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The top 7 online workspaces for effective remote team collaboration

The top 7 online workspaces for effective remote team collaboration

Published: 
December 22, 2022
Updated: 
December 22, 2022
5
 minute read  

Discover the best online workspaces for remote and hybrid team collaboration and connection—and supercharge team productivity across the board.

Table of Contents

In July 2022, data from LinkedIn showed that paid remote jobs posted on LinkedIn attracted more applicants (52.9%) and more views (46.0%) compared to on-site jobs. 

They also found that the number of paid remote job applications increased dramatically since they started data tracking in January 2020 (when 2.2% of remote jobs only attracted 2.9% of applications).

It’s safe to say remote work isn’t going anywhere—and the way teams manage remote team collaboration and communication says a lot about their company culture and ability to retain top talent. 

To get single teams and cross-functional teams on the same page, you need a secure online workspace that acts as a central hub for file sharing, communication, and ideation across the board. 

Before entrusting your virtual team communications to one online workspace software, you need to know the best tools out there—and whether they’re equipped to meet your needs. 

We’ll take you through: 

  • What an online workspace is
  • Key features of an online workspace 
  • Our recommendations for the 7 best online workspaces 
  • How Switchboard can fuel team collaboration for remote teams
Want an online workspace built for teamwork?
Switchboard lets you create collaborative virtual canvases while video conferencing with teammates in real-time.
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What is an online workspace?

An online workspace is a virtual environment that lets remote or hybrid teams collaborate with coworkers and communicate with clients in real-time. By bringing in all the tools and apps remote teams need, they can effectively collaborate within existing virtual frameworks.

They help disparate teams access and edit important projects and files, share key insights, and collaborate in a dynamic way. Ultimately, online workspaces give employees all the tools (and human interaction) they need to feel connected.

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
  • Create a strong rapport with clients
  • Help teams foster company culture and community 

Key features of an online workspace

An online workspace can involve various features that benefit different teams and their remote work needs. However, there are several key features that should be part of any strong online workspace software. These include: 

  • Video conferencing so teams can talk face-to-face in real-time
  • Virtual office for a communal team meeting place  
  • Integrations with the tools your teams use
  • Security for protecting your files and information
  • File, web app, and document sharing to streamline collaboration 
  • Virtual meeting rooms that are always available for spontaneous meetings

The 7 best online workspaces for remote collaboration

Now that you know what an online workspace is and the most important features, let’s explore some examples. Here are 7 online workspace and project collaboration tools to help inspire your tech stack and team. 

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

1. Switchboard

Switchboard lets teams bring all the tools they normally use into a powerful cloud coworking space. It lets you create hostless, browser-based rooms for teams, projects, and clients—and engage in a multiplayer experience instead of relying on a single presenter. And, with instant file, web app, and document sharing, there’s no more switching between tools, tabs, or interfaces during team—or client-facing meetings. 

With Switchboard, you can access virtual whiteboard tools that let you comment and post sticky notes on important shared files, projects, and web browsers. You can also independently navigate your room without affecting others, log into and easily switch between multiple workspaces, and lock apps and files into place in your room. 

The workspace also saves your meeting history, so anything you and your teammates work on stays secure within your virtual canvas. That way, you can always pick up where you left off without duplicating your efforts. 

Features: 

  • Workspaces 
  • Video conferencing 
  • Switchboard Rooms for team, project, and client collaboration
  • Host-less public or private rooms and member management for security 
  • Private 1:1 rooms for everyone in your workspace to host spontaneous meetings 
  • Intuitive canvas for creative ideation 
  • Ability to upload multiple apps, images, PDFs, and videos side-by-side
  • Meeting Memory to save important files, documents, or apps
  • App integration with popular tools 
  • Ability to “follow” anyone in your room to see what they see 
  • Presentation mode to share your screen
  • Link meeting rooms directly to your calendar invites
  • In-room chat 

Pricing:

  • Currently free

Best for: 

  • Remote or hybrid businesses that want to increase collaboration and productivity in their organization while creating a more connected working culture and environment. 
  • Remote or hybrid cross-functional teams that want online working to feel the same as office working—when people sit side by side and share ideas.
Screenshot of Switchboard’s virtual room with multiple files and participants
Switchboard helps remote teams sync up and 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 aligned.

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

By helping provide 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
  • 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 

Key missing features: 

  • Video conferencing 
  • Limitations with popular integrations

Pricing: 

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

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 with features like: 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 integration 
  • Real-time communication
  • Task prioritization
  • Knowledge management

Key missing features: 

  • Video conferencing

Pricing: 

  • Viewers: free 
  • Editors: free 
  • Document makers: request a quote

Best for: 

  • Product teams in fast-growing businesses looking for intuitive product development workflows and roadmaps. 
  • 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 consolidating their tech. 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. 

It breaks project management, meetings, and key team information into visual chunks on an intuitive dashboard—all of which improves productivity and team synchronicity. Trello also lets you create automated sequences that help move repetitive tasks and team projects along, giving teams the ability to better handle and predict workflow changes. 

Features: 

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

Key missing features:

  • Video conferencing 
  • Large file sharing (there’s a limit to attachable file sizes) 

Pricing: 

  • Starts free 
  • Standard tier is $5 per month per user
  • Premium tier is $10 per month per user
  • Enterprise: request a quote

Best for: 

  • Small 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. Meanwhile, it enables an organized remote workflow and a centralized, all-in-one experience with task prioritization and recurring task management. 

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

Features: 

  • Task creation and assignment 
  • Project mapping 
  • To-do lists 
  • Complex task management functionality 
  • In-app chat 
  • Activity dashboard 
  • Automations
  • Supports multiple workflows

Key missing features: 

  • Video conferencing 
  • Ability to save views and layouts without impacting the team view

Pricing: 

  • Starts free
  • Basic is $8 per month 
  • Standard is $10 per month 
  • Pro is $16 per month 
  • Enterprise: request a quote 

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 
  • App integration

Key missing features: 

  • Video conferencing 
  • Limited integrations with popular tools

Pricing: 

  • Starts free
  • Premium is $10.99 per month 
  • Business is $24.99 per month 
  • Enterprise: request a quote 

Best for: 

  • Any sized remote or hybrid organizations 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 and knowledge sharing. 

It 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  

Key missing features: 

  • Video conferencing 
  • An intuitive user interface 

Pricing: 

  • Starts free
  • Unlimited is $5 per member per month
  • Business is $12 per member per month
  • Business Plus is $19 per member per month  

Best for: 

  • 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 

How Switchboard fuels team collaboration for remote teams

Remote and hybrid talent often struggle to find meaningful, collaborative connection and community within their team and organization. 

Online workspaces like Switchboard enable creative and strategic brainstorming—and video conferencing in real time—which can boost your team’s ability to proactively engage with one another. 

By supplying you with the dynamic spaces and communication tools you need to feel connected and aligned with your team, you can: 

  • 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 

Use online workspaces to boost team momentum and morale 

No matter what your remote team’s needs and objectives are, online workspaces can provide crucial inter-departmental connection and alignment—and a sense of community—to distributed teams. 

However, each online workspace is built with a different end goal in mind. When selecting your software, you need to consider your particular needs and objectives. For example, some tools are ideal for consolidating documents and processes; others for hybrid teams wearing many hats; and some for effective project management. 

The most important thing is choosing a workspace that connects your team and easily integrates with your current tech stack. 

Want an online workspace built for teamwork? 
Switchboard lets you create collaborative virtual canvases while video conferencing with teammates in real-time. 
Sign up

1 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/has-remote-work-peaked-get-hired-by-linkedin-news/

FAQs about online workspaces

What is a virtual office?

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. Though similar, an online office typically focuses on one or two core functionalities, like Google Docs. 

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
  • Create a strong rapport with clients
  • Help you prioritize company culture and community 

What is an online collaboration tool?

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

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