While a significant part of communication in the workplace is now happening online, current platforms don’t fully support socio-cognitive nonverbal communication, which hampers the shared understanding and creativity of virtual teams. Given text-based communication being the main channel for virtual collaboration, we propose a novel solution leveraging an AI-based, dynamic affective recognition system. The app provides live feedback about the affective content of the communication in Slack, in the form of a visual representation and percentage breakdown of the ‘sentiment’ (tone, emoji) and main ‘emotion states’ (e.g. joy, anger). We tested the usability of the app in a quasi-experiment with 30 participants from diverse backgrounds, linguistic analysis and user interviews. The findings show that the app significantly increases shared understanding and creativity within virtual teams. Emerged themes included impression formation assisted by affective recognition, supporting long-term relationships development; identified challenges related to transparency and emotional complexity detected by AI.