Top 10 Work From Home Productivity and Communication Tools (Pt. 1)

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It is not surprising that work from home communication apps experienced a tremendous increase in growth during COVID-19 as a major portion of the global population is now home-bound. 

The highest number of downloads recorded was during the week of March 14-21, which surpassed 62 million downloads on both iOS and Google Play, according to a report by App Annie.

Watch now: TRG Talk Virtual – Comparing MS Teams, Zoom, and Skype

Teams vs Skype vs Zoom


The pandemic certainly acts as a catalyst for new business models and transformative work cultures which will be characterised by remote work. But even before the outbreak, the demand for video conferencing solutions was already increasing. 

Read more: The definitive guide to creating a virtual workplace

Zoom – the favourite work from home communication apps 

Businesses today are expanding their reach to markets across the globe. The global expansion makes face-to-face communication impossible. The mobile workforce is already a notable trend.  

An estimation of roughly 1.87 billion professionals will be a part of this global mobile workforce by 2022. Therefore, the need of having convenient, easy access to business systems and workplace collaboration tools are more critical now than ever. 

In the market for business communication apps, Zoom seems to be “the most favourite” of all, especially during this pandemic. 

In an interview with TechRepublic, Zoom CIO, Hatty Moseley, explained Zoom is ubiquitous due to its ability to produce high-quality audio, high-definition video plus a recording function, and the ease of participating in any Zoom meeting from any devices. 

However, Zoom receives loads of criticism recently due to a breach in its security system. As a result, the company had to re-evaluate its privacy and security measures. The first significant change after a series of issues was enabling meeting passwords. 

Despite the catastrophe, Zoom continues to be the communication of choice for many teams. Having said that, it is not the sole player in the market for working from home communication tool. Here are 10 Zoom alternatives for you to consider. 

Read more: How manufacturers can leverage Social ERP for better collaboration

10 work from home communication alternatives for Zoom 

1. Microsoft Teams 

Microsoft Teams is available for use on any device. The app allows users to create teams, organisation-wide channels, share files, schedule meetings, call others, and more. 

It is included in the Microsoft 365 Business Standard package and integrates seamlessly with Office apps or other business apps like Trello, Evernote, SurveyMonkey, Google Analytics, etc.  

Microsoft Teams’ pricing packages for business start from $5/user/month to $12/user/month. 

Signing up is free, and users are instant offered 10GB of team file storage plus 2GB per person for personal storage. The premium version offers exclusive features and 1TB storages per user. The Calendar feature that comes with the premium version offers users the flexibility to schedule meetings within teams or with external parties. 

Plan 

Number of participants 

Price/ User/ Month (USD) 

Microsoft Teams 

Free 

Microsoft 365 Business Basic 

250 

$5 

Microsoft 365 Business Standard 

250 

$12.50 

2. Skype

First released in 2003, Skype is considered to be one of the pioneers in online communication. Today, Skype is a member of the Microsoft extended family and has more than 40 million people using it daily. 

What makes Skype a preferred means of collaboration by many corporations is because it is practically free. It is free to use skype to call or do video conferencing with up to 50 people. Plus, users have the complete freedom to chat, have audio or video calls via any device of their choice, including via Xbox One console and smartwatches. 

Skype also offers Skype credits for users to purchase to call or send SMS messages to non-Skype users anywhere in the world. 

3. Cisco Webex

Before Zoom, Cisco Webex was a video conferencing tool favoured by many. There have been significant modifications in the free version, which now offers up to 100 participants in each meeting and unlimited meeting (previously users only had 40 minutes max per meeting). 

For teams that only need basic conferencing features such as HD video call, file sharing, screen sharing, interactive whiteboards, controls for meeting hosts, then the free version is more than enough. 

However, paid plans of Webex offer extensive support, the ability to customise meeting links, additional cloud storage, and many added exclusive features are also worth considering. 

Pricing starts from $13.50/ host/ month for small teams (maximum 50 participants per meeting) up to $26.95/ host/ month for businesses (maximum 200 participants per meeting plus 10GB of cloud storage, branding and customisations and many more). 

Plan 

Number of participants 

Price/ User/ Month (USD) 

Free 

100 

Free 

Starter 

50 

$13.50 

Plus 

100 

$17.95 

Business 

200 

$26.95 

4. GoToMeeting 

GoToMeeting is a product of LogMeIn Inc., a SaaS and cloud-based collaboration platforms provider. GoToMeeting offers extensive online collaboration features suitable for today’s mobile workforce. 

Plans for GoToMeeting starts at $12/ organiser/ month, which allows hosting 150 participants per meeting, or up 3,000 participants per meeting for the Enterprise plan. 

GoToMeeting has received multiple awards including the “Best Productivity App” by Appy Awards in 2016, and the “Best Collaboration Solution” by Codie Awards 2016 and 2017. 

Useful features that businesses and event organisers may need are the meeting diagnostic reports (which details meeting performance) and downloadable admin reports (which allow management to keep track of updates in GoTo solutions). 

Plan 

Number of participants 

Price/ User/ Month (USD) 

Professional 

150 

$12 

Business 

250 

$16 

Enterprise 

3,000 

Upon request 

5. Join.me 

Join.me is also a product of LogMeIn. Join.me’s Lite package starts at $10/ host/ month, which is suitable for small businesses with limited budgets. However, this plan might be quite “light” as it only offers a maximum number of 5 participants per meeting and no webcam streams. On the plus side, the screen sharing, unlimited calls, and personalised links are still available. 

The Business plan is priced at $30/ host/ month, which allows companies to have access to 1TB cloud storage and host up to 250 participants per meeting. What’s more, this plan offers integration with Salesforce, which allows users to start meetings directly from Salesforce. 

Plan 

Number of participants 

Price/ User/ Month (USD) 

Free 

Lite 

$10 

Pro 

250 

$20 

Business 

2501 

$30 

This is part 1 of a two part series. Stay tuned by subscribing to TRG Newsletter today!

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