Business woman touching virtual icon customers of social network on screen
Businesses are increasingly shifting towards the virtual trend, as most business operations are now being conducted online. Bookkeeping and budgeting are also often performed through popular apps and tools available online. The low setup costs and environmental concerns have driven businesses towards adopting the paperless office trend.

One of the major obstacles that a business owner faces when running a virtual company is the effective engagement of employees to boost productivity levels. According to Michael Watkins, author of the First 90 Days, “Communication on virtual teams is often less frequent and always is less rich than face-to-face interaction, which provides more contextual cues and information about emotional states — such as engagement or lack thereof. The only way to avoid the pitfalls is to be extremely clear and disciplined about how the team will communicate.”

Fortunately, the advancements in technology have led to the elimination of various communication barriers that halt the company’s progress. Here, we have compiled the best communication tools and messaging programs available online that can help businesses establish strong communication with their employees. Effective messaging programs allow you to keep all of your communication with the team in one place.

1. Slack

Slack is one of the most popular team chat apps on the online market. It was launched in 2013 by the same team that created Flikr. Since its launch, it has become one of the most popular group chat apps.

Slack does not only offer exceptional chatting facilities, it has an extraordinary tool known as Slackbot that acts as your personal reminder. You can set any type of reminder on Slackbot. It offers customizability and flexibility to its users, so you can set your own personalized themes. It hosts powerful emoticons that will add a lively feel to your conversations. The Slackbot tool has led to the immense popularity of bots over the past few years. It offers you the ability to start projects, approve an invoice and crunch numbers. Slack has recently introduced an option where the user can turn an ordinary message into a mini-channel relating to one topic.

You can form multiple teams to keep office groups, reading groups and other groups separate.

Furthermore, it offers you the ability to invent your own chat bots through its integrations. It works on IOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and Mac, and comes at a price of around $8 per month.

2. HipChat

HipChat is a popular messaging program that offers incredible features to its users. It allows you easy and fast access to your group chats, enabling you to remain in touch with your teams wherever you go. You can form separate chat rooms on HipChat, which could either be public or private. If you want to invite a contact into a particular chat room, you can send them a link.

If you are looking for an app that offers fast messaging, HipChat is an ideal option. HipChat offers Trello and JIRA integrations, enabling you to turn your message into a Trello card or share updates regarding JIRA projects on your conversations. It offers a simple user interface, so it is easier for users to adapt to the application. The team that invented HipChat also launched Stride, which allows you to conduct video and audio calls, along with screen sharing for the easy management of remote teams.

3. Twist

If you are looking for an app that offers threaded conversations, Twist is an ideal option. It is often very easy to miss messages that pop up in a general chat session and that is exactly why Twist turns the conversations into a thread, allowing you to track each message. This ensures that you do not miss out on any important information. If you want to say something, you will either have to post your comment on an existing thread or make a new one. It also offers a traditional chat experience through the ‘Messages’ tab. This allows you to send direct messages to your contacts. It comes at a price of around $6 per month. Plus, you can utilize the integrations to create your own chat bots.

These are the top 3 messaging programs that allow you to manage your remote teams in an effective manner. Other popular team chat apps include Microsoft Teams, Flock, Discord, Cisco Spark, Mattermost, ChatWork, Ryver, Zoho Chat, Google Hangouts Chat, etc.

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