Back in October 2016 I wrote an article introducing Slack and explaining how it can boost your communication and hence make you more efficient at work. This article is following up on that. I want to show how Slack can be used in different roles in the workplace so that you can make the most of this great tool according to your specific needs.
Slack is truly for everyone! However, some features and how you use them is more suited to certain types of roles within the workplace. Here I have listed five common workplace functions along with my top three most useful tips for that role.
Note: I have numbered the tips sequentially throughout as a lot of them apply to multiple roles and functions!
Tip #1: Using a bot such as Howdy to help automate tasks (such as pre-meeting questions) can help you save huge amounts of time
Tip #2: When setting up Slack, try dividing channels by purpose rather than audience – #frontend is much better than #developers, as different roles in a company collaborate together often
Tip #3: When you have external people working on your project (freelancers, clients), if you are using a free Slack plan you will not have the option to invite specific users into single channels. Therefore it’s probably easiest to make most channels private from the beginning in order to avoid this.
Developers, Techies, Nerds…
Tip #4: Automate deployment cycles, build status reports, monitoring systems etc. by using the many bots available in the Slack marketplace. This will save you many hours of work!
Tip #5: In addition the RSS feed bot can help you pull your favourite news sources automatically into Slack as well; make dedicated channels for these to keep them organised! This is great for staying on top of vendor news and tool development.
Tip #6: Slack’s typing options help you make sure your message is read properly; use markup options such as “` for code snippets and when you type, make sure to use shift+enter to make a new line before sending your message (it’s harder to follow a conversation with multiple messages from different people over different lines).
Creative Directors, Designers…
Tip #7: When you upload an image to Slack, use the “title” field to describe the image and the “comment” to go into detail – commenting in-line this way on the image makes it easier to follow.
Tip #8: If you need input on certain topics, try making a poll using one of the many bots available and requesting information this way, instead of typing out a question and mentioning people with @username.
Tip #9: Being in a creative role could mean being involved in a LOT of conversations and/or Slack teams – have Slack email you a digest at the beginning of the week (in your account preferences) in order to catch up on anything you might have missed – it’s quite good at picking out the important stuff!
Management, Human Resources, Backoffice…
Tip #10: Using a bot such as PlusPlus or Growbot is a great and easy way to encourage people to praise others. It even collects statistics and totals for you!
Tip #11: The “reaction” feature for messages is an easy way to get people’s opinion – why not use it for voting on certain topics?
Tip #12: Use Slack to better understand how employees communicate – Slack’s built-in statistics about each team are useful for that!
Marketing Managers, Social Media Gurus…
Tip #13: Marketing professionals communicate a lot and thus probably spend a lot of time in Slack. They can greatly benefit from the /remind feature to keep on top of things!
Tip #14: Have important things like newsletter signups, contact requests, new followers etc. flow directly into a single channel to keep marketing activities visible, even to those outside the marketing teams.
Tip #15: Make sure your do-not-disturb and notification settings are set up correctly for your preferences – marketing typically “never sleeps” so having notifications waking you up at 2am is probably not optimal.
I hope you find these tips useful and if you didn’t see your role here I would like to hear from you!
Born in Canada and raised in Switzerland and Japan, Matthew is a trilingual Digital Analyst who loves all things technology (a true geek) and food. He is a founder of Cook Eat and a passionate cook, motorbiker and photographer.
Matthew Brandt, Digital Analyst, Co-Founder of Cookeat