Your employees don’t feel heard. A quarter of employees believe their leaders don’t do a good job communicating with them, while 40% think communications from leadership are too infrequent.

Strong internal communication is essential. Without it, employees are less likely to share innovative ideas with leadership, ask colleagues for support to speed up their workflow, or let team members know of a stressful situation affecting their performance. Effective communication becomes all the more important in the digital and distributed workplace.

You can encourage employees to build relationships between colleagues and leadership, feel heard, and collaborate effectively with any of these eight tools for remote and hybrid teams:

      1. Notion
      2. Hailey
      3. Sococo
      4. ProofHub
      5. Threads
      6. Parabol
      7. Range
      8. Loom
      9. CoScreen

    8 Best Tools for Remote and Hybrid Teams 

    1. Notion

    Notion is a platform where your company’s wiki, projects, and learning material are entirely customizable. Notion offers various formatting options, like a calendar or board view, which gives you the flexibility to create and organize your content however you like.

    Notion’s tools allow teams to share information with colleagues and search for specific data through their filters and search bar. These tools speed up remote teams’ workflows. Instead of interrupting a coworker to ask them a question, employees can visit the company wiki to find a previous article or report that poses a solution to their issue.

    Companies like Loom and Boxed use Notion to build and maintain a wiki. This internal database hosts dozens of documents from all areas of the company—from an onboarding checklist to each team’s projects. The wiki is open to everyone, so every employee can visit it and establish discussions around possible tweaks to make a given section clearer or more helpful.

    Notion for teams will host all your files, whether you upload an image-based article or an animated video to solve a teammate’s doubt. Their plan for teams costs $8 per month for each employee.

    2. Hailey

    Hailey is a Slack bot that connects remote teams through conversations, challenges, and mini-games. Installation takes 5 minutes or less.

  1. Once a day, Hailey kickstarts social interactions in your team’s #watercooler channel. The conversation starters are fun, original, and thought provoking, with plenty of dog GIFs. Teammates can even share their own custom prompts. With Superlatives, teammates vote on awards like the “Giphy Award: Most likely to respond with the perfect GIF”. In Guess Who, teammates learn about each other with 24-hour multiple choice trivia questions.

    Hailey is designed to drive asynchronous conversations, where teammates can participate in their own time zones, on their own schedules.

    Hailey costs $29 per team per month, with a 30-day free trial.

    3. Sococo

    Sococo creates an online workplace where employees can log in to work together and simulate the experience of being in a physical space.

    Companies can rearrange and decorate rooms to make the space more pleasant for employees and encourage more frequent interactions. Like in real life, some rooms focus on casual interactions while others are work-related. For example, you can join the lunch area to have more laid-back conversations with colleagues already there. Alternatively, you can “knock” on any of the online coworker’s doors to discuss an innovative idea you just had.

    Screenshot of a Sococo virtual office.

    JetBlue employees use Sococo to host and assist with meetings, whether they are on a plane or out of the office. Because of the versatility of the virtual office, an absent employee can join a room, work, and help anyone who knocks on the door.

    Sococo costs $13.49 per team member each month. For that price, you will receive a customizable virtual office, the ability to have a birds-eye view of where everyone is in the office, and other tools for remote teams to simulate the experience of working under one roof.

    4. ProofHub

    ProofHub is a project management and team collaboration tool with a simple user interface. It enables you to gain ultimate control over your hybrid teams and projects.

    It includes everything you need to plan your tasks and collaborate with remote teams in real-time, track progress, stay organized, and meet deadlines.

    With the ability to move between to-do lists, Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and Table view, it provides a flexible approach to task management. With ProofHub’s online proofing tool, it gets easier to streamline your remote team’s review and approval process.

    The native chat application helps in quick communication, and a dedicated location for real-time discussions makes collaborating with your scattered team a breeze.

    ProofHub comes with a flat-fee policy. The Essential plan starts at $45/month (billed annually), and The Ultimate Control plan starts at $89 /month (billed annually).

    5. Threads

    Threads is a tool to create and organize asynchronous discussions around one specific topic, so that team members can track the areas where their attention is needed.

    Remote teams can use this tool to see colleagues who saw the thread, plan to participate in it, or who addressed the question and wish to bring a close to the discussion. These processes happen asynchronously, so as long as team members update their threads, employees don’t rely on a colleague being online to move on to the next stage of a project.

    Screenshot of a project in Threads.

    Employees from Buffer use Threads to recognize a colleague’s recent achievement, post company announcements that everyone will see regardless of their time zone, and collaborate to make decisions with coworkers from different continents.

    Companies can host forum-like conversations around projects, announcements, and suggestions for $10 per month for each team member.

    6. Parabol

    Parabol offers multiple features—like a retrospective tool and check-ins—to help agile teams figure out the projects and actions that need to receive the most attention.

    In Parabol’s retrospective, employees follow the tool’s steps to discuss hurdles and areas to improve from a recent product launch. Teams can choose from several retrospective formats and templates and ways to submit feedback inside Parabol’s platform.

    Once you collect feedback, the retrospective tool guides discussions around each reflection and helps structure a plan to improve in these areas.

    Besides their retrospective tool, Parabol offers a check-in tool for remote teams to improve team communication and integrations to keep your team synchronized from a distance. You can access all of these for $6 per month per team member.

    7. Range

    Range is a check-in tool that employees can use to share a project’s status while also forging more personal connections.

    Through daily check-ins, teammates can offer a hand to a colleague struggling with a project, or congratulate someone for a recent success. This camaraderie results in more meaningful interactions and trust between worldwide team members. The communication Range enables also strengthens the bond between leadership and employees, which is important because senior leadership unknowingly intimidates 29% of employees, keeping them away from speaking during meetings.

    Screenshot of a Home page in Range.

    Members from the Content Experiences & Innovation team at Adobe live in Bangalore, Noida, and San Jose. The team used Range’s daily check-ins to build trust across the international squad and align on a project’s status. Initially, check-ins allowed the team’s manager to understand where her crew focused their attention. Once the pandemic hit, check-ins became a tool to discover personal and work-related issues, the team’s mood, and a bond-strengthening solution thanks to Range’s team-building questions.

    Range’s $8 per employee plan can host unlimited teams, check-ins, meetings, and objectives, so that remote teams consistently find areas where their expertise or presence is needed.

    8. Loom

    Loom is a video-based asynchronous collaboration tool that employees can use to record themselves asking detailed questions, adding context to a recent deliverable, or providing feedback to a teammate.

    Remote teams can use Loom to record themselves highlighting critical information for others, regardless of where they are. The videos will have footage from your screen, camera, or both. These options allow you to emphasize data based on your preferences: you can use hand gestures to support your words or stick to adding context to a project in real-time. Once your video is ready, you can edit it or share it with your team so that they can check it whenever they log in, revisit it for doubts, and eliminate the need to host a meeting.

    An example of a Loom webcam recording superimposed on a screen recording with Weekly Priorities.

    Marketers, engineers, and leaders from PostClick used Loom to share news, updates, and ideas across the entire organization, reestablishing a one-team culture. Because of the easy accessibility to information, the brand hosts 50% fewer meetings than pre-Loom times.

    52% of employees favor company announcements in an audio or video format over those made through emails or blog posts, according to our 2021 study. With Loom, you can start spreading information across your company—in a format your employees like—for $8 per month per team member.

    9. CoScreen

    CoScreen allows employees to share hand-picked app windows from their desktops with colleagues. Everyone with access to the window can view and control the app as if they were in the same room.

    CoScreen focuses its attention on engineers and developers who, for example, need a faster way to collaborate in coding projects. However, other teams can use CoScreen, too. Design teams can use it to receive more precise, real-time feedback from leadership as they present a new logo or brand style guide through Figma. Similarly, writers and editors can assemble live sessions to go over an article and avoid feedback loops.

    Screenshot of three coworkers collaborating with CoScreen.

    Developers from Grid AI used CoScreen’s simultaneous screen sharing, multi-screen editing, and high-quality communication tools to speed up pair programming and debugging sessions by at least two times.

    CoScreen’s unlimited screen collaboration sessions and remote control of any applications are features that benefit most teams. You can access them for $18 a month per user.

    Encourage camaraderie across your team while working remotely.

    Communication is an essential part of remote work. Maintaining and improving the frequency and quality of interactions between colleagues can lead to better interpersonal relationships, more engaging communication formats, and better alignment during projects.

    Most of the tools we shared for remote teams rely on video, a communication format most employees consider more engaging than text-based for company communications and announcements. With Vyond, you can turn your company’s most crucial information into engaging video animations without previous animation experience.

    Start communicating in video with a 14-day free trial of Vyond, no credit card required.

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