“Communication is at the very core of our society. That’s what makes us human.”

Jan Koum

If you’re old enough to remember a time before smartphones, it’s highly likely that at some point you used MSN Messenger to communicate with your friends.

Today, online chat is more popular than ever but thankfully due to advancements in technology, instead of using MSN Messenger we can now communicate from our smartphones and devices using WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

These platforms allow you to connect with friends and family on a one-to-one basis or in a group chat and share funny photos, memes and videos.

So, wouldn’t it be great if we could communicate with our work colleagues in a similar way? Well, you can. Think of team communication apps as a What’s App for businesses.

Why is Communication Important?

Teams that communicate well complete projects quicker and more efficiently than others.

When communication is effective team members understand their roles and what needs to be done.

Research shows that three people working together is more effective than one person. However, without effective communication, they may not experience any benefit.

Why Should You Use a Team Communication App?

According to a survey by Salesforce, 86% of people attribute workplace failures to lack of collaboration.

Free team communication apps are perfect for startups, small businesses, entrepreneurs, teams and anyone looking to communicate with clients.

They keep all your businesses’ communications in one place which makes it easier for everyone to communicate, check progress and share files.

Team communication apps allow you to chat on a one-to-one basis or with multiple colleagues in a group chat. Private messages are great for when you need a link, idea or file from a colleague quickly.

Overall, team chat apps are used by organisations for three key reasons — they save time, encourage collaboration and increase productivity.

What are the Best Free Team Communication Apps?

We now know why communication is important and why you should use a team communications app so what are the best free team communication solutions currently on the market?

There are endless solutions out there which you can use but here’s a list of some of our favourites. Most solutions offer a free version — you can try them out and then upgrade to the full version if you need to.

1. Slack

Slack

Slack was launched in 2013 and is one of the most popular team communication apps on the market. It’s really easy to use, conversations are searchable, and you can easily upload files. You can use Slack to join multiple teams and it’s free for unlimited users, 1-on-1 calls and comes with a 10,000 message history.

2. Tameday

A good alternative to Slack for team communication is Tameday.

Our team use the instant chat feature within Tameday for the majority of our internal communications. We have pretty much managed to phase out email.

With instant chat, it’s a lot easier to share files with other departments and get quick feedback. Overall, it’s very easy to use for one-on-one or group chats.

But it’s not just a team communication app, it also includes calendar and task management functionality so a business can literally put everything in one place — not just chat.

Tameday including Tameday Chat is free to use for an individual with unlimited external users.

3. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams

With Microsoft Teams, you can communicate in various ways including audio conferencing and live broadcast. You can also access apps such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint and share documents. It’s a useful tool for teams working together trying to outline a project.

Microsoft Teams is free for unlimited chat and search history with 300 users. You can get the full edition with Office 365 Business Essentials.

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4. Rocket.Chat

Rocket.Chat

Rocket.Chat is an open source team chat software solution. It allows your team to eliminate email conversations with long back-and-forth threads. With the software, you can create a space for your team where they can discuss, exchange ideas and store files. Rocket.Chat is free, unlimited and open source.

5. Hibox

Hibox

Hibox is a great team communication app for remote teams or those who spend a lot of time travelling. It comes with mobile apps for iOS and Android so you can chat with colleagues while you’re waiting at the dentist or assign tasks whilst you’re on the train.

Hibox is a chat, video tool and task management software all in one so you can manage conversations, files and track tasks. It’s free for up to 10 users with 2GB total storage and you can search your most recent messages.

6. Twist

Twist

Twist is the team chat app from Todoist. The site states that it was “built for a more intentional way of working together”. It works slightly differently to traditional chat apps in that it turns all chats into threads. You can add a comment to an existing thread or start a new one.

Twist is free for unlimited users. You’ll be able to access one month of comments and message with 5GB of storage and up to five integrations.

7. Google Hangouts Chat

Hangout Chat

Google Hangout Chat is one of the newest chat apps on the market. It’s a companion of the popular Hangouts video chat. As it’s part of G Suite. If you have a Gmail account you’ll automatically get access. With deep integration, you can easily share Google Docs, Sheets or Slides within your chats.

8. Flock

Flock app

Last but not least in our list is Flock which is designed to store “all your work in one place”. With Flock, you can start a chat, add the team members you want to chat to and then start talking. You can connect with Google Drive and share recent files. Flock also has video chat capability.

Flock is free for unlimited users with a 10,000-message history. Pro plans start at $6 per month, per user.

Final Thoughts

Team communication is vital and instant chat is now the preferred method of communication for most teams as it is so convenient and requires little effort.

It’s 2019 so we should no longer be yelling across the office or sending an endless number of emails. There are lots of great free team communication apps on the market which allow instant chat and make file sharing easy.

If we’ve missed your favourite out, let us know in the comments.

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Related: 7 Reasons Why Your Team Needs Online Collaboration Software