In my previous post, I talked about various tools we use on a day-to-day basis for our remote work based operation. I thought it would be useful for others to provide more details about how Slack fits in our workflow.
Slack is our messaging app, so much so that it replaced email entirely within Sponge Hammer. You’ll get a default channel (general) and with a bit of trial and error ended up with the following setup.
First, we tried having two channels: general and random. General was for company stuff, announcements, and information that may have an impact on everyone. Random was for content that is not strictly work-related.
A few months after using this setup, we realised this sort of content grouping is not enough. Now we still have the two, but we also have context-specific channels that collect information on a particular subject. As all of those are optional people can decide if they want to get the messages. How does it look? We have films, cooking, unity, programming, and habitable planet to mention a few.
This setup works much better, but we frequently find ourselves having to pick a channel for a post or link which could fit into multiple categories. We have a planned solution for this which will require some coding and a bot. Once implemented, I’ll tell you more about it.
Keeping our partners up to date
We also have project-specific channels. We prefer to invite our partners to our Slack and have all the communication in one place. This configuration enables both sides to reach out to individuals and have the general project chat going. We also have an internal version of a project channel where we can discuss designs, tasks and brainstorm out way before presenting ideas to our partners.
Slack provides video calling that comes with screen sharing, but we don’t use this feature. Originally because at the beginning, it was not reliable, and we found its performance lacking somewhat. Group calls were not supported, and screen sharing was a bit hit and miss. We decided to use another tool for that job. I’ll write about it in a future post.
Some companies use may bots and integrations, but we only use a few. We have Trello, Bitbucket, Zoom, and Google Drive enabled for some of the channels where it makes sense. Every morning a reminder for the day’s calls is sent to “General”. One of our planned extensions will be an integration with our in-house company management system that will list people away for the day.
Slack has become a vital tool for our daily communications and our workflow. It took a while to get it right, though. It enabled our multi-country team to be more efficient.
If you have any comments, ideas or personal experiences, feel free to share with us. We are curious to hear new ideas, solutions, and perspectives regarding the above. Don’t forget to follow us on our social media!
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