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How to Use Slack to Keep Your Remote Team Engaged

Trying to figure out how to use Slack?

Good. It is totally worth it.

boasting 10+ million daily active usersThe popularity of Slack speaks for itself. In fact, the platform is now a staple of remote work as more and more teams rely on Slack as their all-in-one communications hub.

And while Slack may seem like just a chat app on the surface, the platform has a whole slew of time-saving features to keep teams productive and engaged.

In this guide, we’ll explain how to use Slack for trading.

What is Slack anyway?

Let’s start with the basics.

Slack is a team collaboration and project management tool. The platform can be used in-browser or as its own native app on desktop and mobile.

Users communicate in channels represented by specific hashtags. For example, a marketing team may have separate channels for #content-writers, #SEO and #design.

Within each channel, users can tag each other based on their @handles. Then the fun begins.

In terms of using Slack to communicate, your options are pretty much limitless. For example, Slack is a great alternative to email or project tickets. Keeping such messages going back and forth creates a sense of accountability and transparency as teams can track their communications from point A to point B until an issue is resolved.

GIF of how to use Slack for election staff

Slack can also be used for informal communication. Celebrating a new contract or birthday? Want to drop some memes or GIFs? Go for it.

giphy integration example for slack

Users can change their availability status throughout the day to signal to coworkers when they are down to talk or when they are working deeper.

In short, Slack serves as a place for coworkers to always be “on”. It offers a more timely alternative to recreating the old-school office watercooler as well, especially for communicating via email.

However, why is Slack so popular with remote teams?

Slack might not seem so special at a glance.

After all, there are plenty of chat apps out there (think: Teams, Google Meet) that serve a similar purpose.

Slack’s popularity can be boiled down to its widespread use among startups and the influx of millions of new users during COVID-19. At the start of the pandemic, businesses defaulted to a handful of apps to adapt to the new “normal” of remote work.

And for team chat, Slack was the winner. The app experienced a surge in new users amid COVID-19 and many have decided to stick with the platform for a longer period of time.

Perhaps the biggest selling point of Slack is its third-party integration. If there’s a business app or tool that you rely on, there’s a high chance it has Slack integration.

Trello. Google Drive. Outlook. You name it, Slack integrates with it.

Another key difference of Slack versus other chat apps is the platform’s different types of bots, many of which are focused on improving productivity and company culture. For example, the popular Donut bot is designed to optimize new employee onboarding and help employees build relationships in a remote setting.

Screenshot of the Donut onboarding bot in Slack

One big-picture goal of using a platform like Slack is to outright replace email (or at least reduce teams’ reliance on email).

Why use Slack instead of email, though? time.

It is well documented that many employees waste hours in their inboxes every day. The platform cuts down on unnecessary back-and-forth, consolidating email notifications alongside your team chats into one real-time inbox. For example, you can schedule and share a Zoom meeting ID directly within Slack without having to bounce between inbox links and invites.

Example of Zoom Integration for Slack

How do most remote companies use Slack?

No two teams use Slack alike, but the end goal is the same: Give teams a place to stay connected without wasting time in their inboxes or creating a bunch of apps.

Below are three specific goals for remote companies trying to learn how to use Slack:

  1. Streamlining tasks and documenting internal communication between workers
  2. Encourages timely, open communication and a collaborative company culture
  3. Keep employees productive through apps and integrations

This platform is a prime place for teams to brainstorm ideas and keep a pulse on the status of any project. For example, creative remote teams can solicit feedback or finalize a piece of content. Here’s an example of how to use Slack for project management (with Trello):

How to Use Trello for Slack

Meanwhile, fostering employee engagement is one of the biggest challenges of managing a remote team. Slack can help in that department, thanks to a variety of engagement bots and survey tools to pick the brains of employees.

Here’s an example using Polly, which provides an anonymous place for employees to provide feedback and answer managers’ questions.

Polly survey example in Slack

And again, Slack aims to ensure that employees remain productive. This is another challenge for remote teams where workers are independent and keeping track of individual tasks can be a hassle.

Here’s an example of how a time-tracking tool like Timebot.chat, which gives workers somewhere to track their day-to-day tasks, blocks time and sheds light on what they’re working on. put.

Timebot.chat examples in Slack showing time spent on tasks and projects

This is just a snapshot of how to use Slack as a remote team. Your favorite apps and workflow may be different, but you can use the platform in the same way.

How to Use Slack: Tips and Best Practices

Although Slack itself is fairly intuitive, using the platform to its fullest means understanding its best practices. Here are some quick tips to make sure your team uses Slack in a meaningful way.

choose your channel

Your company’s Slack doesn’t have to be free for all random channels. Instead, discussions should be limited to channels based on your company’s goals for the forum.

For example, does each team have room to go back and forth? Is there somewhere to express company-wide concerns? Do you want to limit the memes and funny business to one channel?

There’s no “right” way to set up your Slack channel. Of course, this freedom can be a bit daunting. To get started, here are some examples: recommended channel Highlighted by Slack itself.

  • #announcements
  • # at random
  • #AMA (Ask Me Anything)
  • # company culture
  • # suggestion Box

outline requirements

Unlike social media, some critics regard Slack as a potential time-sink for employees that can actually have consequences. Less Productivity.

Additionally, the phenomenon of “sluggish fatigue” and stress from users pushing the platform can contribute to workplace burnout.

It’s important to uncover expectations for how to use Slack among your team. This can avoid wasting time and likewise ensure that the discussion is meaningful and productive.

In short, teams should not see this as just a place to chat. We recommend Slack’s own guide join your company To make sure your team is on the right track from the word “go”.

Take full advantage of integration

if you are Using Slack for BusinessOf course, you’re spoiled for choice in terms of the integrations you can use. It also includes:

  • Project Management Tools (Trello, Asana, Jira)
  • Video meeting tools (Zoom, RingCentral)
  • Calendar Apps (Google Calendar, Outlook)
  • Collaboration Software (Google Drive, Box)
  • Employee Engagement Tools (OfficeVibe, TinyPulse)

For example, check out the Slack G-Suite for Slack. With a single integration, you can manage your meetings…

Example of Slack and G-Suite integration

… and upload files to share with the rest of your team.

Example of Google Drive integration in Slack

But again: Slack aims to save time. It can be tempting to cram as many apps and integrations into the platform as possible, but try to stick to the most used ones first.

promote positivity

It may sound ludicrous, but it’s definitely worth noting.

Your colleagues shouldn’t be afraid to open any Slack channels. Whether it is a response or a request, stress the importance of keeping communication positive and constructive.

There is no doubt that being connected with your team round the clock can be potentially stressful. To combat this, encourage your team members to pay attention to their tone and likewise don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Slack is a great team-building and collaboration tool, provided teams understand it.

And with that, we complete our guide on how to use Slack!

Ready to get started with Slack?

While the concept of learning any new platform can be a headache, getting started with Slack is easier than you might think.

No matter what type of business you’re running, Slack can bring your team closer together while supporting your larger business goals. We only recommend it to people who want to get more done, especially social marketers.

And just as figuring out how to effectively use Slack empowers your team to be productive, keep in mind that Sprout Social can help you do the same.

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