, data usage analytics, and the option to self-host.

Top Troop features:

  • Conversation flagging
  • Self-destructing burnout chats
  • Unlimited messaging history
  • The ability to invite outsiders to the platform

Pricing: Paid plans start at $1 user/month; Enterprise and self-hosting plans from $5+ user/month.

The Verdict: Troop doesn’t offer a free communication tool, but for just a buck a month who needs it? Troop is great value for the money, but collaboration tools are basically limited to screen-sharing.

Discord

discord

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and Web

Originally a communication app for gamers, Discord has gained fame in the business world for its rich voice capabilities. On Discord, voice communication is always on and the ‘Push to talk’ feature allows you to join a conversation just like a walkie talkie.

Top Discord features:

  • Screen-sharing, video conferencing and file-sharing capabilities
  • Assign roles and permissions to any member of a channel
  • Push-to-talk capabilities
  • All workspaces on one interface

Pricing: Discord’s freemium version offers core functionality; Nitro Plans from $9.99/month for bigger file uploads, higher-quality screen resolution, and animated avatars and emojis.

The Verdict: As a freeware (software that’s available for free) with all your workspaces on one interface, Discord’s a highly usable tool and an attractive option for businesses. Concerns have been raised around security though. As the platform has grown in popularity, cybercriminals have been found lurking on the platform.

For more, explore our Discord deep dive to see how the gaming chat stacks up as a tool for team communication.

Workplace by Facebook

Workplace by Facebook

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Web

No longer just a social media giant, these days Facebook is targeting – you guessed it – Workplaces. Besides direct and group team messaging, the app gets you voice and video calls, monitoring tools for IT teams, admin controls, and some integrations.

For more, here’s our recent Workplace review.

Top Workplace features:

  • Live stream company events and get real-time feedback
  • The ability to invite customers or teams from outside the organization to the platform
  • Unite chat and collaboration with Groups
  • Facebook-familiar team communication, collaboration, culture

Pricing: $4 per user/month for Workplace Advanced; $8 per user/month for Enterprise.

The Verdict: Facebook is banking on a familiar UX with Workplace. That means there’s a newsfeed, personal pages, posts, comments, and likes. There’s something to be said for familiarity and ease of use, especially when trying to get your team on board. But at what cost?

Over the years, Facebook has scraped data from Android users, provided millions of users’ personal data to political consulting firms, and even paid teenagers to try apps which then allowed Facebook to harvest their private data. Hardly a sparkling reputation.

If you’re looking for a user-friendly team communication tool that you can trust, try Brosix. Our platform is easy to use and we pay serious attention to the security of user data and information.

Fleep

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Web, Linux

With Fleep, you can chat with other Fleep users and teams outside your organization. You don’t get collaboration tools, but Fleep does offer task management and 20 or so integrations like Trello, Jira, Google Drive, and others. Voice and video calls take place through Whereby.

Top Fleep features:

  • Unlimited messaging history
  • Send emails through the app
  • Native task management

Pricing: Fleep Basic is the freemium plan for up to 3 group conversations; $6 user/month gets you full control over team communication and conversations.

The Verdict: As team communication tools go, Fleep delivers the core chat capabilities you’d expect. If you’re looking for more in the way of collaboration tools or integrations, you’ll need to look elsewhere. What’s more, there’s no native voice or video calling. That happens through Whereby, a browser-based app that’s limited to 12 participants and a handful of browsers.

Now that you’re in the know, level up your team communication skills with these smart ideas for improving team communication at work.
20 Foolproof Ideas for Improving Team Communication at Work

What to look for in a Team Communication Tool

With so many apps and tools for team communication, how do you choose the right one? Luckily there are some common criteria to look for when you’re trying out new communication software.

Communication Features

Seems obvious. You’d be surprised how many teams are communicating on separate apps for instant messaging and video calls, not to mention the phone and email. Not only is it not productive. It’s not always secure. But you don’t have to choose between one or the other. The best team communication tools provide text-based communication, voice and video on a single platform.

Private Team Network

Open chat networks are great for slinging memes and chatting with friends and family. But team communication should be just that… your team. Some platforms allow outsiders like freelancers or clients to join, and that’s a matter for admins, team leads, or managers to decide. If your team isn’t communicating on a private team network, you’ve ceded control of the chat space and opened your business communication to distractions, misbehavior, security risks, or worse.

Security and Privacy

Apps for team communication don’t always take the same approach to security and privacy. Aside from a fully administrable private team network, there are a few things you should look for.

End-to-end encryption over peer-to-peer channels ensures communications flow between authorized users, bypassing potentially vulnerable cloud databases and avoiding possible host misconduct. Use a strong anti-virus and malware program, but also integrate it into the communication platform. When taken as a whole, these steps better safeguard data and information, ensuring your business communications remain in your hands.

Customization and Control

As you know best, no two teams are alike. So why should the chat space be the same? A communication tool does your team no good if it can’t be tailored to meet individual team or business needs. Choose a platform that lets you establish custom chat spaces, handpick administrators, allocate features on a user or team basis, and manage the space from the contact lists all the way down to individual data security levels.

Collaboration Tools

Take stock of what your team really needs to be productive. Some communication tools are bare-bones, giving you chat capabilities but not much more. Others are loaded with bells, whistles, and extras, but come with a steep learning curve. Both instances can hinder team productivity. In many cases, you can get the job done with file sharing, screen-sharing with remote desktop control, instant screenshots, and virtual whiteboards for creativity.

Low Learning Curve

Low Learning Curve

A good team communication app will probably be used more than any other in your office, so make sure both your techies and non-tech types can find their way around the platform and its features with ease. What’s more, make sure it’s easy to deploy. The last thing you want is your IT team jammed up trying to deploy a tool that everyone ends up avoiding.

Cross-functionality

The number one job of a team communication tool is to keep everyone communicating productively. But that can’t happen if the in-house team operating Windows can’t collaborate with the freelancer running Linux. Whatever communication software or tool you choose, make sure it’s optimized across devices, operating systems, browsers, and mobile and desktop platforms.

[If your team’s facing productivity struggles during the COVID-19 crisis, consider your toolkit. Here’s a list of tech tools to keep your team connected and engaged, as well as some tips to successfully run your business online.]

Benefits of Team Communication Tools

Once you settle on a communication tool, you’ll start realizing some major benefits to team productivity. Below are some of the biggest advantages.

  1. Real-time facilitation – By keeping teams in constant, real-time contact, communication apps facilitate more effective information and knowledge sharing.
  2. Transparency – Instant messaging technology is an easy way to promote openness in the workplace, leveling hierarchies and increasing communication.
  3. Record Keeping and Compliance – Team communication tools enable you to efficiently track all office communications, boosting productivity and ensuring compliance
  4. Camaraderie – An often-overlooked benefit, real-time communication tools provide space for consistently sharing team victories, success stories, or even team-building activities.
  5. Control – Housing team communication on a fully private, unified platform for chat and collaboration ensures teamwork takes place within the confines of a professional environment.

These are just a few of the pros of using a good communication app. Check out the full list of benefits to your team and your business!

The Takeaway

When it comes to choosing the right communication tool for your team, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula.

First, evaluate your unique team needs. Then compare them against the features you need to boost productivity and the benefits you most want to realize. Don’t hesitate to test drive a few different tools. Many offer free communication support during the Coronavirus crisis.

If you’re having trouble making up your mind, give Brosix a look. Guaranteeing communication, collaboration, and control, it’s built to improve how teams communicate.

Nikola Baldikov
Nikola Baldikov

Nikola Baldikov is a Digital Marketing Manager at Brosix, specializing in SAAS marketing, SEO, and outreach strategies. Besides his passion for digital marketing, He is an avid fan of football and I love to dance. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter at @baldikovn