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The Best Hybrid Work Software to Connect Dispersed Teams

Blog / April 17, 2023 / with Christoph Drebes
A white man with glasses works in the office. He has two screens, one shows mock-ups of an app, the other shows his to-do list.


Having a robust set of hybrid work tools can ensure that your working life is as simple as possible, wherever you’re working.

In this article, we’ll examine the software and apps that can help you to work effectively in a hybrid or remote setting. The tools are broken down into the following categories:

  • Communication
  • Desk and office space booking
  • Project Management and collaboration
  • Document Management
  • Design & Creativity
  • Focus & Productivity
  • Company Culture

This list is a long one, so remember that you can click on the links in the table of contents to jump to the section you need!

Are you ready to get started?

Tools for Hybrid Communication

Communication is one of the most obvious areas that suffer when an organization implements a hybrid work policy. Although many workers became used to video calls and virtual meeting rooms during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a lot of ways that hybrid work communication can be optimized. In addition to sharing some of the more common tools, our recommendations include different formats and better support for asynchronous communication.

We'll cover the following tools: 

Microsoft Teams

Let’s start with the basics. After all, the Microsoft Suite is familiar to almost all office workers at this stage. Offering virtual meetings, instant messaging, custom channels, and the ability to integrate with other powerful Microsoft tools, from Outlook to Sharepoint, Microsoft Teams is often the default choice for organizations.

An image of someone using the Microsoft Teams calendar view to see their meetings for the week.

However, many organizations aren’t getting the most out of the software’s features. For example, Teams has a range of features for accessible hybrid meetings, including transcription and live captions, plus different ways to organize meeting attendees. Microsoft also offers a range of hardware that can support an improved connection between home and office attendees, including superior microphones and intelligent cameras that can track a speaker.

Microsoft Teams is usually sold as part of a Microsoft 365 Business package, with the basic package costing $6 per user per month. For additional features, including webinar hosting and customer appointment management, the standard package costs $12.50 per user per month.


Slack was never intended to change workplace communication. It was initially developed as a side project by a video game developer, Tiny Speck, to help them communicate during the development process. The game wasn’t a success, but Slack lived on and became one of the fastest-growing start-ups in history. Today, you can use it for instant messenger, for creating private and public channels, and for calls (though these are limited to 15 attendees).

An image of a Slack interface. The user is looking at their messages in the Social Media channel. They also have a notification in the Design Team channel.

What makes Slack different? While Microsoft Teams has caught up to Slack in a lot of ways, it’s still a lot more corporate and inflexible. The biggest pro is that Slack allows you to add an unlimited number of users and guest collaborators. Slack also has a larger ecosystem of integrations, allowing you to automate some pretty cool things. It also has a great onboarding flow and a helpful bot that makes it easy for even less tech-savvy colleagues to find answers.

Slack’s free version might work for small companies, but their Pro plan immediately opens up a lot of key features. It costs $8.75 per user per month.


Zoom was the big video call winner of the pandemic, conclusively overtaking rivals. But in times when Microsoft and Slack also offer great video calling features, why would a company keep using Zoom?

For one thing, Zoom is more accessible for external meetings. Rather than guests needing to create an account, they can join a meeting via just a link. Zoom also offers slightly more advanced noise reduction and light adjustment options – something which also often makes it the hybrid conference tool of choice. Zoom also handles slow internet and large remote meetings somewhat better than Teams.

Zoom is also actively tackling the needs of hybrid meetings with their product updates, including their Smart Gallery being more flexible, allowing the use of multiple cameras and microphones, and the development of Zoom huddles.

The basic version of Zoom is free and limits meetings to 100 attendees and 40 minutes. The Pro version costs $15.99 per user per month and extends meetings to up to 30 hours.


Let’s head off the beaten path a bit. Loom allows you to record your screen and camera to make shareable videos. What’s the benefit for hybrid work? Well, showing is often better than telling, especially when you need to demonstrate something. If part of your team is working remotely or in a different time zone, Loom is a great way to document something and allow individuals to watch it on their own time.

A simplified view of a Loom dashboard. An Asian man explains dashboard pull requests while his colleagues respond with emojis and comments.

Loom claims that regular use cuts meeting times by 29%, and short, asynchronous explainers can remove the need for meetings at all. Loom’s client Postclick claims to have reduced meetings by 50%, while LaunchDarkly is using Loom for sales outreach. Loom can also be used for internal education, onboarding, and all kinds of other uses.

Loom has a free Starter version that allows up to 50 creators to create 25 five-minute videos each. Business accounts start from $8 per creator per month and also unlock extra features like the ability to embed links and password-protect videos.


Twist has many of the same features as Slack (chat, threads, channels, plenty of app integrations) but has an added emphasis on asynchronicity. The premise is that constant notifications are a distraction and that simply moving meetings into a virtual format doesn’t increase productivity. Twist’s goal is to enable employees to separate their work life from their private life and actually switch off – and to not have missed anything when they check in. It’s particularly popular with international teams working in different time zones.

A screenshot of the Twist interface showing a private chat between two colleagues.

An inbox collects all the threads that a user has missed since they last checked in, collecting private messages and news from channels. Threads can also be closed with a conclusion, helping to keep the inbox clean – and to help people get context when searching for older conversations. There’s no green “online” status, unlike Teams and Slack, so there’s less pressure for those who feel they need to always be online and available.

Twist offers a one-month free trial for up to 500 internal members and 500 guest accounts. Their unlimited account costs $8 per user per month.


Krisp isn’t necessarily a communication tool by itself. However, for workers in hybrid contexts, it can be extremely helpful to filter out background noise, improve voice clarity, and transcribe meetings. The software works as a layer between your device and your virtual meeting software of choice.

A screenshot of the Krisp app, showing how users can cancel noise and room echo and adjust their speaker settings.

Whether you’re working from a co-working space, a café, or in the middle of an open plan office, Krisp can help to make virtual and hybrid meetings more pleasant experiences.

The free version gives you access to 60 minutes of noise cancellation per day, unlimited transcriptions, and two meeting notes per day. Meanwhile, the Pro version, with unlimited noise cancellation and meeting notes, costs $8 per user per month.

Desk space booking

Hybrid work brings several specific challenges. One of the most important is simply knowing where people will be and when so that your company can provide the resources they need. “Hoteling” software allows employees to book desk space, meeting rooms, and other resources on their days in the office. This ensures transparency and allows managers to track resource use over time.

This section will cover: 


Envoy offers a range of office space management solutions. However, for hybrid work, the hot desk booking software is key. Office managers designate which seats are available and what amenities are available at that location. Employees can book desks by the hour, day, or week from a mobile app. They can pick where they sit and can choose from neighborhoods that are designated for particular teams or projects, or can sit with their work buddies. Administrators can also book on behalf of employees.

An image showing Envoy's check-in station at an office, where workers can select a workspace for the day.

Envoy also allows leadership teams to see insights about which desks are used on which days, allowing them to make decisions about space use and cost efficiency. Envoy also offers conference room scheduling software and visitor software.

Small offices with only 25 desks or less can use Envoy for free, while the Standard version starts at $3 per desk per month, sold in blocks of 25 desks.


Deskbird offers a similar software solution to Envoy – their desk booking app requires just two clicks to book a shared desk. You can also book docking stations, phone booths, meeting rooms, or parking spaces. Their app integrates with Outlook, Slack, Teams, Google Calendar, and more.

A screenshot of Deskbird's interface showing three colleagues who have booked desks. It shows their names, the location of their desks, their COVID status, and whether they have checked in for the day.

For hybrid teams, they also offer an intuitive week planning solution, where members of a team can mark themselves as in-office, in their home office, or other options (e.g. vacation days or business travel days). With calendar sync, users can keep track of which team members are where and can better arrange collaboration.

Deskbird’s pricing begins at €2.25 per user per month for the Starter package and €4.75 for a Business package.


Condeco also allows you to organize your physical space according to your teams’ needs. Workspaces can be marked with different attributes – from the hardware they offer, like monitors or sit-stand desks, to other labels like “quiet area” or proximity to an elevator or bathroom. Admins can book workspaces and meeting rooms for entire teams, while individuals can book personal workspaces for their office days. Spaces can be booked for short periods of time as well as full days, and a transparent view of who has booked which spaces makes it easy to sit close to collaboration partners.

The system also makes it easy to reschedule and move bookings from one location to another. Condeco’s app works with touchscreens onsite so that you can see who has booked which resources. Finally, they also offer visitor management tools and the ability to add a Microsoft Teams or Zoom link to a meeting room booking so that remote workers can join easily.

Small to medium businesses (250 – 999 employees) can expect to pay around $45 per user per year, while mid-market employees (1000 – 4999 employees) will pay $35 per user per year.

Flowscape Desk Management

Flowscape offers many of the intuitive desk and space booking options as the previous companies. However, Flowscape also offers optional extras that can make the process more intuitive. For example, they offer a USB Desk Sensor which automatically logs when a laptop is docked. If no check-in happens within a set amount of time, the desk can be automatically released for another person to book. It can also tell a user when they’ve checked into another user’s booked desk. Meanwhile, if a desk isn’t booked, a user can automatically book it, just by docking their laptop.

This system also means that you have some of the most accurate analytics data possible about who actually uses their desk booking. This lets office managers better compare Perceived Occupancy Time versus Real Occupancy by tracking time spent logged in and working. Flowscape also sells a busy light that can help office workers signal when they’re available for conversation and when they’re in a deep productive state.

These extra productivity measures might not be ideal for all companies, but they’re certainly options to think about if employees are reporting a lot of disturbances or that the desk bookings aren’t being respected.

Flowscape offers a basic room booking package for SMEs, a Pro version with mobile and web apps plus maps and wayfinding, and an Enterprise version that includes room sensors and advanced analytics.

Project Management & Collaboration

If you can’t guarantee that your employees will ever be all in the same place at once, you might have to rethink your project management style. With daily in-person stand-ups a thing of the past, managers and employees alike will find better transparency and trackability in a project management solution. And if you need to run an idea generation or problem-solving session, some of these digital collaboration solutions will help you to bring a team together, wherever the individuals are working that day.

In this section, we'll be looking at: 


Atlassian’s Jira software is a firm favorite among software developers and product managers, but its pared-back simplicity and customizability makes it easy to adapt for other teams.

Designed with agile teams in mind, Jira allows you to create “epics” for your bigger projects, with individual tasks underneath them. You can fill the tasks with all the information needed to complete the task and set deadlines. Tasks can then be assigned to team members, with different, customizable stages for in-progress, review, and release. You can visualize your team’s workload and progress as you go via Scrum or Kanban boards or roadmaps, helping you to keep your teams aligned and in touch with each other.

A basic version of Jira is free to use for up to 10 users, while the Standard package is $7.75 per user per month, and the Premium package costs $15.25 per user per month.


Asana is similar to Jira in terms of its uses and benefits. However, it is also designed to be used across a business, rather than focusing so tightly on software development and product management.

A woman uses Asana on her laptop. Her dashboard shows her priorities list, her list of projects, and the people she usually collaborates with.

Asana allows you to standardize the way requests come in for your team, which can be extremely useful for Customer Support, IT Support, or Design teams. Users can automate workflows and connect Asana with other tools like Slack, to make sure that no task is missed. Like Jira, Asana includes a Kanban view and Gantt charts, plus the ability to track which users have which workloads. That makes it easier for managers of hybrid teams to know how work is distributed in their team.

For small teams of less than 15 people, the basic version of Asana is free and offers unlimited tasks and projects. Asana Premium costs $13.49 per user billed monthly while the Business plan costs $30.49 per user per month.


Monday.com offers five different products – Work Management, a Sales CRM, Projects, Marketer, and Dev, a product designed to help product and development teams manage sprints.

Screenshots from Monday.com's browser app and mobile app. The browser app shows the open projects for this month and next month, alongside the progress and priority of each task. The mobile app screenshot shows a condensed view of the same list.

Work Management is the one that is useful to the most departments, and it is also highly customizable. It can be used to track individual tasks and larger projects, to get insights into workload across your teams, to manage client projects, and to track goals and KPIs. Monday.com also offers plenty of integrations with other tools, including Slack, Outlook, and Mailchimp. While it makes working more streamlined for all employees, managers will find it most useful to get oversight of hybrid and remote team members.

Teams of two can use the free individual plan. For larger teams, the Basic plan costs $8 per user per month billed annually, the Standard plan costs $10 per user per month, and the Pro plan costs $16 per user per month.


Hybrid teams require digital spaces where everyone can collaborate. Miro offers exactly those kinds of spaces, designed for visual thinkers. Their whiteboard functionality is free to use and is ideal for brainstorming sessions. Miro also offers existing templates to help you structure different kinds of meetings, including Kanban boards and flowcharts. You can also source new templates from the Miro community.

You can integrate Miro with other task-tracking tools, like Monday.com and Jira, and design tools, like Adobe XD or Figma, so that you can keep all your collaboration in one place.

Miro’s basic workspace containing three whiteboards is free, as is the access to templates. Starter accounts cost $10 per member per month, while Business accounts start at $20 per member per month.

Invision's Freehand

Invision’s Freehand is another whiteboarding platform that makes it easier to log ideas and collaborate creatively in hybrid meetings.

The Intelligent Canvas allows users to add post-it notes, images, links, and more and organize them visually for discussion. You can also add widgets like timers and a roulette wheel to decide which team member’s turn it is to speak or add a note. Invision offers a large number of templates so that you can use it as a project management tool in addition to a collaboration space. It also integrates with your existing tools, including Jira, Asana, Zoom, and Notion.

Freehand is free for up to 30 active users and three whiteboard spaces. The Pro version costs $4.95 per user, billed monthly.

Document Management

The age of the physical filing cabinet is well and truly over. So are the days when all files were saved locally on a PC. Today, a digital document management system is a must, whatever industry you work in. This is an area that requires particular care regarding data security, so make sure that you do your due diligence when looking for a vendor.

This section will cover:

Microsoft SharePoint

Those who already have access to Microsoft 365 at work will likely already be using SharePoint. SharePoint uses the Cloud to take the concept of shared drives to the next level. In addition to structured folders and customizable permissions settings, SharePoint allows you to create a dashboard or portal for your company’s shared space. This can be used like an intranet, so in addition to sharing and storing documents, you can use SharePoint for internal communication.

An image of SharePoint being used as an internal intranet, featuring articles as well as relevant documents.

SharePoint automatically integrates with the Microsoft Suite, which makes it ideal for those already working within that environment.

You can buy SharePoint subscriptions in isolation, but it really makes the most sense as part of a Microsoft 365 subscription, which starts at $6 per user per month.

Google Drive

For those who don’t have access to the Microsoft Suite, Google Workspace is often the first point of call. Its well-designed interfaces and free personal version means that many employees are already familiar with the functionality.

An image showing the Google Workspace logo, featuring a laptop open to Google Calendar and the logos of the Workspace apps - Drive, Calendar, Meet, Chat, Mail, and Docs.

Google Drive doesn’t claim to be more than a cloud storage system. It can be flexibly organized and it has a powerful search function and permissions settings, but beyond these basic features, it hasn’t added many bells and whistles. The power behind Drive is its integrations with Google’s other apps, from Gmail to Meet, Docs to Jamboard.

Google Workspace subscriptions begin from $6 per user per month, while Business Standard costs $12 per user per month, and Business Plus costs $18 per user per month. From 300 users upwards, companies will need to buy an Enterprise package.

A laptop showing DocuWare's document management software. On the left side of the screen is a list of different documents. On the right of the screen is an open document showing an invoice.


DocuWare is more than simply a digital filing cabinet. In addition to storing files, there are features that make it far easier to work from home or while on the road. Their system includes solutions for invoice management, contract versioning and approval, and secure archiving. Auto-indexing removes the need for manual input of data or document descriptions.

DocuWare has the added benefit of being available both in Cloud and on-premises, depending on the security needs of an organization. Their pricing is adjusted to each use case and business size, but free trials are available.


Dropbox has long been one of the most flexible tools for sharing documents outside of an organization. Their tool also allows organizations to organize and save their documents within the Cloud, accessible from anywhere. Much like Google Drive, Dropbox is a flexible and accessible storage location, and doesn’t claim to be an interactive intranet for internal communication. However, the platform also offers a range of document management options that make it more intriguing for hybrid companies.

For example, Dropbox Backup automates backups of specific folders on a device, ensuring that important files don’t go missing. Dropbox Sign automates the e-signature and document approval process. DocSend allows users to access document analytics so that they can see who has opened, edited, or spent time within documents. DocSend also adds watermarking and virtual data rooms for when you want to share sensitive information in a limited way.

Dropbox Business Standard costs $18 per user per month while Dropbox Business Advanced costs $30 per user per month.

Company Culture & Hybrid HR Tools

One of the hardest things to replicate in hybrid or remote work is a spontaneous company culture. But there are plenty of innovative tools in this space that can help you to build up a healthy hybrid or remote company culture. They all take slightly different approaches, so it’s worth testing a few options to see what fits your organization best.

In this section, you’ll find:

Mystery Coffee

Hybrid and remote workers often miss out on spontaneous meetings that generate creativity. Mystery Coffee is designed to overcome the barrier between working locations. Employees simply sign up for a company’s Mystery Coffee system and are randomly matched with another person in the organization. They can then take 15 minutes to chat about anything they like – from their hobbies and personal lives to their current projects.

Employers can customize the matching algorithm to match people in different regions, departments, or hierarchy levels. It can support HR teams by making onboarding (especially remote onboarding) more engaging or by supporting DEI initiatives.

Strengthen your company culture. Mystery Coffee helps you to connect your colleagues & strengthen your company culture. Learn more now.

Mystery Lunch

A sister product to Mystery Coffee, Mystery Lunch makes the hybrid office more appealing. If your hybrid company is struggling to get people into the office for in-person interaction, then Mystery Lunch offers a unique incentive.

Like Mystery Coffee, Mystery Lunch matches colleagues at random via a customized algorithm. They can then set up an in-person lunch date. This is ideal for building deeper connections between departments, removing information silos, or supporting a skills exchange. Paired with other internal initiatives like food vouchers for nearby restaurants, Mystery Lunch can be a powerful tool to revive your office culture.


Officevibe is an employee experience tool that allows HR and managers to keep track of their employees’ satisfaction rates. It also provides a place for all colleagues to share recognition of the talent around them and the support they’ve received.

A simplified screenshot of the Officevibe interface. The screenshot shows a survey. The user is being asked to rank the statement

In addition to automating regular Pulse surveys and delivering insights on the company culture, Officevibe aims to support leaders. Their platform can also host 1-to-1s, track goals and KPIs, and allow employees to deliver anonymous feedback to leadership. These digital tools are particularly valuable for hybrid and remote-first leaders, who don’t have the advantage of seeing their teams in the office every day.

A Basic version of Officevibe is available free of charge. The Essential version costs $5 per person per month, while the Pro version offers many more features and costs $8 per person per month.


Mo aims to boost employee retention rates, deliver higher engagement, and increase productivity. How? Via their intuitive employee recognition software. It acts like a social network for your team, with users able to tag individuals, locations, or teams to share their appreciation. Mo allows leaders to share “Boosts” – prompts that encourage other users to respond and share either their personal progress or to thank someone who has helped them recently.

An image of the Mo product. In the screenshot, a user has tagged a colleague named Luca, complimenting them on their progress this year and telling them to keep up the good work. Around the text there are several emojis. 8 people responded with two hands held up, 12 users responded with a starry eyes emoji, and 5 users responded with a rocket ship.

Celebrations like birthdays or work anniversaries can also be automated so that individuals are never forgotten. Employers can also use Mo as a platform to administer company awards or deliver rewards, as it is partnered with an extensive network of gift cards. Leaders can be assigned a budget for their team’s rewards, which can be easily tracked and managed within the platform.

Mo’s Starter plan costs $3 per user per month, with the Level Up package costing $5 per user per month.


Confetti is a platform designed to make planning engaging team events easier. Their collections of events include those for specific company events, such as onboarding, team building days, or company celebrations. They also include those suitable for specific DEI events such as AAPI Heritage Month, Pride Month, or Mental Health Awareness Month.

Users can choose between virtual and hybrid events, pick a content rating (from family-friendly to anything goes), and add event-specific upgrades. For example, you could select a virtual yoga class or a hybrid trivia night.

Prices vary, and for events like cooking classes, you’ll need to make sure that Confetti delivers to all the regions where your employees are based.


Goosechase is another great platform for building a remote or hybrid team culture. It allows you to create custom scavenger hunts or challenges for your teams. They can submit comments or photos as they check off the items.

For example, a Health & Wellness challenge might ask employees to do a 5-minute meditation exercise, take a photo of themselves on a short walk, or share a snap of their healthy lunch. It’s a great supplement to an in-person event, or you can create a more generic challenge that people can complete wherever they’re working.

Single experiences start at $399 for either eight teams or eight participants. Subscriptions start at $850 per month for one department or a small company.


For HR teams that want to provide robust benefits for hybrid workers, Wellable offers employers the chance to create collaborative wellness challenges for their teams. Going beyond the traditional step-tracking challenges, Wellable offers options for physical, mental, and environmental health.

A screenshot of a Wellable dashboard. The user is shown how many Wellable points they've collected, that they rank 4th in their organization's leaderboard, and that their team ranks 5th out of 6. There is also a bar chart that breaks down the points they have collected each day, splitting them between physical activity, nutrition, daily challenges, and special activities.

Employers can choose to add on-demand fitness classes, meditation sessions, recipes, or sleep-promoting content. Wellable also offers quarterly experiences like their self-care series and a team-building series. Additionally, you can use Wellable as an employee rewards platform, where they can earn points by participating in wellness activities. These can then be reimbursed at one of Wellable’s partners, which include Airbnb, Headspace, Spotify, and more.

Single 4-week challenges for up to 100 users start at $500. The wellness platform subscription starts at $75 per month for a minimum of 25 users. Other experiences and services can also be booked à la carte.

Design & Creativity

Creative collaboration is particularly challenging in a hybrid setting. However, there are plenty of apps and software solutions that enable you to share designs with colleagues and add comments, mark-ups, and even make live edits at the same time.

This section covers:


Canva is a web-based design platform that is designed to be simple to use. With a huge offering of free templates, even those new to graphic design can create attractive designs for print media, websites, or social media.

In addition to being easy and flexible to use, Canva’s Business accounts allow users to invite other users to view, comment on, and edit their designs. Users can also create folders, which makes finding previous designs easy, and their own standardized templates. You can also save key design assets such as fonts or colors into a Brand Kit. Finally, approval workflows means that larger teams can streamline the process of finalizing a design.

Canva’s basic functionality is available for free, and individuals can buy a Pro licence for $12.99 a month. Teams of up to 5 people can use Canva for $14.99 a month, with pricing becoming more cost-effective the larger your team.


Figma is another web-based design tool designed specifically to connect collaborators from around the world. It can also be used by UX and UI designers to create wireframes of apps and websites and to create interactive prototypes. Users can invite collaborators to add comments to prototypes, which are then automatically carried over into the design view.

In addition to being able to design in the same place, Figma’s FigJam can be used for brainstorming and diagramming during meetings, which is particularly useful for hybrid teams. All of these features make it easier to collaborate on creative projects – regardless of where your teams are located.

Figma’s Starter packages are free, although you can only create three Figma and FigJam files. FigJam Professional costs $5 per editor per month, while Figma Professional costs $15 per editor per month.


Visme is an online platform for creating presentations, social media graphics, data visualizations, and other branded content. It’s ideal for marketers, sales teams, and internal communications teams.

Attractive templates means that those with limited graphic design knowledge can create attractive designs with relative ease. Users can add brand fonts, colors, and logo seamlessly to the platform by using the Brand Wizard. They can also plan, schedule, and publish finalized content from within Visme, rather than worrying about downloading and storing assets elsewhere.

Individuals can use Visme for free with certain limitations, or switch to the Starter packages for $29 per month. The Pro version costs $59 per month, but for Teams of multiple people, you’ll need to get a custom quote.


Cage is designed specifically for collaboration. It works for all kinds of creative projects, including videos, podcasts and audio, image files, and over 150 other file formats. Users can easily mark up and add comments directly to images, video frames, or audio time stamps. Comments can be set to public and private so that smaller teams can keep their feedback separate from clients' or broader team comments. Users can also store file versions, so it’s easy to see what’s changed from a previous version.

An image of someone using Cage to edit a video of a giant robot. At the 18th second of the video, the user has added a comment that says

Meanwhile, task boards and messaging options make it easier to track a project’s progress and see who is responsible for what. You can also add an approvals process that works both internally and with external clients.

Single users can try Cage free for one project before upgrading to the Standard package, which costs $8 per user per month. The Professional Package offers even more storage and collaboration opportunities and costs $14 per user per month.

Focus & Productivity

Focus and productivity are key topics for employees working in a hybrid setting. While some employees are better able to focus while working remotely, others need a dedicated office space to achieve focus and flow. Wherever you’re working, these tools and apps could help you to achieve a flow state and get more done with your day.

In this category, we’ll take a look at:


Forest is a simple app that is designed to reduce distractions from phones and encourage deep work. It gamifies focus time and rewards the user for maintaining long periods without picking up their phone to scroll.

Three screenshots from the Forest App. In the first screen, the user sees their forest full of different trees and a summary of how many minutes they've focused that week. The second screen shows the planting view, where a user can select a tree to plant and how long they want to focus. The third screen shows the timeline view that summarizes all activity in the app.

Users select a tree to grow for their forest. They then decide how long they want to focus for and hit start. If they pick up their phone and navigate away from the Forest app, their tree will wither and die. If they maintain focus, then they can add a new tree to their forest.

The free version offers most of the major features with the occasional ad. The Premium version offers a bigger variety of trees for the garden and the option to donate in-app coins towards planting real trees.

one sec

The one sec app has a similar goal to Forest – it is designed to stop users from flicking between phone apps and scrolling on social media. However, its mechanism is far simpler.

Two screenshots of the one sec app. The first screen shows the breathing exercise the app launches when a user tries to access a blocked app. The second screenshot shows statistics of the number of open attempts in September 2020.

Instead of asking you to stay in the one sec app, whenever you move to open an app that you want to limit, you have to wait for one second (or complete a breathing exercise) before being allowed to access it. The friction created by the pause reminds you of your priorities and will, in theory, encourage you to put the phone down. There is also a Focus mode, where you can block all apps and websites to win deep focus time.

The free version of the app can only block one chosen app, while the paid version has a broad range of app blocking and other features.


Focusmate operates on an interesting premise – that we sometimes need the presence of someone else to keep us focused. This principle of “body doubling” is particularly relevant for those with ADHD, and some studies have shown that there may be some benefits to the practice. In theory, being in the office around other people working productively can help us to be more productive as well.

The Focusmate logo

Focusmate’s platform helps to bring this principle into the home office via “virtual coworking.” You simply book a session when you want to get some work done. You’ll be randomly matched to a partner. When you join the video call, you can both take a minute to say what you’d like to get done during the session, and then you get down to work with the other person still on the call. At the end of the session, you can share your success.

Focusmate is free for up to three sessions a week. For unlimited sessions, Focusmate Plus costs $9.99 per month or $6.99 billed yearly.


For those with a ton of tasks but who aren’t senior enough to have an executive assistant, Motion offers an AI assistant that will help you make the most out of your day.

The Motion logo

It can schedule your day, prioritizing and rescheduling tasks that you haven’t managed to complete. Its task manager can keep track of deadlines, pushing the most urgent things to the front of your agenda. Motion will add tasks to your calendar, making sure that you have time to do everything within your regular schedule. It will also warn you when you’ve overcommitted yourself.

For hybrid managers, Motion can also help you to schedule work for your teams, ensuring that their work on larger projects isn’t pushed back or deprioritized. Board views help you to sort tasks into different views so that you can see what is still left to do.

Individual plans cost $34, billed monthly, while Team plans cost $20 per user, billed monthly.

Hybrid Work Tools - Finding What Works for Your Organization

This article contains plenty of great examples of software that can support a hybrid enterprise.

However, every organization is unique. It can take a while to find the right selection for you - particularly if you need them to integrate with each other.

A group of colleagues participates in a hybrid meeting. Half the participants are seated in a small auditorium, the others are shown on a large monitor.

Here are our three basic tips to help you make the right choice: 

  1. Always ask what your employees need first - make sure that you're fulfilling a need, not just adding complexity to their day.
  2. Have potential users from multiple departments evaluate each tool. Get feedback from real-life scenarios and share it with the vendors - they might be able to help you adapt your set-up so that you get the most out of it.
  3. Take advantage of free demos and trial periods so you can see the solution in action.

We hope you enjoyed our article. And if you need a tool to support your hybrid corporate culture, then please contact us!

About the author:

Christoph Drebes

Christoph is an entrepreneur from Munich and co-founded Mystery Minds in 2016. Mystery Minds' mission is to make the world of work more human by creating meaningful, personal connections between colleagues. The remote-only team already works with over 250 international companies, helping them to strengthen internal networks and overcome silo mentalities.

Originally published on April 17, 2023 at 9:10 AM, amended on January 10, 2024 at 5:45 PM


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