Funny story. During the interview with my present company I was asked, “Do you Slack?” I gave them an honest answer: I had heard of Slack, but I had never used it. For my candor I was awarded the position and the login to a brand new method of communication that quickly showed it’s value. 

When the benefits are maximized, Slack can be a medium through which communication, efficiency, and transparency are enhanced and improved. Recently, the platform has been associated with some misappropriation. We’re all familiar with the story about employees at one company that exposed the dark side of Slack. The lesson, at its worst, the misuse of Slack can embarrass, defeat, isolate, cause lasting damage to reputations and as we have learned, destroy the foundation of an entire company. However, we can cut Slack some slack since the platform doesn’t cause these side effects. Here at Final, we’ve used this cautionary tale to implement a few Slack hacks to keep our squad sane.

Final’s 8 Slack Etiquette Hacks: 

  1. Use Slack in the spirit for which it is intended! Ask questions, get answers, move on!
  2. Do not commit the cardinal sin of Slack. Never use public channels to call out co-workers for mistakes. DMs are a great alternative! 
  3. Be mindful of your tone as any message may be subject to misinterpretation.
  4. Keep messages short and clear. Slack is engineered for efficiency!
  5. Use threads to organize conversations. Should a project become multifaceted, move it off of Slack.
  6. Integrate your calendar, your status will automatically be updated and you’ll never miss a meeting again!
  7. Be respectful of timezones—the green indicator light is not always what it seems!
  8. Foster engagement by creating a fun channel or two! Our three favorites: “Wins” where we celebrate every success, “PetSquad” because we all know who the real bosses are, and “Random” for anything and everything unrelated to work!

Slack has become the leading platform for internal communication in both the remote and traditional workspaces—at start-ups and well-established companies. A successful company can’t run on Slack alone. With attentiveness to modifications and perks however, Slack can become an integral component of improved communication, increased efficiencies, and enhanced transparency.

One final note. While the wonders of Slack are numerous, nothing can replace a good old fashioned phone call (with the exception of a modern day Google hangout, that is). We’ve made it our policy to pick up the phone when details need to be shared or back-and-forth discussion is required. Your Slack relationship will only be deepened when you have the benefit of hearing “messages” in the sender’s own voice and more importantly when you have shared a conversation and a mutual laugh together, in person.