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The 8 best internal communication tools to bring the best out in your remote teams
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The 8 best internal communication tools to bring the best out in your remote teams

Stay connected with your remote or hybrid team with these top internal communication tools. Boost productivity, improve communication, and keep everyone in sync.

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Alex and Usman jointly manage a team of developers at a remote startup. Alex is based in Singapore and Usman is in France. They often work closely together on sprint planning sessions and every week they jump on a video call to prioritize upcoming tasks and projects to keep their engineers and designers on track. 

But the time difference means they also need to rely on collaboration tools that help them move projects forward asynchronously. That can mean they don’t always communicate as effectively as they’d like. Documents can get buried in Slack threads and emails, they have to prepare the same materials each time they meet, and they don’t feel as connected as an in-person team. 

And it’s no wonder—they’re using communication tools and processes that were originally designed with an office environment in mind, not the remote world we live in today. 

Alex and Usman need a solution that keeps their teams engaged, aligned, and productive no matter where they are. 

However, some internal comms software is better than others at giving them (and you) visibility over your remote team—and the organizational tools to keep it moving in the right direction. 

That’s why we’ve put together an overview of the eight best internal communications tools to choose from. We’ve also included what to consider before investing, so you can find the best solution for your team.

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10 things to look for when choosing an internal comms tool

Over communication is the key to effective hybrid and remote work. However, it’s important to keep that communication organized—a study from Qatalog found that remote workers can spend up to an hour a day switching between different apps trying to find what they need and that 49% of them worry that information can get lost.

Remote teams need internal communication tools that save time by streamlining day-to-day interactions—resulting in increased productivity and better teamwork. To find the best tool for your company, prioritize these features in your search:

  1. Real-time communication through online meeting platforms and virtual meeting rooms 
  2. Meeting rooms that save your work so you can all pick up again where you left off the next time 
  3. Screen sharing and presenting capabilities to keep everyone on the same page 
  4. Virtual whiteboards, comments, sticky notes, and in-room chat for two-way, real-time communication 
  5. A virtual office for teams to easily find each other   
  6. Availability across a range of devices so your teams can work from anywhere 
  7. Data security and encrypted infrastructure to safeguard company and client information 

These are the 8 best internal communication tools for remote teams—and here’s why 

Given the key features we identified, here are eight internal comms tools to streamline your communication. We’ve done the homework and analyzed each platform’s top features, who it’s best for, and its pricing to help you pick the best option.

Here are our top choices:

  1. Online workspace: Switchboard
  2. Email: Gmail 
  3. Intranet: Notion 
  4. Asynchronous video messaging: Loom 
  5. Research: SurveyMonkey
  6. Messaging: Slack
  7. Project management: Asana 
  8. To do list: Todoist

Each tool is designed with the unique challenges of small remote startups in mind to improve communication processes and make distributed teams feel more connected.

Let’s take a look at each one in depth. 

1. Online workspace: Switchboard 

Switchboard is a browser-based collaboration platform that allows you to 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 allowing everyone to scroll, type, and browse the same document at the same time. 

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, you can explore any file in the room, moving around and viewing whatever you want without getting in the way of others. Best of all, Switchboard saves all your files after every meeting, so you never need to download anything or repopulate the room again. 

If you regularly need to use a Gantt chart in Asana, you can keep the app open in the appropriate room to pick up where you left off every time. You can also find the right files between meetings instead of searching through email or Slack.

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


  • Switchboard is currently free with all features included. It plans to introduce pricing tiers in mid-2023 and there will always be a free option.

Best for: 

Switchboard is ideal for highly collaborative, small to medium-sized remote or hybrid organizations (50 employees or less). It’s great if you’re looking for a more collaborative alternative to traditional video conferencing tools.

Screenshot of Switchboard’s virtual room with multiple participants collaborating on a document.
Caption: Switchboard helps remote teams work together on ideas, increasing productivity and a sense of community.
Source: Switchboard

2. Email: Gmail

Gmail is one of the most ubiquitous and reliable pieces of internal communication software out there. It keeps a record of all conversations, is easily searchable, and can be integrated with other internal comms tools to increase your team’s productivity. For example, Usman uses it in conjunction with the project management software Asana (more on this later) to turn his emails into actionable tasks. 

Key features1

  • Professional email address with the company domain
  • Robust integrations
  • Automatic calendar events creation
  • Google Apps for collaboration (Drive, Documents, Sheets, Slides, and Calendar) 
  • Automatic email filters and categories  
  • File sharing across Google Apps


  • Business Starter Plan: $6/month per user
  • Business Standard Plan: $12/month per user
  • Business Plus Plan: $18/month per user
  • Custom Plans are also available

Best for: 

  • Teams of all sizes looking for a secure email service to exchange and store information and documents as well as simplify internal communications.
Screenshot of the Gmail interface showing a user’s inbox.
Gmail is a reliable and popular platform that simplifies internal communication and information storage.
Source: Google

3. Intranet: Notion

Notion is a digital workspace that lets teams create and collaborate through shared documents and dedicated workspaces. It lets you access, edit, and collaborate on cloud-based files in real time, which makes Notion a straightforward and user-friendly choice for your company intranet. 

With Notion, you can easily create intuitive workflows based on existing files, notes, and standard operating procedures (SOPs). It also helps you make intricate guides, codebases, or project roadmaps for all types of projects.

When Alex and Usman kick off a new project, Notion is their go-to platform to create a knowledge base within a Switchboard room. Their team also uses it to publish important documents like company-wide announcements and resources. This keeps teams, tasks, and documents organized. With everything in one place, Alex and Usman never need to worry about anyone being left out of the loop.

Key features3

  • Workspaces and databases
  • Public and private pages 
  • Event calendar function
  • Document and file sharing 
  • Powerful search to help find information faster 
  • Real-time notifications  
  • Collaborative documents  
  • Ability to embed support forms to simplify support ticket submissions


  • Free Plan 
  • Plus Plan: $10/month per user 
  • Business Plan: $18/month per user
  • Custom Plans also available

Best for: 

  • Remote or hybrid teams specializing in agile methodologies like Kanban for monitoring workflow activities.
  • Distributed teams that need a single source for all important company documents, SOPs, and announcements.
  • Design or product teams looking for highly collaborative ways to build internal processes, resources, and workflows.
Screenshot of the Notion workspace used for employee communication.
Notion keeps all your company documents and resources in one place for easier team access and better communication.
Source: Notion

 4. Asynchronous video messaging: Loom

Loom is a video messaging tool that lets remote and hybrid workers communicate more effectively by using instantly shareable videos. 

Let’s say Alex needs to give the developers some feedback on the results of a previous sprint. Instead of sharing a bunch of screenshots and voice notes, Alex can record a Loom and leave it in the sprint planning room. This way, they instantly get their point across and make sure everyone understands the next steps. 

You can also share critical company updates, put a face to otherwise impersonal emails, and help everyone stay in the loop. Every Loom is also stored in one easy-to-access library so nothing gets lost.

Key features: 

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


  • Free Plan
  • Business Plan: $10/month per user
  • Custom Plan is available

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.
Screenshot of the Loom interface before starting a recording.
Loom helps virtual teams stay connected and share information more easily.
Source: Loom

5. Research: SurveyMonkey

An effective remote internal comms strategy is about more than announcing company news and sharing internal newsletters. It’s about having a two-way conversation with your people. SurveyMonkey is a survey software that lets you gather feedback and learn how you can improve the employee experience.

With this app, you can easily send your team polls, quizzes, or surveys for insights on their workload or new policies. For Alex and Usman, it’s invaluable to gather feedback from their team on how each sprint went, so they can improve for next time.  

Key features5

  • Survey tools optimized for mobile and desktop
  • Insights and analytics
  • Custom branding
  • Survey response filtering
  • Reporting dashboards and trend data 


  • Team Advantage Plan: $25/month per user
  • Team Premier: $75/month per user
  • Custom Plan is available

Best for: 

  • Remote marketing, customer services, and HR teams that need to improve employee engagement and customer loyalty.
  • If your team is looking for other options, HubSpot's form builder tools are an alternative.
Screenshot of SurveyMonkey’s employee engagement survey dashboard.
SurveyMonkey lets you keep a finger on the pulse of your team and collect feedback effectively.
Source: SurveyMonkey

6. Messaging: Slack

Slack is a popular employee communication and collaboration tool that lets remote and hybrid teams exchange information quickly and easily. Users can organize conversations based on topic or function, automate routine actions and communications, and make video and audio calls. They can also use “huddles,” audio chat rooms, to cowork or make spontaneous conversations.

Key Features7

  • Internal and external team communication
  • Huddles and clips
  • 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 
  • Custom Plan is available

Best for:

Distributed teams of any size that need organized, central spaces for conversation and file-sharing.

Screenshot of workplace communication on Slack.
Slack is an instant messaging tool that lets distributed teams stay connected and share information easily.
Source: Slack

7. Project management: Asana

Asana is a comprehensive project management tool that lets remote and hybrid teams assign, manage, and move tasks through a workflow. It helps streamline remote internal communications (especially related to tasks) since everyone can see project statuses, who’s responsible for which tasks, and when those tasks are due.

One of the founders helped invent the ubiquitous social media "like" button, so it's no surprise that Asana users also have a "like" button to confirm they've received messages and tasks.

You can use Asana in a Switchboard room for real-time project collaboration with colleagues. For async feedback in context, you can leave comments, attach files, and link to related projects. Plus, when you complete a task, one of Asana’s famous celebration creatures, like a unicorn or yeti, will fly across your screen.

Pro tip: Asana’s Gmail integration lets you create tasks directly from your inbox. Every time you create a task from Gmail, the task shows up in Asana and automatically includes the context of your email, so you never have to switch between tools. You can do all of this from inside a dedicated Switchboard project room.

Key features9

  • In-app messaging 
  • Shared team calendar and tasks timeline
  • Boards, list, timeline, and calendar views for better visualization
  • Forms to collect and consolidate feedback or information
  • Task automation 
  • File sharing
  • Report dashboards 
  • Project templates library 


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

Best for: 

  • Any sized remote or hybrid organizations looking to consolidate their project management workflows. 
Screenshot of a project management dashboard in Asana.
Asana makes task and project management easy for remote teams and lends visibility into cross-departmental workflows.
Source: Asana

8. To-do list: Todoist

Todoist is a task management software that lets you create and manage current and upcoming assignments. You can assign tasks to your team members, organize them into different categories or projects, and set ad-hoc or recurring due dates. You can also help people arrange tasks by adding priority levels. 

Leave notes, comments, attachments, or even voice notes within each task to give your team as much context as possible. Finally, connect Todoist to your email and simplify your workflow by forwarding emails into the app as tasks or comments.

Key features:

  • Task reminders 
  • Notes and comments
  • Notifications 
  • Project labels and filters 
  • Recurring tasks 
  • Calendar view 
  • File sharing
  • Kanban board
  • Task assignees and priority levels 


  • Free Plan
  • Pro plan: $5/month 
  • Business plan: $8/month per user

Best for: 

  • Small remote teams that need to keep on top of daily tasks and shared projects.
  • Development, product, and design teams looking for a straightforward tracking system.
Screenshot of a user’s personal work environment in Todoist.
Todoist helps users prioritize and stay on top of tasks and project progress.
Source: Todoist

How Switchboard fuels internal communication for remote teams

Remote and hybrid employees often feel that processes and tools designed for an office environment fall short for fully remote teams in 2023. Team leads like Alex and Usman aren’t alone in needing collaboration and communication tools that better adjust to the unique needs of remote teams. 

By contrast, online workspaces like Switchboard were designed with remote teams in mind, making you feel like you and your colleagues are actually working in the same room. The platform provides a dynamic space to have more engaging meetings, communicate effectively, and get better visibility on projects. Plus, 1:1 rooms let your teams replicate the feeling of those spontaneous hallway conversations with work friends. 

Switchboard gives you the spaces and communication tools you need so you can: 

  • Boost remote or hybrid teamwork, morale, and participation
  • Ensure everyone has access to the information they need
  • Have all the necessary documents and files in dedicated meeting and project rooms
  • Have the feeling of an in-person office with the benefits of remote work
  • Build a strong company culture through spontaneous conversations 

Internal communications tools: A better way to keep distributed teams connected

Remote teams often use internal communication tools and processes that were designed for an office environment. To meet the unique challenges of online and hybrid working, however, you need a new set of employee communication tools designed specifically for remote teams to improve communication and help them feel more connected.

Fortunately, with Gmail, Asana, Slack, Notion, Loom, Todoist, and SurveyMonkey, you can have the best of both worlds: the convenience and perks of hybrid or remote work and the spontaneous, human connection of in-person teams. Each one is designed to meet the unique challenges of online working—rather than trying to fit the square peg of office-based tools into the round hole of remote working. 

However, the real key to creating a remote work environment, where everyone feels connected and can find what they need, is a virtual workspace. A platform like Switchboard brings all your internal comms tools–and your coworkers–together. So you can meaningfully engage people, share the right information at the right time, and turn disconnected coworkers into a connected, engaged team.

Want a communication tool built just for remote teams?
Switchboard gives your distributed teams the communication tools they need to connect and work together. 
Sign up

Frequently asked questions about internal communication tools

What are internal communication tools?

Internal communication tools are software that simplify and manage the exchange of information between employees. Depending on the tool, you’ll be able to share files, have video or audio calls, make announcements, and organize all necessary internal information. 

What are the main types of internal communication?

There are many different ways people communicate within an organization. Some of the main types of internal communication include: 

  1. Top-down communication when leadership informs their team of the overall business strategy and direction. 
  2. Bottom-up communication when employees share information with their managers and leaders. 
  3. Peer-to-peer communication when coworkers discuss ideas among themselves.
  4. Crisis communication following a crisis such as product failings, tech mishaps, or employee or manager misconduct. 
  5. Cultural communication to strengthen company culture. For example, speaking about the organizational mission, values, rewards, or even upcoming team-building events. 
  6. Onboarding communication when your team is onboarding a new hire. Everything from showing them the communication channels to sending over documents to be signed. 

What are some of the internal communication techniques?

Some of the most popular internal communication techniques (although every company is going to have its own favorite method) include:

  • Virtual rooms
  • Face-to-face communication
  • Company intranet communication
  • Email correspondence
  • Instant messaging
  • Video and audio calling
  • Performance reviews
  • Brainstorming sessions and huddles 

What are some of the advantages of using internal communications tools?

The entire purpose of internal communication tools is to keep everyone on the same page and make it easier for teams to share information. This is particularly important for distributed, remote and hybrid teams. 

Some of the other important advantages of using an internal communication tool include:

  • Improved employee engagement and satisfaction
  • Enhanced sense of community
  • Simplified resource sharing
  • Easier and more effective access to information
  • Better collaboration between team members 
  • Higher productivity

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