How do we communicate with our remote team? We use Slack, a web application that is more than a mere instant messaging platform. Let’s find out its features.
Increase your productivity with Slack
Wiredmark is not a big team, and one office is enough for all of us. However, we have a lot of remote collaborators. We work with clients who come from many different countries, and sometimes having a colleague who works in one of those countries can be a consistent advantage. Also, we think competences are more important than the residency, so no matter how far our collaborators live, if they are good at what they do, we are happy to work with them. Nevertheless, we know communication is important, and if we want to keep up with the work in spite of being a fragmented team, we need proper internal communication tools, and here is where Slack comes into play.
What is Slack
When you see Slack in action for the first time, the first definition for it that comes to your mind is an instant messaging software, but it would be reductive: Slack is a complete workgroup communication tool. It increases productivity, improves communication, and keeps all the relevant conversations organised.
You can register on Slack website in a few steps: first of all, you have to type your e-mail address and click on Get Started.
On the next step, you will be required to input a 6-digit code you received via e-mail:
Once you have confirmed your e-mail address, it is time to identify yourself:
On the next step, you will obviously have to choose a password, and when you decide that, it will be all about your company. You have to type the name…
…and decide the URL of your workspace, which will be something like yourcompany.slack.com:
Once the workspace is created, you can share its URL with your colleagues, who can register and join you in your workspace, and if you don’t like keeping a browser tab open at all times, you can install the official software on Windows, Linux, and Mac, and there is also an app for both Android and iOS. All the versions are stable, light, and very usable, anyway, so whatever you choose, you will have a great user experience.
How to organise your workspace
The best thing you can do is dedicating a channel to each topic you want to discuss on Slack. For instance, we have a channel for our internal projects, one for sales, another one where we discuss about ideas to improve the quality of life of our employees, our method, or the tools we use, we also have got a channel for general chit-chat, and other channels dedicated to our clients. There is a permission scheme for accessing and creating channels, so the workspace doesn’t get chaotic.
Obviously, there is also the chance of starting a one to one chat with one of your colleagues, or you can tag them in a channel, so they know the message is specifically for them, but at the same time, you can make sure everybody knows.
What about when we discuss about multiple things at the same time, in the same channel?
Nothing to worry about: with Slack, you can start a thread under any message sent by anyone: the replies will not appear on the channel, but you’ll see them when clicking on the first message.
We also use Slack to send small size files, such as Word documents, infographics, PSD files, and so on, making file transfer easier and faster than a classic e-mail with attachment. You won’t need to send the same files again and again or consume your cloud space, Slack has got you covered.
Use apps and integrations to increase functionalities
Another thing we love about Slack (on top of the fact that it is free), is the massive app directory, from which you can browse applications and bots that can be integrated in your workspace. For example, we integrated Slack with our CRM, so every time we win a deal with a new client, a bot alerts us on Slack, so everybody in the team knows they have to get ready to start working on a new project.
The integration with Google Drive is also precious, as we can send files to our colleagues straight from Drive, without downloading them on our computers, saving time and disk space. We recommend you browse the app directory yourself, because there are so many possibilities of integrations that three blogs wouldn’t be enough to describe them.
Do we recommend using Slack?
Do you work in a team? If you try Slack, you will realise after a few days that you can no longer do without it, so we definitely recommend it, as we are pretty sure you will experience productivity improvements on the medium-long term.