Training

Your guide to working remotely in Slack

Best practices, tips and tricks for getting the most out of work with channel-based messaging—no matter your location

Every day, all over the world, in teams large and small, people are working together remotely through Slack. Here, we’ve gathered a few of the resources we’ve created over the years to help people work in Slack—wherever they are physically.

1. Create a dedicated announcement channel

Share updates with your team no matter where they are

When your team members aren’t all together under one roof, it’s important to have a single place where everyone can go to get information. Announcement channels are crucial for getting updates to your team.

  • If you’re a small or new team, the default #general channel can be good for this purpose. It’s the one channel where you know every member of the team will be gathered, so you’ll be able to get important information to everyone at once.
  • You might consider changing the posting permissions and the name (to something like #announcements or #team-updates) so it’s clear how this channel is going to be used.

2. Use channels for all your work

Channels help you check in and keep projects moving

Teams that are new to Slack, or have used it in a different way while working closely in the same physical office, may not have many channels for general conversation. If your team is shifting to remote working, you’ll want to enable people to keep moving on their own projects, often by creating new channels.

  • You can find more about channel management and structure in our Help Center.
  • Especially if you’ve turned #general into an #announcements channel as suggested above, it’s worth making sure people have the channels they’ll need to work. Not everyone needs to be in every channel, just like not everyone needs to be in every meeting or on every project.
  • Create channels for each project, job or team, and they can stand in for meetings, especially status updates and recurring syncs.
  • Channels also replace endless email threads when they’re used to keep everyone informed about the status of work still to be done.
  • Beyond replacing meetings and email, channels keep conversations focused, encourage the exchange of ideas and move work forward.

3. Connect the tools you use everyday

Bring all your most-used apps together in one convenient place

Whether your team uses G Suite or Office 365, Dropbox or Box, Zoom or role-specific tools like Salesforce and Jira, you can use Slack to keep track of everything by bringing updates directly into channels. Slack seamlessly integrates with hundreds of tools to ensure that everyone has visibility into their team’s unique ecosystem of work. View and download these tools and more in our App Directory.

 

4. Adopt shared channels

Extend Slack beyond the walls of your own organization

Whether you’re working with a vendor on a project, a customer on a contract or a partner on a campaign, you can use a shared channel to connect your two organizations together.

  • Once you’ve connected with a shared channel, you’ll also be able to send direct messages to one another across company lines—perfect for discussing edits and clearing up confusion one on one.
  • Head on over to our collection of resources on shared channels to learn more about how they work and how to set one up.

5. Post statuses

The perfect way to let people know when you’re around—and when you’re not

A custom status is what you need when your teammates can’t just stand up and scan the room to see whether you’re there.

  • Use it to let everyone know that you’re on a call, out at lunch or in a meeting.
  • Your status will appear right next to your name in both channels and direct messages so that everyone can see it at a glance.
  • Our Help Center will walk you through the steps to set your Slack status (it’s easy!).

6. Make calls without leaving Slack

Calls are ideal for one-to-one communication and remote meetings

Everyone needs to have a quick face-to-face conversation on occasion, and sometimes a larger, ad hoc group meeting is best.

  • Use the call button in Slack as a substitute for walking over to someone’s desk (video is optional).
  • If your team already has a service for video and voice—Slack integrates with nearly all of them—you can easily use its Slack app to bring all of your communication into one convenient place.

 

 

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