Want better collaboration at work? Try these five tech solutions

Tired of endless meetings and email chains? From Slack to Trello, there are better options available

The Frictionless Office

Two people working on the floor gesturing at sketches

(Alys Tomlinson/Cultura/Getty)

Forget ping-pong tables and sleep pods. The latest emblem of a company’s workplace culture is its choice of collaboration software. Indeed, Uber recently made news when it switched from Slack to Atlassian HipChat, likely because the lesser-known offers better security for large corporations. The fact that the software switch garnered media buzz demonstrates how important collaboration tech has become to modern workplaces. Office workers no longer need to waste hours every week trapped in pointless meetings and responding to endless emails. There are lots of options on the market; most function as a central hub for all your day-to-day communications. Here are some of the top options on the market today:

Perhaps the best-known option, Slack allows users to chat with colleagues in real time. It’s become popular partly because it’s so darn cute: you can react to your colleague’s message with emojis and gifs, for example. Beyond its instant messaging capabilities, it also archives messages (Up to 10,000 messages for free, but there are paid plans available), which also ensures your  communications are organized and searchable. The platform, which can connect with your email, doesn’t require much setup and is accessible on mobile devices. Third party services are readily integrated into Slack’s platform: from useful offering to GitHub to more fanciful apps, such as Taco Bell’s new bot that allows you to order snacks directly.

Chatter is Salesforce’s offering to improve intra-office communication. It includes all the typical features you’d expect from a social network. Users build a profile, have their own activity feed and can join groups and add friends. Chatter enables companies to link up with other firms on the network while protecting information you don’t want the other party to see. As a result, to search for experts or potential business contacts who are also using Chatter and add them to their circle.

This online project manager is handy regardless of the size of your company. Users can create and assign tasks to people, complete with an assignment description and due date. With the “people tab,” you can see everything your colleague has on the go, and since tasks are filtered by priority level, where they’re expending most of their energies.

Trello is a highly visual tool for organizing tasks, which resembles a whiteboard filled with sticky notes. It relies on a card-based interface on which task descriptions are written that can be dragged into various columns. Trello helps you denote who is responsible for a task and the due date.

Google for Work
Consumers are already familiar with Google’s communication tools, thanks to the popularity of Gmail. But the tech giant also offers services for companies. Google Docs allows for easy file sharing while Hangouts facilitate video meetings. With its paid version, companies also additional security and archive features.