By Hiba Amin
Reading Time: 11 minutes
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Equipping your remote team with the right tools can make all the difference when it comes to staying aligned, keeping the team engaged, and growing as a company. But, as you start to look for the right tools, the number of options at your fingertips can feel overwhelming.
You want to implement software that enables collaboration within your team without creating extra work in the process. When it comes to picking your tech stack, think about quality over quantity. After all, it’s better to have fewer tools and use them to their full potential, rather than too many tools that you’re only scraping the surface of. Plus, honing in on a few tools will save you money.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the 17 best tools for globally distributed teams to help fuel a collaborative workplace, regardless of location.
17 collaboration tools for globally distributed teams
Let’s dive into the tools that will enable your remote team to communicate better, be more productive, and stay aligned, regardless of proximity.
Hypercontext is a solution that empowers over 100,000 managers and their teams to be high-performing by combining quarterly priorities, weekly meetings, and engagement measures, all in one place.
With Hypercontext, companies can close the feedback loop org-wide, starting with managers and their direct team. Within your recurring touchpoints, employees and managers can have a dedicated and organized space for exchanging feedback, documenting decisions, and tracking goals, all while driving engagement across the company.
- Collaborative meetings agendas to ensure everyone contributes and shows up prepared to meetings.
- Automated meeting notes that are accessible to all participants.
- Real-time employee feedback to improve meeting quality and gauge engagement.
- Feature for documenting next steps to foster a culture of accountability.
- 500+ conversation starters and agenda templates.
- 180+ goal examples, from professional development to role-specific goals.
Google Suite including Calendar, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Zapier, Chrome, and more.
Hypercontext is a freemium product with a free forever version, a Pro plan, which is US$7/user/month, and a Business plan priced at US$11/user/month. Small teams of up to five can take advantage of their starter team pack priced at US$5/month total for the first five users.
Bonusly is a recognition and rewards program that enriches company culture and improves employee engagement by encouraging employees to appreciate their peers. With Bonusly, everyone in an organization can publicly commend everyone else by giving small bonuses that add up to monetary or physical rewards (which can be donated).
When employees recognize each other within Bonusly, their shoutouts show up in the company feed for everyone to see. By amplifying the visibility of team members’ contributions and recognition, Bonusly helps remote employees feel that their work is meaningful.
- Monthly recognition allowance for employees to give to their colleagues.
- Public feed that shares org-wide employee recognition.
- Global rewards catalog with gift cards from the world’s most popular brands.
- Option for employees to donate their recognition rewards to credible charities.
- Analytics to spot recognition trends within your organization.
Slack, MS Teams, Google Hangouts Chat, Zapier, Igloo, Zoho, and more.
Bonusly works on three pricing tiers: Core, Pro, and Custom. On top of the cost of the rewards, their Core plan is priced at US$3.26/user/month, Pro is US$5.43/user/month, and Custom pricing is based on each customer’s needs.
Knowledge base and training
Helpjuice is a knowledge base platform that helps your customers and internal team access answers to common questions through a centralized hub — keeping everyone informed and eliminating repetitive questions. This platform enables your team to create knowledge bases with ease without having to learn a complicated new tool.
With an intelligent search function, users are able to quickly find the answers they’re looking for. Beyond that, the platform’s detailed analytics helps you understand what questions your customers and employees search for most.
- Limitless authoring and formatting options.
- Version control for publishing multiple versions of the same article.
- Category and folder options for structuring content.
- Content visibility control with public, internal, and private article settings.
- Real-time collaboration with comments, replies, and editing
Slack, Salesforce, Microsoft Teams, Zendesk support, and Chrome.
Pricing starts at US$120/month for up to four users and goes up to US$369/month for the Premium tier with unlimited users.
Notion is an all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and documents. The platform is customizable, enabling teams to find a process that works best for them.
This collaboration and knowledge base app allows teams to build comprehensive knowledge docs, plan, and manage projects and sprints while staying aligned.
- Team wiki to build a knowledge base and document procedures.
- Customizable workspaces with kanban boards, tables, lists, and more.
- Note documentation tool to keep your systems and teams organized.
- Real-time collaboration and mentioning capabilities.
- Powerful filtering abilities to customize dashboards to your liking
Google suite, Slack, Figma, Typeform, and many more.
Notion is a freemium app for teams of up to five users, with limitations. For business purposes, their Pro package starts at US$8/month/user along with an enterprise plan that you’ll need to speak with the sales team to uncover.
360 Learning is an interactive learning platform that combines collaborative tools with learning management software. Teams can build upon one another’s knowledge and create internal courses for others to access. 360 Learning creates an internal knowledge base that’s built on the collective expertise of a company, instead of focusing on top-down mentoring.
Beyond collective learning, this software provides a great opportunity for onboarding remote employees, training customer-facing employees, and creating D&I (diversity and inclusion) programs.
- Internal course creation on your topic of choice.
- Peer interactions and knowledge sharing that bring human connection to your remote training programs.
- Built-in feedback loops for continuous course improvement.
- Gamification through challenges, achievements and leaderboards to build habits of learning.
- Flexible platform architecture that replicates your organization and business needs
Zoom, BambooHR, LinkedIn, Google Drive, and more.
For teams of up to 100 employees, the cost is US$8/user/month. For companies beyond 100 employees, you’ll have to contact their sales team.
While this app needs no intro for most companies, Slack is an internal communications tool that’s meant to complement, or even replace, email. Within Slack, you can create channels for groups of people like departments, projects, hobbies — you name it. This ensures that you’re creating relevant communication spaces that are more conversational than email.
- Channel creation to enable employees to follow along with everything related to a topic, project, or team.
- Threads within conversations to minimize communication chaos.
- Advanced search to easily find information you’re searching for.
- File attachments.
- Connection capabilities to other organizations.
Hundreds of integrations including Google Suite, Asana, Salesforce, and more.
Slack has a free forever version with certain restrictions like message history. Their Pro plan is charged at US$8/user/month and their Business+ is billed at US$15/user/month.
Microsoft (MS) Teams is an all-in-one solution that puts video or audio calls, chat, and collaboration tools in one place. Unsurprisingly, this communication platform integrates seamlessly with all things Microsoft, including Outlook and Microsoft Suite.
- One place for your docs, photos, videos, chat history, and to-do lists.
- A dedicated space for your team that integrates with all of the apps needed to stay aligned and productive.
- Capabilities for massive conference calls, from a two-person one-on-one to a 10,000+ company-wide town hall.
- Group calling, cloud voicemail, and call transfers for direct in-app communication
Hundreds of integrations within their app store, including tools in this list like Hypercontext, Helpjuice, and Bonusly.
MS Teams is a freemium app with a free forever version, but to add on other apps and services like Exchange, OneDrive, and SharePoint, the cost is US$5/user/month. To add a range of apps such as the entire Microsoft suite, the cost is US$12.50/month/user. Both paid plans require an annual commitment.
Loom is a screen recording software that enables teams to communicate and collaborate asynchronously. With Loom you can record your camera and screen with audio and send quick videos to your team, customers, or partners to help reduce unnecessary one-off meetings.
- Screen and camera recording to make communication quick and easy.
- Video editing software so you don’t have to be perfect with every take.
- Easy video sharing as soon as you stop recording.
- Reactions for viewers to express themselves when watching your video.
- Viewing permissions through password protection or specific emails
Slack, Notion, Jira, GitHub, Gmail, Intercom, and more.
Loom has a free forever version. Their Business plan starts at US$10/user/month and their Enterprise plan requires a demo with their sales team.
Yac is a voice messaging platform for work and team communication. On Yac, voice messages let you stay in sync with your team and share feedback asynchronously without being derailed by a meeting. Unlock team collaboration by eliminating unnecessary meetings and avoiding email overload.
- Asynchronous voice messages to quickly and easily collaborate with your team on your own time.
- Screen recording capabilities to share visuals alongside voice messages.
- No need for uploading, linking, editing, or copying files anywhere.
- Searchable transcriptions across the entire history of your voice messages.
- Team channels to send asynchronous voice announcements, meetings, and standups.
Slack and Zapier, which unlock other integrations like Google Sheets, Zendesk, GitHub, and more.
Yac is a freemium app that is free forever, in addition to a paid plan which is US$5/user/month.
For hybrid and fully remote teams, Zoom is an incredibly useful tool to build rapport! Like any video conferencing tool, Zoom offers teams a way to meet “face to face,” which will help you build more meaningful relationships within remote environments. It’s also effective for collaborating with external partners.
- Video and audio conferencing, supporting up to 1000 video participants.
- Local or cloud meeting recordings and searchable transcripts.
- Built-in collaboration tools like polls, Q&As, and multiple screen sharing.
- Team chat capabilities with searchable history, integrated file sharing, and a 10-year archive.
- Fun or professional Zoom backgrounds to pick from or upload
Zoom has a full app store to select integrations from, including Slack, Asana, Intercom, and more.
Zoom has a free forever version, but with many limitations. The first paid tier is priced at US$20/user/month with a cap of nine licenses. When you reach 10 licences or more, the cost goes up to US$27/user/month with added features.
Toggl Plan is a beautifully simple project management tool. It makes project planning, task management, and tracking a breeze. Creative agencies and teams from Amazon, Netflix, and Stripe use it to manage their projects.
- Drag-and-drop plan timelines to outline project schedules.
- Team timeline for planning around team availability and visual workload management.
- Drag-and-drop task boards with customizable workflows.
- File attachments and comments for collaboration during task assignments.
- Recurring task planning like periodic meetings, audits, etc.
- Instant email updates and in-app notifications when things change.
- Full editing access and read-only view options for external team members.
Trello, GitHub, Chrome, Google Calendar, Slack, and Toggl Track.
Toggl Plan pricing starts from US$9/user/per month. Solo users can use Toggl Plan for free.
nTask is a task management software that enables teams to plan, analyze, and manage end-to-end projects. This project management tool can help you streamline your planning, resource management, stakeholder communications, and financial summaries of every project deliverable, keeping the team aligned at every stage of a project.
- Detailed project management capabilities, including budgeting, resource allocation, and milestones.
- Repeat task creation on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
- Kanban boards, custom fields, and pre-made templates for workflow organization.
- Gantt charts for visual progress tracking.
Zapier, Slack, Zoom, Google Calendar, and 1,000 more apps.
nTask is a freemium app. Their Premium pricing tier is US$3.99/user/month and Business is priced at US$11.99/user/month.
Todoist is a to-do list app that can be used by individuals or teams and enterprises. Within Todoist, you can plan projects as a team and track progress over time. Simultaneously, you can also create to-do lists to hold yourself accountable for your weekly assigned tasks.
- Neatly organize task, responsibilities, files, progress and details across all of your projects.
- Sync across 10+ platforms (including Apple Watch!) in real-time.
- Add comments, files, and discuss details within your tasks for asynchronous communication.
- View your team’s activity stream by project or team member.
Todoist has hundreds of integrations, including Alexa, Gmail, Microsoft Teams, and Slack.
Todoist is a freemium product with a free forever version. Their Pro account is US$5.50/user/month and US$8/user/month for Business accounts.
Clockwise is a calendar assistant that helps you manage your calendar so you can optimize for focus time and minimize distractions. This app is great for collaboration among global teams because, while it enables employees to have uninterrupted focus time, it also allows for coordinating times across multiple schedules.
- Smart calendar assistant that frees up your time.
- Personal and work calendars sync option so you never double book.
- Calendar color-coding by meeting type (like 1:1s, team meetings, etc.)
- The smart calendar measures your travel time, from point A to point B.
Slack and Google Calendar.
Clockwise has a free forever version. Their Pro plan starts at US$10/user/month and their Business plan requires interested teams to book a demo.
Calendly is a meeting scheduling software that eliminates the hassle of back-and-forth emails or messages required to book a time that works for everyone. It’s an intuitive scheduling platform that’s used by more than 10 million people worldwide. Their software makes finding times to meet easy, whether it’s between two people (free version) or a wider net of people (Pro version).
- Connect Calendly to all of your calendars so you’re never double-booked.
- Control your availability preferences to protect your time. Create multiple types of meetings that vary in availability, length of time, and date range (great for hiring!).
- Automatically add conferencing options to any calendar event or link you create.
- Scheduled events go right into your calendar and the calendars of the meeting attendees.
Google Calendar, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Salesforce, Stripe, and more.
Calendly has a free forever version. Beyond that, they have a Premium pricing tier for small teams priced at US$8/user/month. Larger teams can sign up on the Pro plan which is US$12/user/month. They also have an Enterprise level which requires a demo.
HR and people ops
If you’re looking to expand into multiple countries, Globalization Partners is the go-to choice for many globally distributed teams looking to simplify global expansion. They take away the hassle of setting up local branch offices or subsidiaries across more than 187 companies worldwide. Globalization Partners will help businesses manage and navigate complexities like payroll, taxes, HR, and other legal matters so you can worry about managing and growing your team.
- Easily hire new team members with their AI-driven Employer of Record platform.
- Produce locally compliant employment contracts and onboarding experiences in over 187 countries.
- Access automated and global payroll across hundreds of currencies.
- Time and expense tracking centralizes and offloads unnecessary workloads from your finance team.
- Regional and in-country experts are available 24/7 to assist your team.
To learn about different pricing options, request a proposal or quote from Globalization Partners.
BambooHR is an HR software that collects and organizes all of the information you gather throughout the employee lifecycle, from compensation to performance reviews. As many organizations depend on HR to manage employee information, it’s easy to get disorganized. BambooHR counters this challenge by offering structure and organization, regardless of location.
- Powerful analytics reporting for easy workforce data management.
- Applicant tracking system to organize your hiring process, from collecting resumes to sending out offer letters.
- Onboarding capabilities to minimize compliance concerns when requesting forms to be filled out.
- Time tracking and benefits and PTO management features for easy payroll data monitoring.
BambooHR has its own marketplace and integrates with tools like PayScale, Okta, and Indeed.
To get access to BambooHR pricing, you must request a quote through their website.
Working remotely can be a challenge for any team. Even more challenging? Collaborating remotely. However, with the right tools and processes in place, you can encourage better communication and teamwork across your organization, regardless of location.
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