Management 3.0’s ‘Dos and Don’ts’ of Using Slack

- Management 3.0

by Sam at Management 3.0

Slack is a household name now, but before the pandemic we, at Management 3.0, were using it to communicate for work, since we’re a fully remote team. Given our experience, we thought we’d give any Slack newcomers, a few pieces of advice for the most effective ways to use Slack.

We asked our team a few key questions and here is what people said. We’ve clumped together the answers to keep things simple.

#1: What do you like about using Slack?

  • Most of the team said, working asynchronously
  • I prefer typing over the phone and sometimes even over Zoom, because I don’t have to wear makeup and can sit however I want to sit and it feels like fun. It feels like chatting over ICQ back in the days of the early internet
  • The Slackbot and “all unread” functions help organize my ‘to do’s’
  • I like the openness of Slack within a remote team and the categorization with hashtags.
  • It gives you a sense of what everyone is doing which you wouldn’t get with traditional email
  • The emojis

#2: What do you hate about using Slack?

  • Most people on the team said: Not being able to log off for more than a day, otherwise you are left behind
  • It’s difficult to keep away from Slack for fear of missing something and it gets overwhelming to keep tabs on so much ongoing communication
  • Slack can be quite distracting when working on important tasks
  • Some things don’t lend themselves to communication via text and there should be a better developed etiquette, culture, tools around that
  • It is close to impossible to find old messages, it sometimes feels like a black hole
  • Too many “dead” channels. Not finding older conversations
  • Getting lost in the threads and spending a lot of time checking I have not missed anything
  • I don’t like the hundreds of alerts if you miss one day. You would not get that in email

#3: For a team to use Slack successfully they have to……

  • Over communicate. There will always be misinterpretations but try to be as clear as possible, it’s worth it
  • Create very good agreements on how to use Slack and make sure everyone understands how Slack works
  • Be organised and manage expectations for answering each other
  • Not share personal messages on public channels and share team messages only if it’ll benefit the team

#4: The biggest mistake people make when using Slack is…

  • Most of the team said, not using threads and not organising topics so that the thread becomes too general and then hard to find
  • Expecting immediate answers
  • Pressing enter after each sentence and separating a message that belongs together
  • Start arguing. Better to have a face-to-face Zoom call if things get heated
  • Not posting specific messages on the dedicated channels and hence losing track of where things are

How does your team use Slack or another remote working tool? Share your thoughts in the comments below or contact us

Photo credit Scott Webb via Unsplash

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