All posts
7 best communication tools for remote teams
Share this

7 best communication tools for remote teams

Remote communication can happen on any tool. Stay connected and collaborate effectively with your team with these top internal communication tools.

Table of Contents

You’re sure Dennis already sent you the report you need to present to your new client, but now, just an hour before the meeting, you can’t remember where it is. You’ve already spent 30 minutes digging around for it—and you’re still searching Slack threads and Google Docs comments as the clock ticks away. 

There’s got to be a better way, right?

In remote teams, communication happens in all types of tools. Even your project management platform can be a communication tool. But multiple tools and fragmentation make it especially easy to lose important pieces of information like comments and docs. 

So how do you make sure you can always find the information you need quickly? 

Different circumstances call for different ways to communicate—whether it’s in real-time or asynchronous, via video, audio, or messaging.

To solve information overload and too many communication channels, you need to know which apps to use for each situation—and provide your team with the right ones and guidance on how and when to use each one. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through the best communication tools for remote teams. We also give you an overview of what to look for in a communication tool, so you can find the best solution for your team’s unique needs.

Want a communication tool that fits any situation?
Switchboard brings all your tools together and gives your distributed teams the virtual space they need to communicate.
Sign up

What to look for when building your communication tech stack

For Dennis and his remote team members, overcommunication is key to working together well. But too many apps can overwhelm them. By picking a few great communication tools that work in multiple situations, you’ll save precious time and energy in the long run, allowing your team to actually work instead of searching for information. 

Here are some things to look for when building a lean communication tech stack:

  • Centralized communication: a central hub to keep all your conversations organized and easily accessible. For example, an instant messaging app, a project management tool with built-in messaging, or an online workspace.
  • Video conferencing: an interactive online meeting tool with screen sharing and presenting functions to keep everyone on the same page and encourage brainstorming.
  • File sharing: a platform that streamlines team collaboration and lets everyone access key documents easily.
  • Visual collaboration: virtual whiteboards, comments, sticky notes, and in-room chat functionalities to enable two-way, real-time team collaboration and communication.
  • Integrations with your existing tech stack: communication tools should work with your other apps for a smoother working experience and to consolidate information.
  • Flexibility: a combination of tools that you can customize for your unique needs and the communication styles and preferences of your team members. For example, text-based, audio, video, and asynchronous communication.
  • Ease of use: an intuitive interface that’s easy to navigate and understand for all team members, whether they’re a tech whiz or not.
  • Scalability: a collection of tools that grows with your company and allows for more users and features as needed.
  • Security and compliance: tools that meet industry standards and regulations to safeguard sensitive company and client information.
  • In-app support: a dedicated customer support team and helpful resources like articles and tutorials to resolve issues quickly. 

When you’re creating a communication tech stack for your distributed team, look at how all the tools go together, not just how well they work individually. Here are our picks for the top seven apps for different situations: Real-time collaboration, project management, async communication, visual collaboration, and to automate time-consuming tasks. They let you and your people communicate anytime, in any tool, about any project. And, most importantly, they all play well together, too.  

Real-time collaboration  

Remote teams can struggle to find real-time collaboration tools that facilitate genuine collaboration. However, when you look beyond the traditional tech stack, it’s clear that the new options out there can make remote collaboration just as productive—if not more—than in-person collaboration. Here are a couple of tools that can help you and your team stay truly connected and productive.

1. Our recommendation: Switchboard

Switchboard is a browser-based collaboration platform that lets your team collaborate on documents and apps inside a virtual room—without having to share your screen. It’s designed to foster team connection, collaboration, and productivity through intuitive meeting rooms.

Switchboard lets you communicate in real time with video, audio, and chat. You can also work side-by-side so everyone can scroll, type, and browse the same document at the same time. This way, communication can happen whenever, and however, you need. The platform lets you add all your favorite tools to the room, so they’re always ready and there when you are.  

You can create cloud-based virtual rooms for brainstorming, host spontaneous meetings with your team, and connect with clients in an interactive space.

Throughout the meeting, your teams can explore any file in the room, moving around and viewing whatever they want without getting in the way of others. Best of all, Switchboard automatically saves all your files at the end of each meeting, so you can pick up right where you left off. No lost work and no need to upload or download anything again.

Pro tip: Switchboard works with any web-based app, like Asana, Lucidchart, Loom, and Slack, so you can use it as the bedrock of your company’s communication tech stack. This saves the stress of jumping back and forth between tools and having scattered information.
A screenshot of Switchboard integration options including Google Docs, Airtable,
In Switchboard, you can easily copy and paste the apps, browsers, and files into the room without interrupting your workflow.
Source: Switchboard

Key features:

  • Shared online workspace and rooms for recurring meetings
  • Web-based canvas to add multiple apps, websites, PDFs, and images side by side
  • Persistent rooms that save your work
  • In-meeting video, audio, and chat
  • Secure, fast cloud browsers for instant collaboration
  • Screen sharing for native apps
  • Presentation mode
  • In-app support
  • Google Calendar integration
  • Unlimited rooms for 1:1s, meetings, and projects
  • Meeting recording
  • No integration required for web-based apps—they all work
  • Room permissions for members and guests
  • Sections to organize documents and apps
  • Host not required for members to enter a room


  • Free: Includes limited features, rooms, and members for small teams or individuals.
  • Pro: $15 member/month for up to 200 rooms and 500 members plus Switchboard AI and additional storage.
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing.

Best for: 

  • Highly collaborative small remote or hybrid companies looking for a comprehensive and team-oriented solution to traditional remote communication and collaboration tools.
Screenshot of a Switchboard workspace.
Switchboard lets you collaborate with your colleagues on projects in real time.
Source: Switchboard

SpatialChat is a virtual workspace tool that brings remote or hybrid teams together through personalized offices and rooms. This app lets you create your own customized headquarters by connecting you to multiple tools, coworkers, and conversations at the same time. 

It lets you host internal meetings like a town hall or all-hands meetings, work synchronously on the same projects, program in pairs, and even prepare what you need for a sales pitch in a virtual room. This way, you can keep everyone on the same page and supercharge your remote team’s productivity.

Key features:

  • Virtual office
  • Document and file sharing 
  • Simultaneous screen sharing
  • Ability to organize meetings, events, and interactive presentations
  • Browser-based application 
  • Integration with virtual whiteboard software like Miro for brainstorming 
  • Personalized offices and office decor 


  • Free plan
  • Regular plan: $6/month per user 
  • Enterprise: custom priced 

Best for: 

  • Remote or hybrid teams of any size looking for a virtual coworking workspace and to host virtual meetings and conferences with multiple teams.
Screenshot of a virtual brainstorming session in SpatialChat.
SpatialChat lets you collaborate synchronously with your team and keep everyone on the same page.
Source: SpatialChat

Project management tools

For Dennis and his team, their project management tool is a central space to access and share information on projects, collaborate on tasks, and communicate with each other. Regardless of when—or where—they’re working, they always know who’s in charge of what and when upcoming due dates are.

Here’s our pick:


Asana is a comprehensive project management tool that lets your remote and hybrid teams assign, manage, and move tasks through a workflow. It helps streamline remote internal communications (especially related to tasks) so everyone knows the current status of a project, what they’re responsible for, and when it’s due.

The platform’s social media functions–for example, its “Like” button–also let people confirm that they’ve acknowledged and read messages, so no one’s ever left guessing. You can also leave comments, attach files, and even link to related projects to give feedback in context. 

Finally, if you need to have a conversation with a teammate or ask any task-related questions, you can use the app’s real-time messaging feature. This gives conversations context and helps you resolve issues more quickly. 

Key features: 

  • In-app messaging 
  • Shared team calendar and tasks timeline
  • Boards, list, timeline, and calendar views for better visualization
  • Forms feature to collect and consolidate information
  • Task update and reminder notifications
  • Task automation 
  • File sharing
  • Report dashboards 
  • Project templates 
  • Time-tracking for better accountability 


  • Free plan
  • Premium plan: $13.49/month per user
  • Business plan: $30.49/month per user
  • Enterprise: custom priced

Best for: 

  • Remote or hybrid organizations of all sizes looking to merge their project management workflows. 
A screenshot of a project management pipeline on Asana.
Asana makes it easy to communicate about tasks and projects by giving you visibility into cross-departmental workflows.
Source: Asana

Async communication tools

Dennis is a night owl and one of the things he loves about being part of a distributed team with flexible schedules is that he can work when it suits him. And thanks to asynchronous communication tools, he has a record of everything that’s been going on while he’s offline. This makes it easy to follow up and check that everything is on track and everyone has the information they need

Here are a couple of our favorite tools for async communication:

1. Slack

Slack is a popular communication tool that lets remote and hybrid teams exchange information quickly and easily—even if you’re not online at the same time. Just log on and leave a message for a coworker so they can get back to you when they come online. Or send them a GIF (or a meme) for some mid-work fun. Having tools that recreate the feeling of working in person not only boosts collaboration, it helps build strong, connected teams. 

You can also organize conversations by topic, make video and audio calls, or use virtual huddles and audio chat rooms to cowork or have spontaneous conversations. 

Key Features: 

  • Internal and external team communication
  • Huddles and clips
  • Audio and video calls
  • Screen recording feature
  • Integrations and apps 
  • Documents, files, and voice note sharing
  • Desktop, mobile, and browser-based web application


  • Pro plan: $8.75/month per person
  • Business plan: $15/month per person 
  • Enterprise: custom priced 

Best for:

  • Distributed teams of any size that need an organized, central space for async communication and file-sharing.
A screenshot of multiple team members communicating in a Slack channel.
Slack is an instant messaging tool that lets distributed teams connect and share information easily—when it suits them. 
Source: Slack

2. Loom 

Loom is a video messaging tool that lets remote and hybrid workers communicate more effectively through easy-to-create, shareable videos. It’s great to share quick updates, instructions, or feedback without having to organize a call. You can record and share your Loom when it suits you, and your colleagues can watch it at the right time for them. 

You can record your camera, microphone, and desktop at the same time to give your people feedback or explain a certain task better. This way, you get your point across and make sure everyone understands the next steps.

You can also share critical company updates, put a face to impersonal emails, and help everyone stay on top of internal comms. Every loom is stored in one easy-to-access library so nothing gets lost.

Key features: 

  • Available as Chrome extension, desktop, and mobile app
  • Engagement insights 
  • Custom branding
  • Simultaneous camera and screen recording 
  • Easy-to-share video links
  • Ability to edit, trim, and change video playback speed 
  • Recording transcripts 
  • Time-based comments and emoji reactions
  • Automatic cloud storage


  • Free plan
  • Business plan: $10/month per user
  • Enterprise: custom priced 

Best for: 

  • Distributed teams that rely on async communication to run their day-to-day operations.
  • Companies looking to cut down on unnecessary meetings and exchange information more efficiently.
A screenshot of Loom’s video and screen recording communication tool.
Loom helps you stay connected and asynchronously share information more easily with your internal and external teams.
Source: Twist

Visual collaboration 

Imagine you’re working on a new mobile app and you need a teammate’s help. If you were all in the same office, you could get together on the fly to brainstorm the design around a physical whiteboard. But when everyone’s remote, you need visual collaboration tools, like virtual whiteboards, to help you brainstorm ideas and communicate better. Here’s our favorite visual collaboration app:


Lucidchart is an online diagramming app that brings distributed teams together by letting you organize information and ideas in a visual way. You can create and edit diagrams, such as flowcharts, organization charts, wireframes, and network diagrams. 

And if you need a team member's help while you’re diagramming, you can just invite them to participate in the same file. Being able to ask questions on the spot and assigning someone to answer them directly in the product helps you solve your problems faster and avoid emailing back and forth. 

The platform integrates with the tools you already use, like Google Workspace (previously G Suite), Slack, Atlassian, and Microsoft. 

Key features: 

  • Mind maps and process diagrams 
  • Comments and sticky notes for in-app communication
  • Document and file sharing  
  • Email and link sharing  


  • Free plan with limited functionality 
  • Individual plan: $7.95/month 
  • Team plan: $9/month per user
  • Enterprise: custom priced 

Best for: 

  • Distributed teams that rely on visual diagramming and brainstorming to run their day-to-day operations.
LucidChart’s visual diagram collaboration tool where three colleagues are working on a flowchart.
LucidChart is a visual diagramming tool that makes team communication easier by providing a shared space for creating and editing diagrams.
Source: LucidChart


An important part of Dennis’ day is making sure the sales team has up-to-date information about new inbound leads. But sharing it means a lot of repetitive, time-consuming manual work. If Dennis isn’t on it as soon as a lead comes in, it can go cold before it gets to the sales team. Even when he manages to keep up, with so many communication channels, it’s easy for important messages to get missed. Fortunately, there are tools to automate the process so he can share information faster and more reliably.  

Every element of your communication tech stack needs to make it easier for you and your teams to talk to each other. Automations are just another useful way to reduce manual work and human error. This also streamlines communication processes by freeing up your time—so make sure everyone knows what they need to know.


Zapier is an automation tool that lets you connect different web apps and automate repetitive tasks by creating “zaps.” Zaps are actions triggered by an event.

For example, you could create a zap that automatically creates a new task in your project management tool when you get a relevant email. Or, one that automatically sends a message to your client-facing channel on Slack when a new project is ready for their review.

And when it comes to improving your internal communication, you can set up a zap that automatically sends a daily summary email to your team with updates on deadlines and progress. Or, you can trigger reminders and notifications for upcoming meetings so your team stays on track.

Zapier reduces both manual errors and the need for manual coordination when exchanging information. By setting up the necessary automations, you can be sure that the important information will always reach the right people at the right time.

Key features: 

  • Single-step zaps for straightforward automations
  • Multi-step zaps for complicate automations 
  • Schedule function for planning your zaps 


  • Free plan
  • Starter plan: $29.99/month 
  • Professional plan: $73.50/month 
  • Team plan: $598.50/month
  • Company plan: $1198.50/month

Best for: 

  • Remote teams of any size that need to reduce repetitive tasks and streamline internal and external communication.
An automated workflow created through Zapier.
Zapier is an automation tool that streamlines remote team communication through “zaps.”
Source: Zapier

How can Switchboard help improve internal communications?

When you’re part of a remote or hybrid team, every tool can be used as a communication tool—whether they’re audio, video, instant messaging, comments, or even virtual sticky notes. 

Online and hybrid working brings unique opportunities—and unique challenges. So you need a communication tech stack that brings distributed teams together and lets them use the right communication options for each situation.

Online workspaces like Switchboard make you feel like you’re all actually working in the same room. The platform works with all the popular web-based communication apps out there and gives your team a dynamic space to communicate effectively, collaborate, and get better visibility into projects. Plus, it lets your teams replicate the feeling of those spontaneous hallway conversations with work friends, which helps them feel more connected. 

With Switchboard, Dennis can: 

  • Have conversations anywhere and still keep things organized 
  • Communicate effectively in every situation
  • Keep all the necessary documents and files in one place
  • Ensure everyone has access to the information they need
  • Boost remote or hybrid teamwork, morale, and participation
Screenshot of five colleagues working together in a Switchboard virtual room.
Switchboard helps your team members feel more connected by giving you a dynamic space to work together.
Source: Switchboard

Communication tools: Taking remote work to the next level

One of the great things about online work is that it gives you the freedom to work from anywhere and at almost any time. You can jump on a video call from a cafe, send a quick voice note as you’re walking the dog, or work on a project whenever inspiration strikes. 

And with the right set of communication tools, you don’t have to scour Slack threads—or DM Dennis—every time you need a file. You’ll know exactly where things are.

Because in remote teams, communication happens in all types of tools. When you have the right apps, you and your team can get to know each other in a deeper way, have spontaneous interactions, and create a positive, collaborative work environment. 

Switchboard brings all your internal communications tools together so you can transform your team into a productive, engaged, and connected workforce. Its shared, secure virtual workspace goes beyond video conferencing to let your remote teams communicate effectively no matter where they are. 

Want a communication tool that fits any situation?
Switchboard brings all your tools together and gives your distributed teams the virtual space they need to communicate.
Sign up

Frequently asked questions about the best communication tools for remote teams

How can you improve communication between remote teams?

One way to improve remote team communication is to use communication apps like Switchboard, Slack, Asana, Lucidchart, and Zapier. These tools help you:

  • Communicate in real-time and get the right information out at the right time 
  • Share files so everyone can easily access key documents 
  • Collaborate on projects and keep track of tasks 
  • Increase accountability and transparency within the team 
  • Help you create a sense of connection and community between your people 
  • Enable virtual meetings and check-ins for improved communication

What are the best communication channels for remote working?

The best communication channel for remote working depends on your company’s unique needs and setup. It's important to experiment with different tools and channels to find what works best for your team, but some of the most popular options out there include: 

  • Switchboard for real-time collaboration
  • Slack and Microsoft Teams for instant messaging 
  • Loom for asynchronous communication
  • Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype for video conferencing 
  • Gmail for Email
  • Asana,, Notion, and Trello for project management 

What communication tools are most effective in working closely with the team?

The most effective communication tools for working closely with your team will depend on the  specific use case. But in general, there are some criteria you should prioritize that can help you choose between a great tool and an okay one:

  • Real-time communication through online meeting platforms and virtual meeting rooms 
  • Rooms that save your work so you can pick up again where you left off 
  • Screen sharing and presenting capabilities to keep everyone on the same page 
  • Virtual whiteboards, comments, sticky notes, and in-room chat for two-way, real-time communication and collaboration 
  • File-sharing capabilities so everyone can easily access key documents 
  • A virtual office for teams to easily find each other 
  • Integrations with your existing tech stack for seamless workflows  
  • Availability across a range of devices so your teams can work from anywhere 
  • Meeting recording so you can stay up to date even if you missed the meeting 
  • Data security and encrypted infrastructure to safeguard company and client information  
  • In-app support to resolve issues fast

Stop, collaborate, and listen

Get product updates and Switchboard tips and tricks delivered right to your inbox.

You can unsubscribe at any time using the links at the bottom of the newsletter emails. More information is in our privacy policy.

You've been added to our newsletter full of tips and Switchboard updates.

You can unsubscribe at any time using the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Want a communication tool that fits any situation?

Switchboard brings all your tools together and gives your distributed teams the virtual space they need to communicate.