Email has its place in the workplace, but it’s far from a perfect communications tool. There are many times when email is not ideal for certain discussions, and that’s usually where a messaging application like Slack comes in.
As a contractor who primarily works remotely, instant messaging applications are a huge part of the way I’m able to communicate with the teams I work with. Not all of them use the same app, some use Google Chat, but the majority of them use Slack. And I’ve seen how beneficial these applications can be for a team.
Reasons to Use Slack
1. Intuitive for quick messages
Instant messaging is built for quick, conversation style messages. It’s not until you need to send a quick message that you realize that email actually has a number of steps in order to just fire of a message. You have to type the body of the message, then you have to type in the recipient’s email address, then you also have to add in a subject. A message on the other hand, you just open up the conversation with that person and type away.
Plus it just feels more intuitive for quick messages. More personal even.
2. Keep business communications out of personal text messaging
It’s never a good thing to combine personal with business tools. Not only can there be issues when a team member leaves and takes all their conversation history with them, but it can also become a burden to individuals.
It’s important for team members to be able to disconnect when they need to. If you’re using text messages as a way to communicate with your team, this isn’t possible because they’re always going to have their mobile devices with them. However, with a communication’s app like Slack, it’s easy to snooze notifications from Slack when needed. This way team members still have full functionality of their phones but are able to disconnect from work when they need to.
3. Add and remove users with ease
Slack makes it super easy to add and remove team members. This means that you can have new team members set up on the same day they start with you, and it also means that they’re disconnected the same day ties are severed.
4. Group conversations
Group conversations are one of the most beneficial features of a messaging application. Set up a group for each project you have so that everyone who needs to stay in the loop, stays in the loop.
You can also use group conversations for quick office-wide messages.
If you’re sending a message to the entire office and need to know that everyone has read it, Slack allows users to add an emoji response to a message. At the bottom of your message, simply add “Please click the ✅ confirming that you’ve read this.”
You’ll then be able to see who all has clicked the checkbox.
5. Easily share files
Slack makes it easy to share files quickly. Drag the file you want to share into your conversation and drop it in — and there you go, file shared!
6. Multi-platform availability — even works on the web
A major reason I’m an advocate for Slack is its availability across platforms. Meaning that you can start a conversation on desktop and continue it on mobile when you’re no longer at your desk.
Slack also has a web version of its app so you don’t even need to download its Mac or Windows apps to use it, which could be handy if you’re ever working on a shared computer.
At the end of the day, I don’t think there’s any all-encompassing, perfect solution for all our communications. But adding tools like Slack into the mix can certainly save time and improve the openness of communication between team members.