for Researchers & Teams

What technological options exist for virtual team communication?

September 14, 2020 by

In our all-virtual work world now, it can be very useful to have multiple ways of communicating with your team. Having multiple lines of communication can provide for all people to have input in a way they are comfortable with, and foster asynchronous collaboration. It also makes the work of your team more transparent to all participants.

There are many technological solutions out there, but figuring out what the options are, and how to use them effectively in combination may be more difficult. Here we list some tech options, and provide a few anecdotes from SESYNC teams or staff who have used these tech solutions.

What tech is available and what have other SESYNC teams been using?

Note: The asterisk(*) indicates at least one SESYNC team is using this technology solution.

Video Calls

Video calls allow you to meet virtually and see the other participants via video. Most also allow participation via phone (without video) as well. Check out features such as call length, group calling, screen sharing, and recording that might be useful to your team.


Messaging can be an important alternate way to communicate, both during and between video calls. Consider whether or not team members are comfortable using their personal cellphone for texting or messaging. Be sure to discuss expected responsiveness to messages.

Document Creation/Editing/Storage

Storing and sharing documents in one centralized place is important in collaborative projects to ensure everyone is working from the same starting point. In addition to the storage we provide at, some of these solutions include options such as simultaneous document editing, cloud storage, and document history.

Project/Workflow Management

Managing tasks and deadlines can be aided by using project management solutions. Capabilities and options vary widely but can include workflow development/documentation, assignment of tasks to team members, setting deadlines for tasks, tracking progress towards completion of a task, and discussion of issues.


“Whiteboard” technology can aid in brainstorming or diagramming exercises in an all-virtual setting. These solutions attempt to replace drawing on a whiteboard with markers in physical space.

How might my team effectively use these tech solutions?

Please see our related quickstart for deep dives into effectively using a suite of solutions throughout your team’s project.

Anecdotes from SESYNC teams