Teamwork is vital for every business. Normally, having a team working together is not an issue – the people are, more or less, in the same place, and gathering them around the table for a discussion is easy. Things get more complicated in the age of the pandemic when many of them are forced to stay at home. Luckily, there are several tools that can help, many of them with surprisingly capable free tiers and very affordable paid plans.
Microsoft Teams is the Redmond Giant’s communications and collaboration suite aimed especially at individuals and small businesses. It is a tool that comes with basics like text chat with file attachments, web versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, video calls, voice calls, and screen sharing.
An inside look at Microsoft’s “Teams” shows how the tool gets more interesting with its cheapest paid tier that adds 1TB of personal file storage to the mix, along with additional Microsoft 365 services (Microsoft 365 Business Basic) and extra features for $5/user/month. And the most expensive tier ($20/user/month) comes with Office 365 E3, unlimited cloud storage, on-premises servers, and priority support.
On the other hand, all Microsoft 365 Business subscriptions come with Teams in the package.
Workplace by Facebook
Workplace by Facebook is exactly what its name suggests – and then some. It is an online collaboration tool with chat, voice and video calls, live streaming, and several useful integrations. Its free tier stops here but the paid tiers go way further, adding cloud storage, surveys, bots, and monitoring tools to the mix for $4/person/month.
Finally, let’s take a look at Slack, the online tool Microsoft wanted to buy before changing their minds and building their own. Slack is perhaps the best-known and most widely used collaboration toolkit, filled with fun and useful integrations, and useful functions. Those familiar with Discord – a community tool aimed especially at gamers – will probably find it familiar: the basic principle is the same. The feature set, in turn, is not.
Slack is used in many companies – from small businesses to Fortune 500 organizations – as a replacement for email, for project management, for remote work, for meetings, and many other ways. And, of course, to integrate other tools in the workflow.
Slack has a basic free tier accessible to anyone and several paid tiers aimed at businesses, complete with goodies like an unlimited message archive, group calls with screen sharing, cloud storage, priority support, and many others.