With so many people working from home these days, staying connected through team communication apps is more important than ever.
Walking over to someone’s desk or holding a meeting in a conference room aren’t options when you’re working remotely. But, by using some of the best team chat apps out there, you can make virtually communicating with your team feel almost the same as doing it in person!
Where Did Enterprise Chat Apps Come From?
The earliest workplace chat programs were essentially created to replace day-to-day email communication. But, in an increasingly digital work environment, employee chat apps have gradually become much more than that.
Modern team communication apps have many additional built-in productivity features, besides just text-based chat capability. In short, these types of apps are now an integral part of most digital-oriented workplaces and are an especially powerful tool for helping teams work efficiently from home.
Virtual team chat programs allow for everything from general company-wide announcements to in-depth conversations about specific projects and monitoring of essential tasks.
Why You Should Be Using Team Communication Apps
Allow face-to-face interaction
The biggest difference between working from home and being co-located in a brick-and-mortar office is the lack of face-to-face interactions with your coworkers. Team chat apps that allow for video conferencing help you communicate with others on a more personal level than simple text-based chat.
Why does this matter? Text-based chat is great for quick conversations, but sometimes you need to have a more in-depth discussion, often with multiple people at once. A video conference is great for hashing over more complex topics and holding meetings that would normally take place in a physical conference room.
Get immediate feedback
Team chat apps are also a wonderful tool for when you just need a quick answer to a question or when you want to get a second opinion on something.
Rather than scheduling a meeting, you can shoot a clear message over to whoever you need feedback from and (hopefully) get an answer very soon. Consider this as the equivalent of walking over to a coworker’s desk or office to ask them about something.
Also, the ability to change your status to “away” or “do not disturb” means that you know who is available to chat at any given time.
Track down critical information
The best team chat apps have advanced search and filtering capabilities, so you can retrieve any information that you’ve ever received via chat. For example, you might need a link someone sent you a long time ago, or you might need to review instructions for how to do a complex task.
All you have to do to find the information you need is type in certain keywords. Or, you can filter chats to remove irrelevant information and make it easier to find what you’re looking for.
Integrate with other apps
Another key feature of the best workplace chat apps, and one you should definitely look for when choosing a team communication app, is integration with other third-party productivity tools.
For instance, you can integrate chat apps with your email accounts, project management software, CRM platform, and other important apps you use in order to access vital information from one place and increase your overall efficiency and productivity.
Ultimately, what employee communication apps do is unify your team’s communication into one central hub. This allows all your employees to communicate in the same place and gives them the option to quickly switch between modes of communication (i.e., from chat to audio, to video).
In fact, when used correctly, this can make communication when working from home even more effective than in-person communication.
Think about it — in a traditional office setting; you’re often switching between face-to-face meetings and discussions, phone conversations, emails, and workplace chats. All this variety means that information can get lost in the mix.
With a single workplace chat app, all information is relayed back and forth in a single location, making it much easier for everyone to keep track of everything.
Increase Team Collaboration with Team Communication Apps
So, now you know what some of the main benefits of team chat apps are, but what is the end result? Well, effective team communication equals better collaboration, which leads to higher productivity and higher quality work.
Working from home doesn’t have to make getting the job done any harder. In fact, with the right productivity tools, including employee chat apps, working remotely can be even more productive than working in an office.
Even post-pandemic, the shift to remote work and hybrid work (part-time at home, part-time in an office) will continue. Studies predict that as much as 40% of the global workforce may be telecommuting by 2025. So, there’s no doubt that team communication apps will remain an integral part of our professional lives as well.