We’ve said before that email is far from obsolete, and it’s true that it remains the most professional way to communicate with potential clients and existing customers in the digital workplace. However, in-house communication doesn’t necessarily require the same degree of professionalism, and emails can easily get overlooked or deprioritized in a crowded inbox.
In fact, one article found that up to 80% of emails sent are a waste of company time. When employees send useless emails that creates a need for more useless emails containing replies. That’s where these tools come in.
Designed for professionals, Slack is a quick and casual communication application for teams. Channels are customized to include any group of people, whether you’re working with a small project or a company-wide announcement. It does a good job of sending attachments, and it even has Google Drive compatibility built in.
Video and audio calling were added in a recent update, enhancing this great communication application. Companies that need to keep record of information may not want to use Slack because it has a feed-based layout, although content is searchable.
It also shows when people are on or offline,which means you’ll always know if and when they’re available.
Great for: Quick and casual conversation and the ability to easily send files.
Pricing: Free to $12.50/month per user. Plus version includes more storage, better support, and more integrations.
Similar to Slack, Hipchat allows users to quickly chat no matter their location, and Like OwnCloud, your company’s server can store this application. The basic package is free, but there’s also an option to pay per user for things like video chat, screen sharing, and unlimited storage.
Great for: Secure quick chat.
Pricing: Free to $2/month per user. Plus version includes group chat, video group chat, screen sharing, and unlimited storage.
Cisco WebEx operates as a sort of “virtual meeting room” that can employees can access in a multitude of ways. Users can call in with mobile phones, log in on their computers, or even join a group video chat. Depending on the tier of service you choose, you can also gain access to additional features like webinars and training tools which allow you to interact with users on multiple levels.
Great for: Hosting meetings or training sessions for a remote audience.
Pricing: $19-$49/month if purchased annually. The number of people allowed in meetings determines the price.