Slack: an internal communicator’s view

Date posted: 1 February 2020  |  Posted in: Communication

Slack on laptop and phone

While I have come across Slack in recent years when working for businesses, it has usually been the tool of choice for IT Development teams and not a platform I’d actually used.

That changed with my recent interim leadership assignment for Comic Relief where Slack is the tool used by everyone for instant messaging and project and team collaboration. (They also have Facebook Workplace my favourite enterprise social platform which is used as the internal comms hub.)

Having used Slack for 6 months I grew to really like it. It’s simple and intuitive to use. Here’s what’s great:

  • Conversions and collaboration happen in channels which you can quickly set up for your project / team. They can be open to anyone to join / see content or closed where you have to request to join and be approved – useful for confidential projects
  • Channels are particular good for speedy cross-team / cross-site collaboration on a project or initiative
  • You can easily share files, video etc.
  • The instant messaging is quicker and easier than email – I found I was using email a lot less than usual
  • You can initiate a voice or video call from any channel or conversation
  • And you can set up a shared channel to collaborate effectively with people in another organisations – brilliant for e.g. merger / integration projects
  • It’s great on both desktop and mobile
  • You can set your status so colleagues can see if you’re online, working from home, on holiday etc. It’s great for searching for and connecting with people quickly and easily.

Is it a viable option for an internal comms hub/social platform? Theoretically yes but in my view other platforms like Workplace / Yammer are more fit for purpose – unless you’re a small business with e.g. less than 100 people when it might be adequate for your needs. Slack themselves promote it as a place to get work done – and that’s really what it’s best at.

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