Factors affecting our work settings and daily lives may be beyond our control at the moment, but we can shape how we adapt and improve the way we work together while keeping our teams safe and healthy. (We should know; we just had to do the same thing ourselves.)
That’s why we’ve created five new templates for Workflow Builder, a visual tool that allows any Slack user to automate routine processes. From streamlining requests to gathering feedback, these templates are designed to make remote work feel like business as usual.
1. Update teammates on your status
When everyone is working from different places, be it a living room sofa or a different time zone, it helps to keep everyone in the loop without folks adding to their notifications. With this workflow, team members can easily complete a form to let others know where they’re working from. The form response is automatically sent to the channel, so team members and managers can easily keep track of one another.
2. Approve requests quickly
Filing and approving requests can be a cumbersome process even when you’re in the office. This workflow provides a customisable template so that you can easily track and approve employee requests like expenses or travel. Have you introduced a new request policy and need to update your template? You can edit your workflow in just a few clicks.
3. Remind your team to take breaks
Working from home tends to blur the boundaries between our personal and professional lives. You may find yourself hunched on the couch for one too many hours or eating lunch at dinnertime.
This workflow sends your team scheduled reminders to engage in healthy habits, like stretching, drinking some water or taking a short walk. Every day at a designated time, a message is posted in a channel of your choice with a reminder to take a break and practice some self-care. (While reading this now, do you realise that you haven’t taken a break in a few hours? Here’s your reminder to take a well-deserved timeout.)
4. Kick off daily standup reminders in channel
When everyone is working from different locations, daily standups are essential for keeping the team aligned. Instead of holding video meetings to list your priorities and blockers, standups can happen in Slack channels – and we have a template for that.
Use this template to send a daily reminder to a team or project channel asking everyone to post an update on their work. Encouraging folks to post their reply in a thread helps keep channels clean and uncluttered. Plus, you’ll have a searchable history of everyone’s tasks, ensuring that no one is working on the same thing – all crucial to a smooth transition to working remotely.
5. Get feedback, no meeting required
Soliciting feedback from your teammates can be tricky when you aren’t in the same place. This workflow allows teams to collect ongoing feedback, which often replaces the need for a formal meeting.
It’s quite simple: set up your workflow so that, when someone reacts to a message with the emoji of your choice, they’re sent step-by-step instructions – by way of a simple form – for sharing their feedback. Once submitted, the person who initially requested the feedback automatically receives new responses via direct message. Try this workflow if you’re gathering feedback for a pitch deck, blog post or design.
Remote-friendly workflows used by teams at Slack
- Schedule office hours: You don’t need a physical office to keep up your office hours, just a Slack channel and a workflow. Our platform analytics team created a pathway to help them to efficiently answer questions. Members can submit questions using a form. Once the form has been submitted, the person’s questions get posted to the channel, where a member of the analytics team can acknowledge the query and answer it directly. The added benefit is that this turns the channel into a living, searchable FAQ. Be sure to gently remind channel members to search for answers before posting new questions.
- Photo-bonding huddle: Working remotely doesn’t mean sacrificing team culture. To stay connected, our platform marketing team uses a scheduled trigger to create a daily recurring workflow that asks each teammate to post a fun photo and caption. We’re seeing lots of dog pictures, and we’re OK with that.
- Share meeting notes: Missed a Zoom discussion? Our platform engineering team created a workflow to collect notes from any discussion and then automatically share those notes back with channel members. Visibility is key now more than ever, so with this, people in different time zones or who might not be directly involved in the meeting still have access to pertinent information.
Workflow Builder is available to customers on any paid Slack subscription.