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illustration of a blog post: Slack Hacks for Remote Teams
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Remote Culture 10 min read

Slack Hacks for Remote Teams

Sarah Edwards photo

Written by Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 05 Apr 2023

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more companies have shifted to a remote work model where employees work from home or their preferred location. 

To better adapt the workforce to remote work, companies have introduced tools to streamline the remote work process. One of those tools is Slack. 

This article will discuss Slack for remote teams to help your company make the most of this beneficial platform.

What Is Slack?

Slack is a messaging tool that connects employees throughout an organization. You can use Slack to send a quick note to a colleague or communicate with a group through a Slack channel. 

Slack encourages organization as it allows you to separate your communications with different groups. You can also write notes to yourself, ensuring that you don’t forget an important task.

With Slack, you can share information among teammates in real time. You can also use the search function to find relevant older communications. 

The tool’s purpose is to keep everyone on the same page, regardless of location or time zone. It also offers end-to-end encryption so that you don’t need to worry about the safety of your company’s data.

Tips for Maximizing Slack

As with any technology, you can only realize its full benefits if you know its capabilities. Here are a few of the best ways to incorporate Slack into your business processes and encourage communication among remote workers.

Create a Company Announcement Channel

If you don’t already have a channel just for company updates or announcements, you should create one now. An announcement channel allows owners and managers to communicate with employees in real time. You can share critical information about your company, like a policy change or the introduction of a new product.

Announcement channels ensure that your team stays up to date on any critical company news. You want everyone to be on the same page, and this channel will keep everyone in the loop. Your employees will see the announcement when they check their Slack updates.

Set Up a Channel for Employee Morale

An employee morale channel keeps everyone motivated during the workweek. You can use your morale channel to announce an employee’s birthday or encourage team members to learn more about their colleagues through fun games like This or That.

Participating in the employee morale channel should be optional, but it’s beneficial for remote workers who don’t have the opportunity to meet in person at the office. It encourages worker communication across teams in fun ways, making it easier to get to know one another.

Connect Your Other Tools with Slack

One of the best features of Slack is its ability to integrate with other software and platforms. Slack is fully compatible with many apps, including Gmail, Outlook, Google Drive, Zoom, and Jira. Instead of constantly moving among different software, you can combine them all in Slack.

For instance, you might keep Slack open and receive your work email through the program. That way, you don’t need to have your email provider’s software available to receive your email, reducing the clutter on your computer.

Update Your Status

statuses on Slack

When you work remotely, it’s tough to know when your colleagues are available and when they’re not. You might email them, only to receive no response for several hours. 

Slack lets you update your status easily, so it’s viewable to any colleague checking your profile. You can update it when you’re out sick or stepping out to grab some lunch. 

Updating your status alerts your colleagues when you’re available and when you’re not. That way, there’s no confusion, and people don’t feel ignored if they don’t receive an immediate response from you.

Use Slack for Video and Audio Calls

Slack has its own built-in tool for meetings and calls that’s available to companies purchasing the enterprise version. With Slack, you don’t need to venture into another platform to hold a meeting. Instead, you can set up the call and notify the meeting participants.

If you prefer other meeting tools like Zoom or Google Hangouts, you can integrate them easily within the Slack software. Those tools are free, and you’ll still be able to manage your communications and schedule your meetings within Slack.

Consider Installing the Donut App

Donut app for Slack screenshot

With remote work, the days of bumping into a colleague at the office watercooler or break room are gone. Getting to know your fellow employees is more challenging unless you regularly engage with them through your daily tasks. 

However, there’s one app that can improve employee communications and encourage interactions with people you’re less likely to talk with daily. Donut is a communication app that randomly pairs two employees together for a short conversation. If the workers are available, they can join a call or set up another time for a quick meeting.

Some people may prefer not to participate in Donut-initiated conversations, and that’s okay. You can make the tool optional for your employees.

Use Emojis to Ensure that Colleagues Understand the Tone of Your Message

Sometimes, written messages are taken out of context. After all, you’re not hearing the tone of someone’s voice or seeing their facial expressions. Instead, you’re viewing only written content, which can be misleading.

You can reduce the chances of your message resulting in a miscommunication with the help of an emoji. An emoji shows the reader when you’re making a joke or genuinely thanking them for helpful advice. 

For example, consider a manager who asks an employee whether they plan to work late on a Friday evening. 

The worker might assume that the manager needs them to work overtime when in reality, the manager wants them to close up shop and enjoy their weekend. They could better convey their intended joke with the help of a laughing emoji or a picture of the beach. 

Slack has hundreds of emojis to choose from, making it easier to communicate the tone of each message you send. 

Turn All Your Notifications Off When You Need to Focus

Screenshot from Slack with Do Not Disturb mode

Another way to use Slack for remote teams is the “Do Not Disturb” alert. With this notification, you won’t receive any interruptions or alerts from Slack during a specified time frame. That way, you can concentrate on the task you’re performing without constant alerts of new emails or messages from your teammates.

While you won’t want to use “Do Not Disturb” for the whole workday, it’s beneficial if you have an upcoming deadline for a task you can’t miss. It also has an override feature, allowing other workers to contact you if something vital comes up that you need to be aware of.

Integrate Your Work Calendar

With Slack, you can integrate your workday calendar so that people know when you’re busy and when you’re free to talk. Your colleagues can compare your schedule with other workers to determine the best time to schedule a group meeting when everyone is available.

You can also use your calendar to show days when you plan to be on vacation to let your colleagues know when you won’t be available. 

Share an Email with Your Colleagues

Did you receive an important email from a manager or another staff member that could benefit your other colleagues? Instead of simply forwarding it to people who should have a copy, consider sharing it through Slack. Slack allows you to upload emails directly to the platform and share them with specific people.

When you upload an email into Slack, it’s available to everyone whenever they need to refer to it. If they need to review the contents of the email several months later, they can search for it through Slack’s easy-to-use search feature. 

Set Up a Virtual Happy Hour

virtual happy hour image

Organizations whose employees work onsite typically schedule after-hours work events, like happy hour or game night. Organizing in-person events can be much more challenging when you have a fully remote team, especially if your workers live in different time zones.

You can provide a way for employees to connect after work by scheduling a virtual happy hour. Workers who want to participate can join with their favorite beverage to discuss the week’s events or simply spend time conversing with teammates. 

You can also use the happy hour for other activities, like trivia or charades.

Congratulate Employees for Good Work

At some point, you’ll need to challenge your workers with a difficult task, such as obtaining a major new sales deal or meeting a critical deadline. You shouldn’t let their efforts go unappreciated. Instead, congratulate them for their hard work in front of the whole team. 

You can further extend your thanks by giving them a small gift, like a gift card to their favorite restaurant or coffee shop.

Use Slack to Encourage Better Relations with Employees

While remote work offers numerous benefits, it has its challenges too. One of the primary obstacles to remote work is collaboration among employees. By taking advantage of the capabilities of Slack for remote teams, you can offer your workers a means to communicate quickly, efficiently, and effectively.

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Sarah Edwards photo

Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed