Articles

5 Communication Tools Your Remote Team Needs (That Aren’t Slack or Zoom)

In a remote or hybrid workplace, communication is everything. But effective communication requires the right tools - and Slack alone doesn’t cut it.

Articles

5 Communication Tools Your Remote Team Needs (That Aren’t Slack or Zoom)

In a remote or hybrid workplace, communication is everything. But effective communication requires the right tools - and Slack alone doesn’t cut it.

5 Communication Tools Your Remote Team Needs (That Aren’t Slack or Zoom)

That’s not to say Slack and Zoom aren’t invaluable tools for remote and hybrid teams. At Omnipresent, we use them both every day. But they’re not the be-all and end-all of remote communication.

To collaborate effectively in the new normal of internationally distributed work, you need to curate a suite of purpose-specific tools to modernize and optimize your communication methods. Done well, this will help your teams:

  • Work together seamlessly across locations and time zones (asynchronous collaboration).
  • Increase productivity.
  • Connect and build trust.

The following communication tools have been tried and tested by our own globally distributed organization. They’re ideal for both hybrid and fully remote workplaces, enabling you to make the most of asynchronous working techniques without compromising company culture.

1. Notion

For documenting everything your team needs to know

Notion is a note-taking software used to centralize documents, processes, policies, and company information. In other words, it’s your team’s single source of truth. It enables colleagues to communicate key information efficiently and transparently.

Unlike traditional word processors, Notion allows users to create visually engaging, interlinked pages quickly and easily, using a wealth of pre-made page templates and custom formatting. That means you can build a library of resources organized through simple navigation. Kind of like a company intranet.

It’s particularly useful for asynchronous teams, as it encourages detailed documentation, ensuring critical knowledge is accessible to anyone, at any time. This reduces reliance on real-time information sharing, which isn’t always possible when your colleagues work to different schedules or across time zones.

How Much Does Notion Cost?

Notion has two business plans:

  • Team: $8 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Enterprise: price upon request

Both allow for unlimited team members, but the Enterprise plan includes more advanced features and a dedicated success manager.

Discover what other users think of Notion here.

2. Google Workspace

For hassle-free asynchronous collaboration & feedback

Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) isn’t just one communication tool; it’s many! It includes Gmail, Calendar, Meet, Drive, Docs, Slides, Forms, and more, making it ideal for virtual collaboration.

Google’s email and video conferencing platforms are the most obvious remote work tools in its suite, but what truly elevates your team’s collaboration is the ability to create, share, edit, and review documents with ease.

What's more, Google’s document collaboration tools live in the cloud. This means team members and external parties can always access the most up-to-date version of documents, whether they’re working together in the office or asynchronously from another country.

How Much Does Google Workspace Cost?

Google Workspace has four pricing plans:

  • Business Starter: $6 per user, per month
  • Business Standard: $12 per user, per month
  • Business Plus: $18 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: price upon request

As you move up the plans, you receive a larger number of participants permitted in meetings, higher cloud storage data limits, and more advanced security management tools.

Discover what other users think of Google Workspace here.

3. Loom

For quick & easy explainers & updates

Loom is a game-changer for remote and asynchronous communication. It equips your team with simple tools to create perfectly edited screen and webcam recordings - ideal for short explainer videos, quick updates, and asynchronous presentations.

The biggest advantage Loom brings to your business is its ability to help you cut down on unnecessary meetings. This drives productivity while fostering collaboration and meaningful engagement. Creators and viewers can ask questions, comment, and add clear calls to action to their videos.  

What’s more, Loom is a great tool for visual learners who struggle to digest long Slack threads or email chains. It helps to save time, boost engagement, and enhance communication.

How Much Does Loom Cost?

Loom has three pricing plans for businesses:

  • Starter: free
  • Business: $8 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Enterprise: price upon request

While the free plan limits the number of users and videos a user can create, the Business and Enterprise plans are unlimited and offer extra features like transcriptions and integrations with other business tools.

Discover what other users think of Loom here.

4. MIRO

For more productive & creative virtual meetings

MIRO is an online collaborative whiteboard platform that helps remote teams run engaging and focused meetings virtually. It’s a communication software that fuels creativity and is especially useful for:

  • Brainstorming sessions
  • Workshops
  • Strategy and planning meetings
  • Retrospectives

With a comprehensive template library and a host of useful integrations, your team members can co-create tailored boards to suit a wide range of projects, from new product releases to OKRs to training workshops.

How Much Does MIRO Cost?

MIRO has four pricing plans, including:

  • A basic free plan, with limited functionality
  • Team: $8 per member, per month (billed annually)
  • Business: $16 per member, per month (billed annually)
  • Enterprise: price upon request

All of the paid plans offer unlimited editable boards, unlimited visitors, custom templates, and more, with additional features for Business and Enterprise customers.

Discover what other users think of MIRO here.

5. Monday.com

For smooth-running cross-functional projects

Monday.com is a project management software that allows teams to work cross-functionally, wherever they’re based. With clear time tracking, tagging, and status updates, Monday.com gives your colleagues visibility on all the projects that impact them, whether they’re directly involved or not.

The platform is easy to use, visually engaging, and highly customizable. It also integrates with other popular tools, such as Slack and Google Drive, making collaboration even simpler.

For managers, in particular, Monday.com is an excellent tool for identifying and solving your remote team’s blockers quickly and effectively, without micromanagement.

How Much Does Monday.com Cost?

Monday.com has four pricing levels:

  • Basic: $8 per seat, per month (billed annually)
  • Standard: $10 per seat, per month (billed annually)
  • Pro: $16 per seat, per month (billed annually)
  • Enterprise: price upon request

While the Basic plan allows your team to create unlimited boards and documents, it lacks some of the more advanced features available with the more expensive plans, such as guest access, automation, time tracking, and multi-level permissions.

Discover what other users think of Monday.com here.

Green speech bubble made out of paper

Communication Tools FAQs

Below we answer some of your most common questions about remote communication and how to use tools effectively.

What Are Communication Tools?

In a business setting, communication tools are pieces of equipment and software teams use to communicate with one another and with clients or suppliers. Communication tools may include:

  • Telephones
  • Email and instant messaging apps
  • Video conferencing software
  • Productivity platforms
  • Social media
  • And many more!

Cloud-based software packages are the most effective communication and collaboration tools for remote teams as they allow for real-time updates and secure data storage.

What Are the Benefits of Online Communication?

Online communication can save your business time and money, allowing for speedy and efficient collaboration. It enables your company to hire the best talent from across the world and do business globally, which promotes growth and profitability.

What’s more, online communication is essential for asynchronous work, which we believe is one of the best ways to communicate within a remote and global team. You can read all about the benefits here.

On the other hand, traditional methods of communication, such as in-person meetings and phone calls, aren’t optimal in remote or hybrid work environments. They can be time-consuming and costly, particularly for globally distributed teams.

How to Improve Team Communication in Remote & Hybrid Teams

Many employers believe that communication for hybrid and remote teams is much more difficult than for office-based teams. That’s not necessarily true. Communication in a remote setting is simply different and requires a more modern approach to collaboration.

Here are our top tips to help you improve team communication effectively:

  1. Choose internal communication and collaboration tools that solve your unique business problems. Feel free to experiment for a while to find out what works best for your team.
  2. Set clear communication guidelines on how and when to use tools.
  3. Document all key processes and policies in a central hub.
  4. Create ample opportunities for social connection. For example, you could set up weekly social activities, virtual meet-ups, or even in-person events such as a yearly company retreat.
  5. Request regular feedback from team members to identify challenges and find solutions.

You can read our more in-depth guide on improving remote team communication here.

Summary

There are hundreds of new tools available to help hybrid and remote teams communicate and collaborate effectively. But the aim isn’t to use as many as possible. Instead, you need to streamline your chosen technology to meet your team’s needs, without causing confusion or distraction.

The business communication tools we’ve highlighted above all serve a unique purpose. There are many more out there that offer similar features and functions, so you need to identify the best communication apps for your specific workplace, team, and problems.

Once you’ve identified the most useful tools for your business, choose just one tool per purpose. For example, don’t use two project management tools that offer very similar core features. You'll just end up using wasting time and money.

Finally, create clear team guidelines to ensure everyone understands how and when to use specific communication platforms. This will help drive collaboration, productivity, and connection to set your remote and hybrid teams up for long-lasting success.

Learn More About Hybrid & Remote Trends

In partnership with relocation provider PerchPeek, we spoke with HR leaders across the globe to discover how they’re approaching new working styles and environments - in particular, the emerging “work from anywhere” trend.

In the report, we explore:

  • Remote, hybrid, and work-from-anywhere models.
  • The role of the office in the future of work.
  • How managers are prioritizing communication and collaboration in the workplace.
  • Barriers and solutions to global employment.
  • And more!

Download our report now.

We don't receive any financial gain from recommending the above services. This page is for informational purposes only and based on our independent experiences and research. The information and prices regarding the services recommended above are accurate at the time of writing. You can read our full disclaimer here.

5 Communication Tools Your Remote Team Needs (That Aren’t Slack or Zoom)

That’s not to say Slack and Zoom aren’t invaluable tools for remote and hybrid teams. At Omnipresent, we use them both every day. But they’re not the be-all and end-all of remote communication.

To collaborate effectively in the new normal of internationally distributed work, you need to curate a suite of purpose-specific tools to modernize and optimize your communication methods. Done well, this will help your teams:

  • Work together seamlessly across locations and time zones (asynchronous collaboration).
  • Increase productivity.
  • Connect and build trust.

The following communication tools have been tried and tested by our own globally distributed organization. They’re ideal for both hybrid and fully remote workplaces, enabling you to make the most of asynchronous working techniques without compromising company culture.

1. Notion

For documenting everything your team needs to know

Notion is a note-taking software used to centralize documents, processes, policies, and company information. In other words, it’s your team’s single source of truth. It enables colleagues to communicate key information efficiently and transparently.

Unlike traditional word processors, Notion allows users to create visually engaging, interlinked pages quickly and easily, using a wealth of pre-made page templates and custom formatting. That means you can build a library of resources organized through simple navigation. Kind of like a company intranet.

It’s particularly useful for asynchronous teams, as it encourages detailed documentation, ensuring critical knowledge is accessible to anyone, at any time. This reduces reliance on real-time information sharing, which isn’t always possible when your colleagues work to different schedules or across time zones.

How Much Does Notion Cost?

Notion has two business plans:

  • Team: $8 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Enterprise: price upon request

Both allow for unlimited team members, but the Enterprise plan includes more advanced features and a dedicated success manager.

Discover what other users think of Notion here.

2. Google Workspace

For hassle-free asynchronous collaboration & feedback

Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) isn’t just one communication tool; it’s many! It includes Gmail, Calendar, Meet, Drive, Docs, Slides, Forms, and more, making it ideal for virtual collaboration.

Google’s email and video conferencing platforms are the most obvious remote work tools in its suite, but what truly elevates your team’s collaboration is the ability to create, share, edit, and review documents with ease.

What's more, Google’s document collaboration tools live in the cloud. This means team members and external parties can always access the most up-to-date version of documents, whether they’re working together in the office or asynchronously from another country.

How Much Does Google Workspace Cost?

Google Workspace has four pricing plans:

  • Business Starter: $6 per user, per month
  • Business Standard: $12 per user, per month
  • Business Plus: $18 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: price upon request

As you move up the plans, you receive a larger number of participants permitted in meetings, higher cloud storage data limits, and more advanced security management tools.

Discover what other users think of Google Workspace here.

3. Loom

For quick & easy explainers & updates

Loom is a game-changer for remote and asynchronous communication. It equips your team with simple tools to create perfectly edited screen and webcam recordings - ideal for short explainer videos, quick updates, and asynchronous presentations.

The biggest advantage Loom brings to your business is its ability to help you cut down on unnecessary meetings. This drives productivity while fostering collaboration and meaningful engagement. Creators and viewers can ask questions, comment, and add clear calls to action to their videos.  

What’s more, Loom is a great tool for visual learners who struggle to digest long Slack threads or email chains. It helps to save time, boost engagement, and enhance communication.

How Much Does Loom Cost?

Loom has three pricing plans for businesses:

  • Starter: free
  • Business: $8 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Enterprise: price upon request

While the free plan limits the number of users and videos a user can create, the Business and Enterprise plans are unlimited and offer extra features like transcriptions and integrations with other business tools.

Discover what other users think of Loom here.

4. MIRO

For more productive & creative virtual meetings

MIRO is an online collaborative whiteboard platform that helps remote teams run engaging and focused meetings virtually. It’s a communication software that fuels creativity and is especially useful for:

  • Brainstorming sessions
  • Workshops
  • Strategy and planning meetings
  • Retrospectives

With a comprehensive template library and a host of useful integrations, your team members can co-create tailored boards to suit a wide range of projects, from new product releases to OKRs to training workshops.

How Much Does MIRO Cost?

MIRO has four pricing plans, including:

  • A basic free plan, with limited functionality
  • Team: $8 per member, per month (billed annually)
  • Business: $16 per member, per month (billed annually)
  • Enterprise: price upon request

All of the paid plans offer unlimited editable boards, unlimited visitors, custom templates, and more, with additional features for Business and Enterprise customers.

Discover what other users think of MIRO here.

5. Monday.com

For smooth-running cross-functional projects

Monday.com is a project management software that allows teams to work cross-functionally, wherever they’re based. With clear time tracking, tagging, and status updates, Monday.com gives your colleagues visibility on all the projects that impact them, whether they’re directly involved or not.

The platform is easy to use, visually engaging, and highly customizable. It also integrates with other popular tools, such as Slack and Google Drive, making collaboration even simpler.

For managers, in particular, Monday.com is an excellent tool for identifying and solving your remote team’s blockers quickly and effectively, without micromanagement.

How Much Does Monday.com Cost?

Monday.com has four pricing levels:

  • Basic: $8 per seat, per month (billed annually)
  • Standard: $10 per seat, per month (billed annually)
  • Pro: $16 per seat, per month (billed annually)
  • Enterprise: price upon request

While the Basic plan allows your team to create unlimited boards and documents, it lacks some of the more advanced features available with the more expensive plans, such as guest access, automation, time tracking, and multi-level permissions.

Discover what other users think of Monday.com here.

Green speech bubble made out of paper

Communication Tools FAQs

Below we answer some of your most common questions about remote communication and how to use tools effectively.

What Are Communication Tools?

In a business setting, communication tools are pieces of equipment and software teams use to communicate with one another and with clients or suppliers. Communication tools may include:

  • Telephones
  • Email and instant messaging apps
  • Video conferencing software
  • Productivity platforms
  • Social media
  • And many more!

Cloud-based software packages are the most effective communication and collaboration tools for remote teams as they allow for real-time updates and secure data storage.

What Are the Benefits of Online Communication?

Online communication can save your business time and money, allowing for speedy and efficient collaboration. It enables your company to hire the best talent from across the world and do business globally, which promotes growth and profitability.

What’s more, online communication is essential for asynchronous work, which we believe is one of the best ways to communicate within a remote and global team. You can read all about the benefits here.

On the other hand, traditional methods of communication, such as in-person meetings and phone calls, aren’t optimal in remote or hybrid work environments. They can be time-consuming and costly, particularly for globally distributed teams.

How to Improve Team Communication in Remote & Hybrid Teams

Many employers believe that communication for hybrid and remote teams is much more difficult than for office-based teams. That’s not necessarily true. Communication in a remote setting is simply different and requires a more modern approach to collaboration.

Here are our top tips to help you improve team communication effectively:

  1. Choose internal communication and collaboration tools that solve your unique business problems. Feel free to experiment for a while to find out what works best for your team.
  2. Set clear communication guidelines on how and when to use tools.
  3. Document all key processes and policies in a central hub.
  4. Create ample opportunities for social connection. For example, you could set up weekly social activities, virtual meet-ups, or even in-person events such as a yearly company retreat.
  5. Request regular feedback from team members to identify challenges and find solutions.

You can read our more in-depth guide on improving remote team communication here.

Summary

There are hundreds of new tools available to help hybrid and remote teams communicate and collaborate effectively. But the aim isn’t to use as many as possible. Instead, you need to streamline your chosen technology to meet your team’s needs, without causing confusion or distraction.

The business communication tools we’ve highlighted above all serve a unique purpose. There are many more out there that offer similar features and functions, so you need to identify the best communication apps for your specific workplace, team, and problems.

Once you’ve identified the most useful tools for your business, choose just one tool per purpose. For example, don’t use two project management tools that offer very similar core features. You'll just end up using wasting time and money.

Finally, create clear team guidelines to ensure everyone understands how and when to use specific communication platforms. This will help drive collaboration, productivity, and connection to set your remote and hybrid teams up for long-lasting success.

Learn More About Hybrid & Remote Trends

In partnership with relocation provider PerchPeek, we spoke with HR leaders across the globe to discover how they’re approaching new working styles and environments - in particular, the emerging “work from anywhere” trend.

In the report, we explore:

  • Remote, hybrid, and work-from-anywhere models.
  • The role of the office in the future of work.
  • How managers are prioritizing communication and collaboration in the workplace.
  • Barriers and solutions to global employment.
  • And more!

Download our report now.

We don't receive any financial gain from recommending the above services. This page is for informational purposes only and based on our independent experiences and research. The information and prices regarding the services recommended above are accurate at the time of writing. You can read our full disclaimer here.

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