At face value, Slack is a tool for communication across an organization. Slack allows team members to share links directly with other team members, start private group conversations known as “channels” or side conversations called “threads,” and set a status to indicate whether they are available or not. The Slack Workspace Directory allows you to conveniently store each team member’s contact information in an individual profile. When you are in a meeting, you can create a “Do Not Disturb” schedule to pause notifications during your meeting, so that you aren’t interrupted if you are using your computer for a presentation or even simply note taking. FPW Media has been using Slack for over two years to streamline communications within our team. Our various channels include client-specific channels for updates on projects for the respective client, a dedicated channel for each division, and various executive-specific subchannels.
Slack also offers a variety of integrations with a multitude of programs in categories including analytics, design, developer tools, file management, HR & team culture, marketing, productivity, project management, and sales (plus many more!). Some of the popular program integrations include Outlook, Dropbox, Zoom, GitHub, Zapier, Copper, Salesforce, Trello, Asana, and G Suite.
Within G Suite in particular, there are many advantageous ways to utilize Slack when working from home. With the Slack for Gmail add-on, employees can forward emails to other team members within Slack, then proceed to discuss the topic of the email in order to obtain the proper information needed for responses. Through integrating with Google Calendar, employees can view a summary of their daily schedule, easily respond to event invitations, join Hangouts or Zoom meetings with a simple click, and update their status automatically to display when they are in a scheduled meeting. The Google Drive integration allows team members to easily create new files; receive notifications on newly shared documents, new comments, and access requests; reply to comments on documents; and alter editing permissions directly from Slack.
When you are unable to poke your head over the cubicle divider, Slack is a great second choice. In fact, slacking a coworker “Do you have a minute?” (or a key word or phrase to indicate the need to converse; at FPW we use the word “fennel”) can be even more effective (not to mention more hygiene-conscious) than popping your head into their office. This signal allows the coworker to finish whatever task they are currently involved in before switching their train of thought to your current needs. Studies show that frequent interruptions negatively impact productivity, because the interrupted employee then requires additional time to get back on track after the interruption, so employees are often able to be more effective when working for uninterrupted periods.
During a time when the Coronavirus seems to be threatening our ability to be productive, Slack offers solutions that may streamline operations and improve the efficiency of employee work even when they are working remotely. FPW Media is pleased to continue to meet your branding needs while offering support with setting up programs to aid in optimizing remote operations. Contact us today to find out how we can customize programs like Slack to position your business for success during COVID-19 and beyond.