If your business has ties with the burgeoning tech sector, chances are you’re familiar with Slack. If you’re not, we implore you to download it. Slack is an app that allows you to chat with your co-workers instantly. And whether you’re a small business or a rapidly growing one, the app has multiple uses. Not only will it increase communication between you and your team, but it will also cut down on superfluous emails. Basically, it’s a win-win.
For those already familiar with Slack, we’ve got a few ideas that will really boost teamwork in the workplace, so that you can finish tasks together even more efficiently.
Learn the Best Keyboard Shortcuts
If you’re only using your mouse to navigate conversations on Slack, there’s a better alternative. Using keyboard shortcuts for routine tasks cuts down on time in between activities, and Slack is no exception.
Here are the three most useful hacks I’ve found that will boost employee productivity in small increments:
CMD + [
This handy little trick brings you back to your previous conversation. For example: Pretend you’re talking to Jerry in accounting about some numbers, but then Anna in product pings you to ask a question. If you can’t remember who you were talking to last, just hit CMD + [ and it will take you back to your last conversation.
CMD + ]
This function does the opposite — it will bring you forward to that other most recent conversation you were having. It’s equally helpful if you want to go between discussions with people or forgot who you were chatting with last.
CMD + K
This feature will jump you to whichever conversation you want, whether that’s just one person or a group. Instead of having to scroll through a list of people, you can get instant access to them just as if you were using a browser.
Once you’ve mastered the CMD + K search feature as shown above, request that your employees put their first and last name next to their username when they’re onboarding. As your company grows, you may start getting doubles — for example, we have three Sarah H’s at Justworks! Even if your company is small, it’s a way to build for scale. And once people have customized their profile, you won’t have to worry about memorizing usernames to find people. Employees can change that information while logged onto Slack by doing this:
View Profile & Account →
Enter information and save
Once you’ve entered that, voila! You’ll be able to search instantly for anyone in the company who’s filled it out. Sometimes, it’s really the little things that add up to help with employee productivity.
Use It for Project Management
Have you ever had a project across multiple teams and struggled with effective communication? Using Slack is actually a fantastic way to improve teamwork in the workplace. We’re guessing that you already have Slack channels for certain teams — marketing, sales, and product for example — but what about certain projects?
At my previous workplace, we made new Slack channels when we were launching a new partnership that required a comprehensive, multilateral team effort. That way, launch times were clear and news was shared with everyone in a timely manner. It also kept various channels from being clogged with information that was irrelevant to most other members. You can do this easily by pressing the + button and then “Add a Public Channel”.
Organize Your Team Better With User Groups
Odds are you have channels dedicated to each team (marketing, product, etc). That’s great! But what happens when there’s information overload? This is when adding user groups will boost employee productivity and curb wasted time. User groups enable your team to get up to speed on previous conversations faster. All you have to do is add a descriptive name on the Team Directory panel — for example, engineering-all, engineering-news, and engineering-bugfixes. No matter the size of your team, it’s just one change that will make the day go smoother for everyone.
Institute the “Do Not Disturb Feature”
Although it’s important to work hard, it’s also important to relax and rejuvenate outside of work hours. According to a study conducted by Stanford, work performance dramatically improves when people get a good night’s sleep. That’s why it makes sense to turn off the constant barrage of notifications and get some shut eye. Slack has instituted a “Do Not Disturb” feature to help with this, which means that employees won’t be getting notifications all hours of the night. There’s even a keyboard shortcut for it! All you have to do is click on the bell on the right hand side of your menu and select what time works for you.
Image provided by slack.com
Add Some Fun to It
Lastly, it never hurts to add fun to your team’s Slack experience. Although it may act as a momentary distraction, it will also boost employee morale (and we all know that happy employees work harder and stay with their company longer). Giphy is one of the best ways to add a little fun to the experience — all you have to do is enter /giphy and the word of your choice. If you’ve already leveled up past that, talk to your engineering team. They can add hacks like karma points, which recognizes individual team members when they go the extra mile.
Overall, using Slack will increase the efficiency of teamwork in the workplace. And once you’ve mastered these hacks, it’ll make it an even more fun place to be.
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