Slack has replaced the old boring emails in the workplace for good. It offers synchronous, fast communication (just like a personal chat app), so you can easily collaborate with your colleagues – both remotely and on location.
But as with any workspace platform, things don’t always go smoothly. It can be messy, overwhelming, distracting, you name it. So here are seven tips to help your team get the most out of it:
1. Set clear communication goals and expectations
What do you use Slack for? Does it offer daily updates, in-flow questions, or lunch appointments? This will help you understand why and when you should use it, and allow you to decide which channels your team needs.
2. Create special channels, but keep them to a reasonable number
Unless you have dedicated channels, you’ll get lost in a glut of unrelated information. Imagine a discussion about your next task intertwined with plans for your team’s Friday drinks – utter chaos.
At the same time, it is important to have a reasonable number of channels. Too little, and things can get messy. Too much, and your desktop will be bombarded with notifications you don’t really need to read.
Having an “important” channel can also work wonders and help you not miss any important announcements or tasks.
3. Show love for discussions
Slack’s threads are the best way to continue a conversation on a specific topic. They can keep communication to the point and not mess up a channel or DM.
4. Huddles are your friend
A complicated problem may arise or you may want your colleague’s input. It’s always easier to speak than to write long paragraphs, so don’t forget the huddles feature. Just make quick calls and save precious time typing.
5. Tag, tag, tag
If you’ve missed important things on Slack simply because you don’t have time to scroll up 100+ unread messages, you’re not alone.
Tagging a coworker is the best way to get their attention, and there’s the familiar ‘ping’ sound that you can’t really miss. This can also be used for larger groups, or anyone on the team.
6. It’s okay to go offline
Anyone who has used Slack knows that constant pinging of different channels or DMs can be very distracting – and sometimes you just need to focus on your own work.
Let your team know you’re in focus mode and pause notifications or set yourself up as ‘away’.
7. Avoid tackling complex matters
If your team needs to discuss a complex issue or make an important decision, Slack isn’t the platform to do it.
You can choose a real-time meeting or an asynchronous shared document where everyone has time to think and contribute.
So there you have it! Seven tips for you and your team to get the most out of Slack. Don’t mention it.