September 22, 2021
Can A 4 Day Work Week Fit Your Business?
Sometimes, things just are the way they are. These are things we accept to be the norm because that’s all w...
Remember the office? Yeah, we do too.
In the not-too-distant past, just about every job that involved you sitting in front of a computer for the whole day required you to come into the office. In at 9, out at 5, and – if you’re lucky – not too much time spent sitting in traffic on the way there and back.
The professional world looks a little different now. Remote work is on the rise, and it’s fast taking over as the dominant workplace culture.
But with a revolution such as this, some things about the office need to be adequately replaced… including the office itself. That’s where Slack comes in.
Slack is essentially the virtual office for remote teams. It’s a place where all your work-related (and off-topic) communication can take place, replacing email, meetings that should have been emails, watercooler chats, and more.
At Flamingo, we’re big fans of Slack. Our team are veterans of remote work, operating without a fixed office for nearly 10 years. Slack helps us do this, which is why we decided to build a software tool dedicated towards making life easier for remote teams on Slack.
If you’re not yet convinced about Slack, or you’re just interested in learning more about one of the biggest names in remote work today, we’ve got you covered. Read on, as we share some of the more interesting and relevant Slack statistics, and a little more about how this platform powers the location independent workforce.
Slack is a platform that acts as the HQ for all a company’s communications.
With Slack you can create channels related to specific topics, departments or projects, as well as private messaging channels with other people in your organization.
Channel access can be customized for each user, so certain staff or freelancers are only added to channels that are relevant to them.
Image from slack.com
Slack also recently launched Slack Connect, which allows people from different organizations to communicate and collaborate with each other via Slack.
Teams of any size can use Slack for free, indefinitely. They also offer paid plans for organizations that require greater security, increased customization of their workspace, and a few additional features.
Slack is billed by most as a solution for remote teams, and it works great at enabling companies without an office to communicate and collaborate effectively. However, it has a place in the office environment as well, by making communication more efficient and cutting out the need for internal emails and many face-to-face chats or meetings.
As of 2019, Slack reported more than 12 million daily active users .
Among these, there are over 85,000 organizations using the paid version of Slack . This, according to Slack, includes over 6 million paid “seats”, or individual users – as paid Slack plans are charged per active user in the organization.
Businesses big and small are included in this list – 65 of the Fortune 100 uses Slack in some way . Companies using Slack include IBM, Amazon, PayPal, AirBnb, Musashi, Intuit, trivago and Lyft.
Now let’s look at more Slack statistics, painting the picture of one of the biggest software platforms in the world right now.
As mentioned in the previous section, the Slack app store features over 2,000 third-party apps, designed to integrate Slack with other tools, or make your Slack experience more effective or more fun.
On its own, Slack is a great replacement for email, meetings and in-person chit-chat. But apps are what really makes Slack tick, making it not just a replacement for the office, but an upgrade.
Our team are veterans of the Slack game, having run as a fully-remote business for nearly 10 years now. As such, there are some Slack apps we think any remote team should not live without.
Here are a few:
We’re biased – since it’s our own app. Regardless, we rely heavily on Flamingo for our team’s leave request and approval process. Flamingo helps us know who’s available, who’s on leave, and encourages team members to take regular breaks in order to stay fresh and productive.
Part of our team’s workflow includes a daily update on tasks done today, the to-do list for tomorrow, and updates on any issues or anything blocking progress. Geekbot makes this super easy, sending a daily reminder to each team member and automatically posting each person’s update in the shared “reports” channel.
As a software business, customer support is our #1 priority. That means we need to be on top of support tickets and questions that come in as soon as possible. As our customer support runs on Help Scout, we use their Slack integration to see new tickets, replies and helpfulness ratings as soon as they come in.
(if your support runs on something else, such as Intercom or HubSpot, there’s a Slack integration for you too)
Google Calendar for Team Events
Google Calendar gives us an easy way to keep track of upcoming events. We don’t have a lot of meetings or appointments in our business, as we work mostly in an asynchronous manner, but those deadlines or meetings we do have are handled neatly with this integration.
Looking for some tips on how to best utilize Slack and improve productivity? We’ve got you covered. Here are some tips based on our multiple years’ experience using Slack in our business:
Set do not disturb times
Slack’s great for staying connected, but it can get in the way sometimes. You need to dedicate slots during your day for deep work, during which time it’s counterproductive to keep checking each new update or notification from Slack. During these times, set your status to “do not disturb”, or even close the app completely.
Get to know some shortcuts
There are a ton of keyboard shortcuts on Slack that can drastically improve your productivity. It may not seem like much, but if there’s an action you’re often doing (such as creating a new message or changing your status), the time saved by using a shortcut will really add up.
Make use of apps
Like we discussed earlier, apps and integrations are really what makes Slack special. Whether it’s integrating your Slack workspace with other tools your team uses, or installing dedicated Slack apps, there’s a lot of potential for you to make your company more efficient or improve team culture with apps.
Play around with themes
Want a change of scenery? It’s simple to give your workspace a facelift by changing the appearance of your Slack interface. Choose from one of the basic Slack color schemes or load a custom theme to keep your screen looking fresh (and your mind as well).