The importance of business communications in the workplace is growing by the day due to the pandemic and consequent growth of remote work. The emergence of remote work and dispersed workforce is forcing many organizations to do a complete rethink of their existing communication processes and tools. Whether you are working from home or office, you know how important it is to communicate with your co-workers.
Implementing business communication tools at the workplace has become one of the most important business priorities in 2021. Businesses that invest in modern workplace communication technologies see a huge jump in productivity. According to McKinsey, employee productivity increases 20-25% in organizations where employees are highly connected.
Today’s business communication tools are helping companies become more agile, drive innovations and achieve better workforce productivity. Web-based business communication tools play an important role in employee engagement, retention, motivation, and attracting talent to an organization.
Tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams that were easy and convenient to use at the beginning slowly turned out to be major irritants. These tools constantly force you to pay attention to the chats going on in their channels, even though many of the communication are irrelevant to you. Getting constantly distracted reduces productivity as you get very less time to do your core job.
We have identified 9 best business communication tools that will help companies make their communication effective and boost productivity by readily integrating them with their existing tech stack.
Clariti brings all communications to one place including emails, chats, calendar events, to-dos, and calls. Clariti also connects all related communications as if it is one conversation. There is no need to shift between many apps and there is no need to stress trying to remember all the connected conversations in memory. Clariti eliminates the need to search across many apps looking for information and makes it very easy to see the big picture without any effort. Clariti allows you to put any item such as email, conference chat, social feeds, and To-Do inside a Clariti TopicFolder. All the subsequent related conversations are automatically stored in that TopicFolder. Few months down the line, when you want to go back and refer to a prior conversation or file, all you have to do is look inside the relevant TopicFolder. No matter what was discussed and when it was discussed, you will be able to see the big picture in one view. This is not possible with other digital communication apps where all the information is siloed.
Clariti is ideal for small and medium businesses to boost team collaboration and drive productivity. It is securely hosted on Amazon Web Services, providing total reliability, 100% uptime, and trusted security of all your workday data. Clariti a free cloud-based tool that can be accessed from anywhere with a browser and internet connection.
OurPeople is a platform designed to improve communication within teams. It allows management to engage with each executive through messaging. Users can create custom tags to reach out to any specific employee or the entire team.
Smarp is a cloud-based office communication platform designed to help businesses manage employee engagement and share information with external and internal stakeholders.
Beekeeper is a cloud-based employee communication and collaboration solution optimized for remote and field workers. It supports omni-channel communication tools for mobile workforces. Users can send group messages, conduct surveys and share news and other updates. A built-in chat messenger enables employees to chat with their peers as well as share documents, images, videos and links.
Jive is a central hub for internal communications, employee collaboration, organizational knowledge, documents and more. With its highly engaging user experience on both desktop and mobile devices, Jive drives increased intranet adoption, employee satisfaction and productivity.
SweetHive is designed to manage all the people, from colleagues, clients and suppliers through both a single channel and selective communication. SweetHive allows you to have 360° views of the contents, from general to detail. That permits you to be focused on your business without missing anything important, even if you are working from home.
Happeo is an intranet software focused on improving internal communications. It integrates exclusively with G Suite and provides users with content management capabilities, employee engagement analytics, permission management to the rest of the Google tools suite.
theEMPLOYEEapp is a communications solution that enables businesses to engage with employees and share important information on a centralized platform. It provides mobile applications for Android and iOS devices, which helps professionals add upcoming events on personal calendars, interact with colleagues and stream videos, even from remote locations.
OnSemble is more than just a communication software. It keeps everyone connected – it’s a digital workplace that makes employees feel valued. OnSemble can help companies to transform, communicate, collaborate, and connect.
The business communication tools discussed above will not only help your business to stay afloat but also make it thrive by improving the engagement, efficiency and productivity of your team during these difficult times.
Your business communication tool should have certain key features (read as checklist) to be able to support your entire team irrespective of its size and geographic location.
1. No communication silos
Many organizations use one tool for email, and many different tools for chat, shared documents, and social media management. While these tools are helpful, the lack of connection between them reduces productivity due to the time spent switching between them and searching for information in disconnected silos. A good communication tool must keep all related communications linked be it chat, email, documents, to dos and social feeds.
Aggregating disconnected communication tools in one aggregation app won’t work. Users still use multiple apps and the information is still disconnected. The ideal business communication tool must not only have all information accessible from one place, but the related information from all tools must be connected.
Face-to-face meetings are slowly becoming a thing of the past and 95% of the workforce are keen to use online business communication tools instead of in-person meetings. You need cloud-based communication software that can be accessed from anywhere.
The business communication tool that you are using should be easy to use and easy to adopt.
When you have thousands of employees sending emails, messages, sharing, downloading files, and having remote conferences, you should make sure that your data is safe.
Though applications like Teams and Slack bring all communications like group chat, audio and video calling in one place, the related communications are not connected, which means you will have to search multiple channels to get the information.
7. Managing external communication
You may be using two different communication tools, one for your internal communications and other for external communications. This creates communication silos. The tool that you are using should allow you to communicate freely with both internal and external stakeholders.
8. Integrating audio calling
If you are working remote, you are likely to have calls all through the day. Using a separate tool for audio calling is cumbersome and time consuming. Hence the tool that you are using should have this feature in-built.
9. Constant distraction from chat channels
Please make sure your application has an option to enable ‘Do Not Disturb’ or ‘Mute’ feature so that you can avoid distractions and concentrate on core work.
10. Avoid multiple integrations
Slack boasts of providing integrations with at least 1,000 applications. More tools will only create communication silos. If everybody in the team is not tech savvy, you will need dedicated resources to help you with all the integrations. So, go for a unified business communication tool.
11. Ability to support multiple file formats
The business communication tool that you are using should have the ability to view any data file like (.jpeg, .png, .bmp, .txt and .pdf) in the browser with one-click.
12. Built-in document viewer
While most of the web-based communication tools will allow you view some documents, support for viewing documents created by the Microsoft Office suite is not always available.
13. Pinning important items
While most of the business communication tools available in the market will allow you to flag important mails for reminder and further action, their scope is limited to emails only. Your tool should allow you to pin any important communication item.
14. Social Feeds integration
Social media is increasingly becoming an important tool in digital marketing and for getting instant feedback from customers. Unfortunately, social media feeds are independent of your other communication, creating silos. The business communication tool that you are using should allow you to integrate with social media.
15. Creating context-based To-dos
While most of the business communication tools will allow you create to-dos, they are disconnected from any context that caused you to create the to-do in the first place. The business communication tool that you are using should allow you create to-dos that are linked to your emails, chats and documents related to that to-do. Later when the to-do is triggered, all you have to do is look at the items related to that to-do in one place to understand why the to-do was created.
We hope the checklist discussed above will help you choose the best business communication tool that will help you to overcome communication challenges that every team faces – coordinate across different time zones, manage information silos and overcoming language and cultural barriers.