5 Best Free Online Team Collaboration Tools for Businesses in 2020
Looking for an online collaboration tool for your business? Here's a list of our top collaboration tools for instant messaging and improved teamwork.
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Online collaboration tools play a vital role in bringing teams together so they can interact, plan, and execute to accomplish common goals.
Effective teamwork and collaboration go together when we talk about team productivity. For more than a decade, email has remained the number one channel for online collaboration for businesses. However, the tide has recently shifted, especially now that companies have realized how unproductive emails can be.
According to Forbes, you waste about 2.5 hours every single day checking and responding to emails. Due to this huge time-sink, the demand for online communication and collaboration tools has taken off and we find ourselves in need of more effective collaboration tools.
Why Use Team Collaboration Tools?
Here are a few reasons why it makes sense for you to opt for a collaboration tool for your business.
Teams Can Work Remotely
One of the biggest benefits of using an online collaboration tool is that it allows everyone the flexibility to work from the comfort of their homes. It not only helps their morale but also allows them to work when they are at their best.
Less Reliance on Emails
Collaboration tools encourage a more casual approach when it comes to communication. You no longer have to write the same pleasantries over and over again – you can just get to the point.
Seamless Document Management
How many times have you received five different versions of the same file, which later caused confusion because no one knew which one to use? Collaboration tools allow you to share files and documents seamlessly which can later be easily filtered or sorted.
Track Your Team’s Progress
Can’t figure out who’s doing what? This can often be the case when you’re managing a huge team and it sometimes becomes impractical to keep track of all the updates in real-time. Collaboration tools nowadays come with built-in and integrated task management tools that let you track, monitor, and stay up-to-date with projects and team’s progress in real-time.
No More Unproductive Meetings
You can simply avoid unproductive meetings by just collaborating with team members using the software. 23% of workers feel that meetings are a complete waste of time and should be avoided. Alternatively, you can use meeting management software to optimize and make them more productive.
Let’s dive into our list of the best free online collaboration tools that can help you to be more productive at work this year.
Slack needs no introduction and is one of the most widely used collaboration softwares on the market. It's an ideal tool for internal business communication, as it allows you to create different channels and lets you add unlimited team members. Depending on your team size and business, you can create a channel for each department, e.g Sales, Marketing, DevOps, Support, and more.
You can also group chat within the channel or collaborate with a team member directly using the direct message (DM). Slack also supports voice and video calling just in case you do not feel like typing anymore.
G2 Crowd: 4.4/5 out of 13,642 reviews.
Capterra: 4.5/5 out of 8,882 reviews.
Software Advice: 4.5/5 out of 8,945 reviews.
Slack comes with a free plan which is good for small teams. With the free version, you can search up to 10k messages, integrate up to 10 third-party applications, and also make 1-on-1 video calls.
Standard and Plus plans for Slack start at $6.67/user/month and $12.50/user/month, respectively, when paid annually. You can learn more about Slack pricing plans here.
Looking for other Slack-like applications? Here's a list of free Slack alternatives.
Known for video conferencing and live chat, Skype is another great tool for online collaboration. If you are one of those organizations which relies heavily on voice and video interaction along with real-time chat, Skype may be the choice for you. The look and feel are quite similar to some of the social media chat applications available on the market, which not only makes the communication user-friendly but also keeps everyone on the team engaged.
Skype for Business Reviews
G2 Crowd: 4.2/5 out of 6,526 reviews.
Capterra: 4.5/5 out of 3,884 reviews.
Software Advice: 4.5/5 out of 3,884 reviews.
Skype is a free online chat and video conferencing software. Skype for business, which costs $2/user/month, comes with additional handy features, like up to 250 online meeting members, enterprise-grade security, and employee account management.
Another Slack-like communication platform for businesses with an easy to use interface and built-in productivity tools, Flock is gaining popularity due to its simplicity and user-friendliness. Other collaboration features include polls, note-taking, and workflow automation. Flock also brings built-in task management, which lets you create tasks for your conversations with a single click.
G2 Crowd: 4.4/5 out of 38 reviews.
Capterra: 4.5/5 out of 88 reviews.
Software Advice: 4.5/5 out of 88 reviews.
Flock is a free online collaboration tool with basic functionality. Flock's pro plan costs $4.50/user/month when billed annually. Learn more about Flock pricing here.
4. Workplace by Facebook
Imagine Facebook restricted to your co-workers and bosses only. It is a central hub for all your communication within a workplace. Rather than being a department-specific or team specific tool, Workplace aims to bring everyone together. Just like Facebook, you can chat, create groups, schedule events, or simply go live or record a video for anyone to watch later.
Workplace by Facebook Reviews
G2 Crowd: 3.9/5 out of 786 reviews.
Capterra: 4.5/5 out of 208 reviews.
Software Advice: 4.5/5 out of 205 reviews.
Workplace by Facebook has both free and paid versions. The premium version costs $3/user/month and includes advanced enterprise features, like pre-built integrations, custom APIs, monitoring tools, SSO, and more.
A more social-style collaboration tool to keep your team engaged and productive at the same time, Convo brings the activity stream to traditional one-to-one and one-to-many communication. With its newsfeed, you can stay updated with all the latest activities from different teams in your organization, making it mighty effective for cross-functional collaboration.
G2 Crowd: 4.5/5 out of 2 reviews.
Capterra: 4.5/5 out of 16 reviews.
Convo is free for up to 5 team members, which works well for smaller teams. Convo Pro costs $9/user/month with greater functionality. Learn more about Convo pricing here.
What online collaboration tools do you in your workplace? Are there any other tools you’d like us to include in the list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Published at DZone with permission of Steve Parker. See the original article here.
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