Chatting with team members can help team members to feel connected and work more efficiently together.
This can help team members to collaborate more effectively and get work done more quickly. Workplace chat can also help team members to build relationships with each other and feel more connected to the team.
Below is a list of our top picks.
Slack is a great tool for company-wide chat, that in many ways has become synonymous with workplace communication. Slack makes communicating between teams (and between companies) seamless and simple and allows for teams to join different chat rooms, called ‘channels’ focused on a variety of subjects.
Slack is great for company-wide and team communication for companies of many sizes, but those under 1,000 might find the platform particularly useful.
Slack is easy to use and is incredibly customizable, making it a favorite tool for employers and teammates alike. Slack is also an inclusive team chat tool--anyone added to a channel can see the entire history of the conversations that have occurred, leading to more visibility as projects change hands and team members are added.
For more information about Slack, check out our deep dive here.
Friday is a company communication software for your most important things at work that integrates with Slack.
With Friday, you eliminate some of the noise of Slack while participating in asynchronous communication.
Microsoft Teams is probably the largest competitor to Slack and is Microsoft’s solution to enterprise workplace chat software. Like Slack, Microsoft Teams breaks conversations down into channels, mostly focused on pre-existing teams at the organization’s level. Organizations that use Office 365 will benefit from how those apps integrate into Microsoft Teams. It's amazing for internal communication: Employees can collaborate on Excel or Word documents directly in Microsoft Teams, and can seamlessly add meetings with conferencing to their Outlook calendars.
Microsoft Teams can be intensive to set up, which makes it ideal for larger companies with dedicated IT departments. There are plenty of third-party integrations available on Teams as well, due to its popularity.
Google’s enterprise work chat software is one of their best-kept secrets. Google Chat (formerly Google Hangouts) breaks conversations down into rooms, like Slack channels, and allows members to join and leave them as they please. Another big plus to using Google Chat is the inclusion of Google Meet, the robust audio/video platform built into the software, which allows teams to communicate through the modality they prefer.
Google Chat also integrates with the rest of Google Workplace (previously G-Suite). By using the full suite of Google Apps in the workplace alongside Google Chat, employees may find they’re able to work more productively and collaboratively.
Discord has really made a name for itself as a chat platform over the past few years and is only recently breaking into the enterprise space. Originally created for Gamers, Discord is similar to other platforms in the way it organizes text channels but differs in one major way: Discord also offers text-specific channels, that allow people to pop in and out during the day. This can lead to real-time collaboration, mimicking walking up to a co-worker’s desk. This is something that’s been lost a bit as more and more people are working from home, and Discord’s solution brings us a bit closer together.
Before passing this one by, understand that Workplace Chat by Meta (formerly Facebook) is not the same as the company’s social chat product Messenger.
Workplace Chat is a separate team chat and communications platform focused on accelerating business collaboration. Workplace Chat by Meta takes advantage of a lot of different technologies Meta has built over the last decade and a half, including online polls and surveys, live video, the “News Feed” and the ability to instantly translate discussion between co-workers from 91 different languages.
Mattermost is a fully-customizable, self-hosted, and open-sourced team chat tool. Mattermost offers basic chat functionality but can be hosted on a company’s own servers, which could be a benefit to larger companies with very specific needs. Channels are fully searchable with Mattermost, allowing for transparent team communication. Mattermost also offers a large number of tools and integrations specifically helpful for developers, making this a great choice for software engineers and the teams that work with them.
Twist calls itself an async messaging’ app, for those teams who are tired of the constant communication that’s popular with other chat apps. Twist doesn’t allow you to see if people are online and discourages sending notifications and instead encourages users to respond on their own time. Twist was created by the popular to-do list and task management app Todoist, and the innovative software makes sharing and responding to messages just one part of a workday.
When you mix a forum with team chat apps, you get Flock. Replies are shared as “quotes” from the messages above, mimicking the standard forum experience, with the added collaboration and immediacy we’ve come to know from chat apps. Flock claims to remove chaos and clutter from workplace chat, has audio and video conferencing capabilities, and has built-in project management tools.
Chanty boasts a clean and easy-to-use interface. Chanty is similar to other chat apps in the way it organizes public channels, private channels, and direct messages but differs in a few other ways. Chanty nearly organizes shared files, links, and pinned messages so that they’re easy to find and refer back to. Chanty also features a built-in Task Manager, which allows any message sent to be turned into a to-do list item.
Brosix promises to increase productivity while guaranteeing data privacy, making it ideal for businesses that want a chat app whose main focus is on secure communications. Brosix is easy to set up and great for those teams that want full ownership over team conversation. Chats in Brosix can be conducted via text, audio, video, or what they call ‘broadcast messaging’, which allows team members to instantly share communication with co-workers on the network.
RingCentral purchased Glip in 2015, combining a powerful work chat tool with a large enterprise telephone network, doubling as a phone tool that can make calls anywhere in the world. RingCentral’s chat app allows for seamless communication between written, audio, and video messages. With RingCentral, conversations, file sharing, and other important information all live in one place. Because of the integration of telephony, sales teams or others that need to be easily reached by phone may find RingCentral particularly beneficial.
When choosing workplace chat software, it is important to consider the needs of your team. Some things to consider include:
Once you have answered these questions, you can begin to compare different chat software options and find the one that best suits your company's needs.