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The top 7 online workspaces for a remote team’s success
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The top 7 online workspaces for a remote team’s success

A dedicated online workspace can create a bridge between isolated workers and the company as a whole, fostering crucial cross-team alignment and a sense of community.

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Remote work brings a lot of benefits to companies and employees. When your teams can work from anywhere, you can access talent around the world. Plus, it lets you offer the flexibility that modern employees expect, which makes it easier to attract and retain them. 

But it does mean you need to work harder to foster the same cross-team alignment and sense of community you get with face-to-face work. 

A dedicated online workspace is one way to achieve this. It creates a bridge between isolated remote workers and the company as a whole. This keeps everyone on the same page and promotes teamwork by making online communication and collaboration easier.  

But not all online workspace software is the same. So before you invest, you’ll want to check out which platforms are specifically designed to facilitate collaboration and spontaneous interactions. The right platform is key to unlocking your team’s potential and helping you attract and retain the best remote talent.

We’ve put together a list of the seven best online workspace tools to help you do just that. We’ll also give you tips on choosing the best online workspace for your company’s unique needs.

Want an online workspace built for teamwork?
Switchboard lets you create collaborative virtual rooms for side-by-side remote working. 
Sign up

The benefits of using an online workspace

An online workspace lets remote or hybrid teams collaborate and communicate in a virtual environment. By bringing in all the tools and apps you need, you can work within existing online frameworks—but in a new and improved way.

Great online workspaces help remote teams access and edit important documents and work side-by-side on projects as if they were in the same room. Ultimately, they give employees all the tools (and human interaction) they need to feel connected and do their best work.

The best online workspaces: 

  • Enable spontaneous interactions in remote work environments
  • Make it easy to share and keep track of files, documents, and apps
  • Optimize cross-functional communication and project management
  • Strengthen relationships with clients
  • Help remote teams foster a collaborative company culture and community 

Key features of an online workspace

Not all online workspaces are created equal. When choosing one for your team, it is important to have a discerning eye so that you choose the best one for your team’s unique needs. That being said, there are several key features that should be part of any robust online workspace software. These include: 

  • Project collaboration tools to unify and share information any time, from any location
  • Visibility into who’s working on which files
  • A virtual office that creates a place for team meetings 
  • Integrations with the tools your teams already use
  • Security for protecting your files and information
  • File, web app, and document sharing to streamline collaboration 

An online workspace that offers teams a dedicated space to work on projects and communicate with colleagues will help them stay focused and productive. It also helps bridge the gap between isolated workers and the company, creating more of a sense of community. 

The 7 best online workspaces for remote collaboration

Now you know what key features an online workspace should offer, here are the top seven tools we recommend for remote teams.

Remember: choosing the right software for your organization isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. Use our guide to help you determine which tool(s) meet your specific business needs and objectives.  

1. Switchboard

Switchboard is a browser-based collaboration platform that lets you 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. 

In Switchboard, 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 add whiteboard tools, 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 apps and files after every meeting, so you never need to download anything or repopulate the room again. 

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

Pricing:

  • 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: 

  • Small remote or hybrid businesses that want to increase collaboration and productivity in their organization. Switchboard helps them create a more connected working culture and environment. 
  • Cross-functional teams in these types of organizations that want online working to feel the same as in the office, where people can sit side by side and share ideas.
Screenshot of Switchboard’s virtual room with multiple files and participants
Switchboard helps remote teams collaborate on ideas, increasing productivity and a sense of community.
Source: Switchboard

2. Notion 

Notion is a digital workspace that lets teams create and collaborate through shared documents and customizable templates. The workspace lets you access, edit, and collaborate on cloud-based documents in real time. 

You can publish important company documents like job postings directly to your website—and keep teams, tasks, and documents organized.

Notion lets remote and hybrid teams create intuitive workflows from their existing documents, notes, and standard operating procedures. You can also design intricate guides, codebases, and project roadmaps. 

By providing context to processes, meetings, projects, and collaborative brainstorming, Notion helps boost team productivity, manage and streamline company knowledge, and increase employee engagement.

Features: 

  • Ability to connect teams, projects, and docs in one place 
  • Wikis and to-do lists for easy task prioritization
  • File storage
  • Cloud storage
  • Project mapping 
  • Customizable templates 
  • Real-time edits, comments, and notifications 
  • Drag and drop task manager 
  • Ability to set deadlines and due dates on tasks and projects 

Pricing: 

  • Starts free 
  • Plus tier: $8/month per user  
  • Business tier: $15/month per user

Best for: 

  • Remote or hybrid teams specializing in agile methodologies like Kanban for monitoring workflow activities. 
  • Design or product teams looking for highly collaborative ways to build internal processes, resources, and workflows.
Screenshot of Notion’s document organization listview
Notion keeps all your company documents and resources in one place for easy team access and collaboration.
Source: Notion

3. Coda

Coda is a cloud-based document management and sharing tool that brings words, data, and teams together. It lets remote and hybrid teams create the building blocks of their organization through complex documents. Coda documents have infinite scrolling, tables that communicate with each other, and buttons that trigger actions within or outside your document. 

Coda lets you create documents that integrate with your favorite apps for a streamlined organizational database, up-to-date resources, and company knowledge that scales with you. 

Features: 

  • Document editor
  • Drag and drop task manager 
  • Document revision history
  • Multi-user collaboration
  • App integrations 
  • Real-time communication
  • Task prioritization
  • Knowledge management

Pricing: 

  • Starts free 
  • Pro plan: $10/month per Doc Maker
  • Team plan: $30/month per Doc Maker
  • Enterprise: custom priced 

Best for: 

  • Product teams in fast-growing businesses looking for intuitive product development workflows and roadmaps for remote or hybrid work. 
  • Remote teams with advanced tool stacks that prioritize data-driven documentation.
Screenshot of Coda project timeline documentation for task management
Coda gives remote teams visibility into their projects, tasks, and company files by integrating their preferred tech tools in space.
Source: Coda

4. Trello 

Trello is a work and project management tool that organizes processes and simplifies team collaboration through personalized cards, boards, and calendar updates. By giving you everything you need to know about your project, tasks, or schedule at a glance, it gets rid of distracting, repetitive notifications. 

Trello breaks project management, meetings, and key team information into visual chunks on an intuitive dashboard—all of which improves productivity and team alignment. Trello also lets you create automated sequences to move repetitive tasks and team projects along. As a result, teams are better able to handle and predict workflow changes. 

Features: 

  • Calendar view 
  • Integration with other tools
  • Automated commands and triggers
  • Task prioritization and progress tracking
  • Content management
  • To-do lists 
  • Project mapping  

Pricing: 

  • Starts free 
  • Standard tier: $5/month per user
  • Premium tier: $10/month per user
  • Enterprise: custom priced 

Best for: 

  • Remote teams navigating a variety of tasks and project types that prefer a visual approach to learning and task management.
Screenshot of Trello’s different task views and dashboards
Trello lets remote teams access a unified hub for team, project, and scheduling updates.
Source: Trello

5. Monday.com

Monday.com is a project management tool that lets teams customize workflows with tools specific to their team or department’s needs. It’s a useful platform for big companies that regularly work with contractors or freelancers and need to stay on top of shifting dates, billable hours, and other moving parts. 

The platform lets you take care of important remote company operations like time tracking, invoice creation, and delivery. In addition, it enables an organized remote workflow and centralized, all-in-one experience with task prioritization and recurring task management. 

Monday.com also gives you snapshots of the months or weeks ahead, so teams get insight into their coworkers’ availability for future collaboration or iteration. 

Features: 

  • Task creation and assignment 
  • Project mapping 
  • To-do lists 
  • Complex task management functionality 
  • Activity dashboard 
  • Automated workflows and workflow templates
  • Supports multiple workflows

Pricing: 

  • Starts free
  • Basic is $8/month per user 
  • Standard is $10/month per user 
  • Pro is $16/month per user
  • Enterprise: custom priced

Best for: 

  • Large remote or hybrid teams that prioritize communications and cross-departmental planning. 
Screenshot of Monday.com visual dashboard and mobile planner
Monday.com helps big virtual teams stay connected and up-to-date on projects across departments.
Source: Monday.com

6. Asana

Asana is a comprehensive work management tool that lets remote teams assign, manage, and instinctively move tasks through a workflow. It helps establish team continuity by giving you visibility to meeting agendas, project plans, and work requests. 

It’s an easily scalable platform that can effectively create tasks and manage workflows including creative production timelines, Agile Management, marketing campaign management, and project management. 

Features: 

  • Workflow builder 
  • Timeline and Gantt chart builder
  • Boards for project development 
  • Calendar view
  • Workload reporting 
  • Automations to streamline workflows
  • Project templates

Pricing: 

  • Starts free
  • Premium: $10.99/month per user
  • Business: $24.99/month per user
  • Enterprise: custom priced  

Best for: 

  • Any sized remote or hybrid organization looking to consolidate their project management workflows.
Screenshot of Asana work management timeline
Asana makes task and project management easy for remote teams and gives you insights into cross-departmental workflows.
Source: Asana

7. ClickUp

ClickUp is a productivity platform that breaks up complex projects and workflows into task-based structures. Teams can access their tasks on a shared dashboard and collaborate by tagging each other on relevant projects. 

ClickUp also lets you track projects and tasks, and take temperature checks of employee workloads and time commitments. Once you’re finished with your task, it notifies team members to start their associated tasks to prevent bottlenecks. 

Features: 

  • Task creation and management
  • 15+ project views and Gantt charts
  • Email automation functionality 
  • Ability to see active users 
  • Task reminders and comments
  • Whiteboard function  

Pricing: 

  • Starts free
  • Unlimited: $5/month per member
  • Business: $12/month per member 
  • Business Plus: $19/month per member 
  • Enterprise: custom priced

Best for: 

  • Startups and small to medium remote or hybrid teams with multi-step projects, workflows, and tasks.
Screenshot of ClickUp homepage
ClickUp unifies teams by helping them manage and collaborate on tasks, and share updates on core team issues, reviews, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Source: ClickUp
Pro tip: Use ClickUp and all other tools mentioned in this article with Switchboard. These web-based apps work inside your Switchboard room without any need for an integration.

How Switchboard fuels team collaboration for remote teams

For remote and hybrid teams to collaborate in a genuine way—and foster cross-team alignment and a sense of community—leadership teams need to work to create a bridge between team members and the company as a whole.

Using Switchboard as your dedicated online workspace helps to boost your team’s ability to engage and work together to meet their targets. The platform enables both real-time and async opportunities for collaboration that make teams feel more connected and aligned. 

By giving your teams a dynamic online workspace, you can: 

  • Boost remote or hybrid teamwork, morale, and participation 
  • Engage clients through collaborative communication 
  • Give teams the feeling of an in-person office with the benefits of remote work
  • Build a strong company culture through spontaneous interactions 

Online workspaces: the key to fostering remote cross-team collaboration 

The shift to remote and hybrid working has revolutionized how companies hire—and how teams collaborate and communicate. 

Being able to work from anywhere is a big draw for top talent. But it comes with some unique challenges for leaders. Among them, achieving the same cross-team alignment and sense of community you get in a physical office.  

Fortunately, a dedicated online workspace like Switchboard helps you do just that. It’s designed to facilitate spontaneous collaboration—anytime, anywhere—with intuitive virtual canvases and “always open” meeting rooms that save your work. 

When you provide your remote teams with the tools they need to communicate effectively, you create a bridge between isolated workers and the company as a whole. This lets you unlock their true potential and ensures everyone can benefit from remote working.

Want an online workspace built for teamwork?
Switchboard lets you create collaborative virtual rooms for side-by-side remote working. 
Sign up
.

Frequently asked questions about online workspaces

What is an online workspace?

A virtual office is an online office space that provides teams with the tools, services, and software they need to accomplish tasks and achieve professional objectives. It helps free up remote or hybrid teams by giving them the digital space to do their jobs without renting or owning physical office space.  

What is the difference between an online workspace and an online office?

The difference between an online workspace and an online office is that an online workspace acts as an all-in-one solution (i.e. Google Workspace or Google Drive). It allows businesses to create a centralized platform to collaborate with teammates and clients in real time through add-ons and integrations. Though similar, an online office emulates a physical office and lets people work together wherever they are in the world using an online office platform.

What is the best online workspace?

Although there are many different types of online workspaces, each with its own specific features and user types, Switchboard is one of the best online workspaces for team collaboration. It lets you: 

  • Boost remote or hybrid teamwork, morale, and participation 
  • Engage clients through collaborative communication 
  • Give teams the feeling of an in-person office 
  • Build a strong company culture through spontaneous interactions

What are the benefits of using an online workspace?

There are many benefits to using an online workspace. Online workspaces:

  • Enable spontaneous interactions in remote work environments
  • Make it easy to share files, documents, and apps
  • Optimize cross-functional communication and project management
  • Strengthen relationships with clients
  • Help you prioritize company culture and community 

What is an online collaboration tool?

An online collaboration tool, like online collaboration software, is any tool that helps remote or hybrid teams collaborate, communicate, and connect in a virtual setting.

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Want an online workspace built for teamwork?

Switchboard lets you create collaborative virtual rooms for side-by-side remote working.