In recent years, Slack has become known as one of the top workplace communication systems on the market. It’s actually one of many services that are fairly similar, and which have emerged due to the general, long-term migration of modern work to the digital realm. In 2020 however, the sudden shift away from offices and into work-from-home arrangements has led to accelerated enthusiasm for systems that promote collaboration over distance. And alongside certain video chat software (perhaps you’ve heard of Zoom?), Slack has established itself as a widely valued leader in the category.
For those business leaders who may not have tried it yet however, or for those who are only just exploring the idea of a modern communication system, we decided to look into some of the reasons that Slack is worth getting comfortable with.
1. Employees May Not Return for a While
When we explored the “Top 3 Business Concerns for the End of 2020’ we acknowledged the common question: when will my employees return to the office? This is something business owners across industries are asking themselves continually. And while the hope is that there will soon be a return to normal, the reality is that in many cases, employees may not return for a while yet.
It’s for this simple reason that it’s more worthwhile to look into any remote communication platform that can keep employees on the same page. To be clear, Slack is not the only option, and it’s worthwhile to look through a few different choices. But facing the prospect of long-term work-from-home situations, businesses should be exploring their options.
2. Slack Puts Communications in One Place
One reason to consider Slack specifically is that it puts different kinds of communications in one place — thus reducing the need to overload employees with different apps and services they’re expected to use all at once. Per Medium’s general guide to Slack, the service can “replace email, text messaging, and instant messaging for your team,” to say nothing of file sharing, which it can also handle to a reasonable degree. Because of this, Slack can become just about the only tool a business needs to operate remotely, at least when it comes to communication and collaboration.
3. “Channels” Can Organize Operations
Slack’s “channels” feature is one that can blend in at first, but which ultimately proves quite helpful. An HP list of Slack tips (for remote workers specifically) may have put it best by starting simply that channels can help a business to “keep things tidy.” That sounds simple, but given how easy it can be to become somewhat disorganized when working with remote teams though, tidiness is something to value.
Channels are basically different chats that can be set up for whatever purposes a business requires. Thus, they can help to segment the broader conversation into teams, people working on specific projects, different tiers of management, and so on. Well-organized channels make it easy to quickly locate and contribute to relevant conversations, and keep unnecessary clutter to a minimum.
4. Slack Also Provides Socialization
As Vanity Fair wrote about Slack, the service “made work more social.” The article explained the difference that Slack’s instant messaging makes in turning labored socialization (those over-excited “hope you’re well!” emails and the like) into natural, ongoing conversations. That is, rather than attempting to form social connections with co-workers in less-than-natural ways, Slack invites people to communicate back and forth in a way that fosters more natural development of relationships.
This has a little bit less to do with pure productivity, but it’s still a key benefit to consider. Present conditions have led to many workers feeling a sense of isolation at home, and the easy, back-and-forth chatting enabled by Slack can help.
As stated above, there are other, similar services to look into as well, and any business leader facing long-term remote conditions should consider options. But hopefully these points have helped to explain why Slack appears to be out in front of the pack.