What business communication apps are available for remote working?

Remote Working Business Communication Apps & Tools

Lots of businesses are starting to work from home, due to the current climate. We already have members of the team who work remotely from different locations so we regularly get asked for advice on how to remote work and what are the best way to communicate across the businesses.

We understand that not all businesses have the budget to be able to pay for expensive software solutions and technology, but there are some great business communication apps covering all budgets.

Remote working can have some challenges with people finding it provides a lack of interaction and social isolation whilst others find it more productive, with this in mind we have come across many tools that enable businesses to communicate and collaborate in an effective way. 

Let’s get started, here’s a few tools we think are beneficial for businesses remote working, in no particular order:

 

 

Tools What is it? Features Cost
A cloud-based video conferencing platform
  • Unlimited number of meetings
  • Host up to 100 participants
  • Restricted to a 40 minute cap on group meetings
  • Join by telephone call in
  • Online support
  • Desktop & application sharing
  • Instant & scheduled meetings
  • Security: SSL encryption & AES 256 bits encryption

 

*based on Basic Free option*

Free – best option if you are a small business, no hidden costs. 

A teamwork hub and Office 365 team app that fuses group chat software with collaboration tools.
  • Unlimited number of users
  • Guest access to Teams
  • Online audio/video calls
  • Screen Sharing
  • Collaborate on Office docs/file sharing
  • Group chat – 1 to 1 messages
  • Scheduling and shift management features
  • Web versions of Word,Excel & Powerpoint
  • Data encryption at rest and in transit

 

*based on Microsoft Teams Free option (no commitment)*

 

Free – for the first 6 months (Teams only)

 


Use G Suite for business email, video conferencing, cloud storage and file sharing.
  • Hangouts chat – secure team messaging
  • Hangouts meet – Video & voice conferencing (up to 150 participants per call)
  • + gmail business email, shared calendars, unlimited cloud storage, docs, sheets, slides, security & administration controls, mobile management etc

 

*based on Business paid option*

Paid £8.28 per user/month- We would advise “Business” as the best small business option – providing employers with data protection, policies etc

 

They also offer a 14 day free trial

An instant messaging platform Free option

  • 1:1 only voice and video calls
  • 10 integrations with other apps like Google Drive, Office 365 etc
  • Access to 10,000 of your team’s most recent messages
  • Two factor authentication

Standard features (+free):

  • Secure external collaboration or guests from within Slack
  • Group voice & video calls for up to 15 users
  • Two factor authentication & OAuth with Google
Free option – for small teams trying out Slack

 

Paid option £5.25/mth* – for small and medium sized businesses


WhatsApp Business was built with the small business owner in mind. Connect with your customers easily by using tools to automate, sort and quickly respond to messages.
  • Messaging tools
  • Automate greeting/away messages as well as quick replies
  • Business profile – list important info such as company’s address, email, website etc
  • Basic analytics – useful for small businesses
  • Organise customer contact list
  • Only allows one account per phone number
Free
Collaboration tool designed to cut through pointless processes, politics and protocols with a single click.
  • Video conferencing – limited to 10 webcam streams
  • Record & schedule meetings
  • 250 participants per meeting
  • No time limits
  • Cloud storage
  • Toll-free numbers
Paid – £9 for LITE providing fundamental tools with no webcam or £13 for PRO 

*Prices are correct as of 23/03/2020*

Some little tips we recommend are:

  • Book in regular and frequent video meetings. This brings teams together and an opportunity to catch up with any updates and discuss how to help and support each other.
  • Ensure team members have the support and equipment they need
  • Share documents and share knowledge to encourage collaboration 
  • Maintain a professional manner when remote working
  • Have a comfortable and functional work space
  • Have a structured working day and to-do list
  • Utilise remote working tools that suit your needs. What works for one business, may not work for yours
We like to support small businesses with their technology needs and in this current climate working remotely and an online presence are being prioritised.  If you need any help with getting your business online, or setting up a productive remote working environment for your business, please get in touch.

COVID 19 Message

As a technology business, we are in a very fortunate position that we can carry on working with no interruptions. We are following the government guidelines and the health & well-being of our staff is important.

All our staff are fully set-up to work from home for as long as necessary and our telephone system has been redirected. Although we are not currently working onsite, we are still business as usual and can offer remote IT Support.

Stay safe, from us all at thecitysecret!