External collaboration and Slack with shared channels icon

External collaboration in Slack

All organisations need to work with teams outside their walls. Determine if guests or shared channels on Slack is right for your team.

Guest accounts and shared channels

Guest accounts

These are great for working with someone who feels like a member of your organisation but needs only limited access to Slack.

It’s important to note that guest accounts:

  • Are available for paid workspaces. Guests can belong to a single channel or multiple channels.
  • Can be invited to your workspace just like normal members via the invitations page.
  • Have icons next to their profile photos: a triangle for single-channel guests and a square for multi-channel guests.

Shared channels

Two separate organisations can work together in Slack, each from within their own Slack workspace.

The benefits of shared channels include:

  • Working with external parties is as straightforward and fluid as working with your own colleagues.
  • Both teams have a common place to collaborate, bring in the right people on an as-needed basis and build a collective repository of knowledge that anyone on either team can add to and reference.
  • Both teams can send messages, share files and access the channel history.
  • Any member of the shared channel can also direct-message (DM) any other member in the channel, even if they’re from the other team.

Should I create a guest account or use a shared channel?

If you’re working with…

  • An individual – Then use a guest account
  • A team – Then use a shared channel

More and more organisations are moving towards shared channels for the additional control and flexibility they provide – especially when collaborating with two or more people at another company.

Guests vs. shared channels comparison









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