An employee working from home
slack tips

4 ways to progress professionally from anywhere, with help from Slack

You don’t need a physical office to spotlight your accomplishments. Here are our favorite ways to stay visible using channels

Author: Hairol Ma8th December 2020Illustration by Robert Samuel Hanson

When you transition to remote work, ironing out a routine to stay on track and productive is likely step one. Somewhere down the list is probably expanding your network or making sure that your contributions are recognized in the absence of the organic rhythms of the office.

According to Forbes, lacking the right digital tools in a remote setup can make it hard for employers to determine who deserves a promotion. Luckily, Slack is your digital office, where your team can share ideas, make decisions and move work forward in one place. In Slack channels, you’ve got a searchable log of all the work you’ve done, and getting to know a new coworker is one DM away. We’ve compiled our top tips on how Slack can help you build a culture of visibility and advance your career while working remotely.

1. Share your—and your team’s—accomplishments

If you’re averse to broadcasting a compliment you received from a client or a project you wrapped up in record time, we get it. But according to time management coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders, sharing your contributions publicly is an important way to help people at your organization understand the role you fill and the value you add. Here are a few simple ways to kick this off in Slack.

Post in an announcements channel, then share back with your team

A message announcing a project launch—and thanking contributors—in Slack

The launch of any major project warrants an announcement so folks at your organization can keep up with new releases. It’s also a great opportunity to give credit where it’s due. Designating a space to share news, like #announce-marketing, gives organization-wide visibility to your contributions and also creates a searchable archive of the different projects you’ve had a hand in. Tip: If your teammate is mentioned, share the post back to your team channel, where managers are likelier to notice.

Ask Slackbot to nudge the wider team

A message from Slackbot asking employees to recognize their peers' work

Setting a Slackbot reminder to appreciate the work of others encourages a healthy culture of recognition. Plus, your coworkers might return the favor later on if you give them a shoutout.

2. Stay organized and visible

A well-organized, transparent Slack team with channels arranged by topic and projects makes it easier to see everyone’s contributions in a remote environment. Below are some of our favorite ways to standardize how progress and accomplishments are shared across an organization.

Share progress and wins with Workflow Builder

An automated workflow in Slack kicking off a team standup
Workflow Builder is a no-code-required tool that automates routine actions and communications, like gathering feedback or fielding requests. Try our daily standup template to prompt each member of your team to share their tasks for the day, any accomplishments and potential blockers. It’s also a great way to give every person equal visibility. PS: We’ve got an assortment of templates for remote teams to explore.

Keep everyone in the know with Slack integrations

Slack integrations don’t just speed up work and reduce context switching, they also provide an electronic record of the things you’re getting done in Slack.

Here are a few that promote visibility:

  • Apps like GitHub and Jira let engineering managers stay up to date on the work of their developers, wherever they might be located
  • File and document apps like Google Drive and Dropbox help marketing teams keep projects moving forward by ensuring that no one misses a question, comment or request for feedback
  • Customer support tools like Zendesk and Intercom can report into relevant Slack channels, letting managers see how well their agents are faring around the globe

3. Find learning opportunities

The physical isolation that comes with remote work can reinforce organizational silos. Yet that doesn’t thwart continuous learning opportunities. You can get started on your own, right in Slack.

Use channels as your virtual study hall

Learning more about the day-to-day of different roles at your organization is a low-cost professional development opportunity. The beauty of Slack, of course, is transparency—by joining different departmental channels, you can learn more about various initiatives your coworkers are driving or how a product came to be by scrolling through a channel’s history. Just like auditing a college class, you can join a channel and simply follow along as engineers build a new feature, or a sales team approves a deal.

Record feedback, without leaving Slack

Wonya Lucas, a chief executive at Crown Media Family Networks, recommends seeking feedback more frequently when everyone is remote. Actually receiving feedback and recording it, however, can be tricky to navigate. The Lattice integration allows employees to give each other feedback, praise or recognition, right in Slack. When your next big project wraps, request feedback in Lattice from your wider team, which you can easily reference when it’s time to write the next all-important self-review.

4. Build your network

Your company is full of smart, talented people, and it was a lot simpler to meet them in the office. While it’s unlikely you’ll strike up conversation during an elevator run-in anytime soon, here are some alternatives you can try instead.

Recreate hallway conversations with social channels

Jo Montanari, the global people programs director at Culture Amp, says that social channels “encourage people to be able to bring their whole self to work and connect with colleagues.” They also provide a safe space to overcome the feelings of isolation proven to accompany remote work. Participating in channels like #cooking, #running or #coffee can forge unexpected bonds with people you might not otherwise meet. After all, the developer who offers you a recommendation on the best cast iron pan might end up answering a question you have about a product feature later down the line.

Schedule coffee chats with Donut

A prompt from Donut to meet a coworker

Falling out of touch with the folks you don’t work with regularly, or looking to meet new hires? Donut is a tried-and-true facilitator that randomly pairs people in a channel for a quick coffee or lunch. Use Donut to build new relationships through scheduling cross-department introductions, code review sessions, peer mentorship programs and more.

We know the work of making sure your work is recognized can be tough, particularly for introverts and remote teammates. Slack has the potential to level that playing field, giving everyone at your company equal visibility and access to resources. Join a few channels to see earlier iterations of a feature redesign, or set up a Slackbot reminder in your team channel to celebrate accomplishments today. If any of these tips prove helpful, let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

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