Collaboration

8 apps for Slack that keep remote work on track

Our favorite apps for staying in touch with colleagues and collectively moving work forward

By the team at Slack23rd March 2020

For many of us, remote work has quickly become an everyday reality. And while we’ve published tutorials and tips on the topic, we thought it’d be helpful to comb through the over 2,000 apps available in the Slack App Directory and highlight the best ones for supporting distributed teams.

These apps can help your team stay on time and on target, and help maintain connections and culture even when everyone is working from home.

1. Get your daily schedule delivered with Outlook Calendar

Outlook Calendar app for Slack

There’s no better way to keep everyone on track than using teamwide calendars. In Outlook Calendar (and Google Calendar), you can get your daily schedule delivered in Slack each morning, customize when you’d like to be notified and join a call directly from your meeting reminders.

When everyone is working remotely, keeping teammates aware of your status—especially if you’ll be slow to respond—is key. Outlook Calendar will automatically update your Slack status when you’re in a meeting, so your teammates know you’re not available for a quick DM or casual call.

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Install
Use the Outlook Calendar app for Slack to:
  • Automatically update your custom status when you’re in a meeting
  • Get a daily schedule delivered to you in Slack each morning
  • Receive a custom reminder when your meetings are about to start

2. Jump on a call instantly with Zoom

Zoom app for Slack

A lot of important nonverbal communication happens when people are sharing a physical office space. If a thread or discussion is becoming increasingly unclear, emotions are escalating, or the right people aren’t being looped into the conversation, it’s a good time to call a timeout”and chat face to face.

When you’ve installed Zoom, you can launch a call by simply typing /zoom in Slack. (Similar commands are available if you use Cisco WebEx, BlueJeans, Fuze, or RingCentral too.)

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Install
Use the Zoom app for Slack to:
  • Start a call from a channel or direct message
  • See who has joined a call before you connect
  • Share recording links with your teammates

3. Share video and your screen, asynchronously, with Loom

Loom app for Slack

When you can’t swing by a teammate’s desk to offer help or answer a question, there’s Loom.

The Loom app is great for sending quick video snippets, like a new concept you’ve been discussing in a Slack channel. Record your screen and your front-facing camera simultaneously as you narrate your mockup, then send the resulting video straight into Slack for others to see.

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Install
Use the Loom app for Slack to:
  • Create short screencasts you can narrate and use to explain your work
  • Send videos into a channel or direct message
  • Mention teammates or tag channels from inside Loom

4. Track your team’s daily progress with Standuply

Standuply app for Slack

Often the first interaction of the day sets the mood for a team, especially when everyone’s remote. Start your morning with a Standuply meeting in Slack, to prompt teammates to share what they’re working on, what’s blocking them and what they’ve completed. It not only helps give everyone on your team visibility into each other’s work, but prevents duplication too.

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Install
Use the Standuply app for Slack to:
  • Automate daily standup meetings, weekly reflections, quarterly feedback and more
  • Allow remote team members to answer questions via text, voice or video messages
  • Track work progress, business metrics, obstacles and team happiness

5. Carve out focus time with Clockwise

Clockwise app for Slack

Creating a daily routine (and sticking to it) is a key part of remote work. Clockwise helps you plan out your day and guards you from interruptions. The app can automatically turn on Do Not Disturb (DND) mode when you have stretches of time between meetings, setting a boundary for when you need heads-down time or a break.

App icon
Install
Use the Clockwise app for Slack to:
  • Automatically sync your calendar to your Slack status
  • Turn on DND when you’re in a meeting or carving out focus time
  • Receive a daily forecast of your meetings and bandwidth, right in Slack

6. Grab a virtual ☕️ with a teammate in Donut

Donut app for Slack

When everyone works from home, it’s perfectly natural to feel a little isolated. Keep your social connections at work going with Donut. Use it to grab everyone in a channel and pair them up randomly for 1:1 video chats. The larger the channel, the better you can help people in different sectors of the organization get to know one another.

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Install
Use the Donut app for Slack to:
  • Introduce teammates and schedule meetings over Slack
  • Break the ice with conversation starters
  • Automatically welcome new teammates and invite them to join your Donut channel(s)

7. Keep tabs on how everyone’s feeling with Polly

Polly app for Slack

Measure team sentiment in real time through a recurring Polly poll. Schedule them ahead of time or run a weekly survey automatically. A lightweight question allows employees to respond in seconds, and allows you to analyze sentiment trends over time.

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Install
Use the Polly app for Slack to:
  • Gauge everyone’s morale with a quick survey
  • Make your surveys optionally anonymous, and choose to show or hide results
  • Run scheduled and recurring polls/surveys, with automated reminders for unanswered surveys

8. Celebrate team wins with Disco

Disco app for Slack

Highlight the great work by your team in real time with Disco. The app makes recognizing a job well done as easy as sending a message in Slack. Send kudos using Disco and squash the fear of “Will colleagues and managers still notice my contributions even if I’m not in the office?”

App icon
Install
Use the Disco app for Slack to:
  • Acknowledge people and their good work in real time
  • Uncover trends and metrics on applying your company values
  • Broadcast values and stats to the wider team

This is just a sampling of the tools your team can use to ease its transition to remote work. Keep an eye on the Slack App Directory for the latest updates and to help your team find exactly what it needs to work better together, wherever they are.

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