Instant messaging is one of the most popular and fast-growing communication channels in the workplace. It is seen as best replacement for emails as it allows messages to appear instantly, avoiding any formalities that are associated with group calls or emails. With around 269 billion emails sent every day, instant messaging is playing a key role in reducing the email overload. During this lockdown, instant messaging is helping employees, who are scattered over geographies and time zones, to remain in constant contact with one another. Of late, instant messaging has turned out to be an indispensable tool for the remote workforce. According to a recent study, around 43% of employees are now using instant messaging at work.
There are a few downsides to this instant messaging as well. Often, instant messaging gets siloed among various tools used within the organization. Though the main focus of these chat apps is providing a way for teams to chat, companies also use emails, shared documents, phone calls and to-dos. For example, your sales and marketing team may be using an instant messaging tool along with their CRM, your development team might be using Asana or Trello, and your senior management might still be using emails only.
Unfortunately, using different apps for chats, emails, documents, to-dos and calls creates communication silos. Later, if you want to refer to a specific conversation or files, you will have to search in multiple places and remember all the information in memory to visualize the big picture. Another issue with instant messaging apps is you can get stuck in long and never-ending group chats that demand your attention 24/7. It puts pressure on you to be online & available all the time.
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We have listed 10 cool instant messaging tools that will really help you to improve collaboration and productivity, provided you choose them carefully.
Clariti is more than just an instant messaging platform. Instead of replacing emails with chats, Clariti has combined email with chat for team communications. While Clariti doesn’t discourage people from using emails, it has made it unnecessary when communicating with other Clariti users. When you receive an email in Clariti, you can start chatting from the same email with other Clariti participants. This reduces email forwards and time wasted in copy pasting contents in chats. Besides Clariti maintains the connection between the original email and subsequent chat thereby making it easy to reference the context of the discussion at any time. So, in Clariti, both email and chat can co-exist without conflict or redundancy.
Besides Chat and Email Clariti also supports other communication forms including shared documents, voice calls and to dos. In Clariti, chats, calls, emails, to dos and documents can be organized in folders called TopicFolders. TopicFolders eliminate time wasted in searching for information and make it very easy to see the big picture with one click. Why settle for chat-only apps when you can do so much more with Clariti.
RingCentral Glip Pro is a free, unlimited, easy-to-use instant messaging tool that also offers high quality and high-availability video and audio conferencing, seamlessly integrated with team messaging, file sharing, contact, task, and calendar management – resulting in a Smart Video Meetings experience.
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Hangouts is one of the most popular instant messaging platforms that bring conversations to life with photos, emoji, and even group video calls for free. You can use Hangouts to keep in touch with your friends or colleagues, message them, start free video or voice calls, and hop on a conversation with one person or a group. You can include all your friends with group chats for up to 150 people. Using Hangouts you can say more with photos, videos, maps, emoji, stickers, and animated GIFs. Hangouts works on Android, iOS, and the web, and you can sync chats across all your devices.
Discard does more than what an instant messaging software does. Using Discord, you can create a home for your communities and friends, where you can stay close and have fun over text, voice, and video. Whether you’re part of a school club, a gaming group, a worldwide art community, or just a handful of friends that want to spend time, Discord makes it easy to talk every day and hang out more often.
Amazon Chime lets you go beyond instant messaging. It lets you choose the communication options that are best suited for your business. You have the option to choose from meetings, chat, and business calling or use Voice Connector to direct your voice traffic over the internet. With Amazon Chime, you have the flexibility to choose the communication option that fits with your business needs, and the freedom to scale up or down as needed.
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Cisco Webex Teams goes beyond a conventional instant messaging and provides added voice and video calling capabilities. Cisco Webex is an app for continuous teamwork. Move work forward in secure workspaces where everyone can contribute at any time with messaging, file sharing, white-boarding, video meetings, calling and more. It works on virtually any device.
Workplace developed by Facebook is more than just an instant messaging platform. It facilitates online groupwork, instant messaging, video conferencing, and news sharing. Workplace is available at premium and standard versions. Premium provides access to integrations and other enterprise-level features including single sign-on, APIs, and IT monitoring tools; the free Standard level doesn’t have many of those customization features, but comes with productivity features like a mobile app, video chat, instant messaging, unlimited file storage space, desktop notifications (Windows only).
Chatwork is an all-round instant messaging chat app that is designed to help global teams communicate, collaborate and increase productivity. The platform includes secure messaging, video chat, task management and file sharing functionality.
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Troop Messenger is one of the most comprehensive office chat application with amazing security, facilitating safe and secured business data sharing. It offers a collaborative work forum for businesses. This business chat application is one among all group chat apps which comes with unlimited group creation. It is not only instant messaging for business but also lets you share files of diverse format along with current location and contacts.
Apart from just instant messaging, TeamViewer Meeting lets you hold face-to-face HD VoIP videoconferences and audio calling, with your coworkers or your entire team, scheduled group meetings (up to 300 people), desktop screen sharing and session recording. It has all the essential meeting tools to collaborate securely with your teams and clients, from anywhere, anytime. TeamViewer Meeting installs on your desktop or mobile phone for quick access.
All of the above tools go beyond just instant messaging and offer everything that is needed for your team to collaborate better. Now it is up to you to choose the right tool that would help you to make your team productive and happy.