There’s no doubt about it: crystal clear communication is critical when it comes to having a successful remote team. Many remote companies have their preferred methods of communication that help them keep their team productive, connected, and happy. In order to keep your team connected and working together, consider the below six tools for remote team collaboration.

1. HipChat

HipChat is a web-based service for chatting and instant messaging.

Used by: Balsamiq

“Our “office” is Hipchat. We have chat rooms for different projects, a room for announcements and a “water cooler” room for cat gifs,” says Giacomo “Peldi” Guilizzoni, founder and CEO.

2. Slack

Slack is an instant messaging and collaboration tool system that allows you to also share files.

Used by: Beutler Ink

“We use Slack for individual and group instant messaging: this is invaluable for all those quick conversations that you’d usually have in an office by leaning over to the next desk,” says Rhiannon Ruff, vice president. “It’s also a great way to share files and images.”

3. Sococo

Sococo replicates a traditional office in a virtual environment, allowing remote workers the ability to have an “office” or meet in a conference room. It can also be used for video and voice chatting, along with screen sharing.

Used by: FlexJobs

“In terms of platforms, we use Sococo as our virtual office environment. I can’t say enough about how great this has been for us,” says Carol Cochran, director of human resources. “With person-to-person and group chats, as well as the ability to talk or have a video call with people has allowed for more natural and impromptu conversations.”

4. Skype

Skype is a tool that allows you to make audio or video calls  as well as screen share and instant message via your computer or mobile device.

Used by: Appen

“We are Skype addicts,” says Ric Mercuri, VP, global human resources.

“Everyone across the company is on Skype at all times during the work day.”

5. Sqwiggle

Sqwiggle is an online collaboration tool that allows remote workers to see each other face-to-face and offers a “tap and talk” meeting ability with its instant group and video conference calls.

Used by: Attentiv

“First and foremost is quick and easy video conferencing,” says Daniel Russell, founder and CEO. “We’re constantly logged into Sqwiggle, which is a great option for remote workers.”

6. Google Hangouts

Available via Google+ or Gmail, Google Hangouts allows people to text and  make video or voice calls, either one-to-one or in a group.

Used by: TeamSnap

“We also use Google Hangouts a lot, for daily team meetings, for quick one-on-one chats and for afternoon happy hours when people just want to gather to socialize,” says Andrew Berkowitz, co-founder and chief product officer.

Remote work is made so much simpler when the proper communications channels are put in place. If you’re considering going remote (or are already remote but your communications need some clarification!), consider these tools for remote team collaboration that will definitely give your team all the benefits of being in an office—along with all the fabulous flexibility of working remotely!

Interested in learning more about remote team collaboration tools? Check which tools remote companies think are the most effective for communication!