Today’s business professionals are inundated with details and are often required to manage tasks for multiple large projects at the same time. While there are no perfect productivity tools that work for everyone, Slack is one that business and technology leaders are turning to in an effort to stay on top of crucial conversations and tasks. Collaboration becomes ever more important as employees are required to communicate with contractors and other staff members in remote locations as opposed to working around a shared physical workspace.
Toronto IT services company Sysoft shares how savvy professionals are leveraging Slack to quickly collaborate while maintaining a level of separation between various communication strings.
How Real-Time Collaboration is Changing Business
The ability to chat quickly with others around the world isn’t new, but the adoption of these more secure collaboration platforms has just gained real traction in the business world in the past few years. As email boxes become more crowded (and easier to ignore!) business professionals are looking for better ways to quickly ask questions of peers and partners. This type of real-time collaboration is supported by Microsoft Office 365 and other office productivity platforms, but the communication perspective has been lacking for enterprises who value security. Slack is one of the major platforms that is stepping into this gap and providing organizations with tools to organize conversations, securely share files and phase a diverse group of individuals into — and out of — conversations.
Benefits of Slack for Collaboration
As a cloud-based collaboration platform that can be spun up quickly with users added in a matter of minutes, Slack may be the ideal communication tool for businesses. While most people think of Slack as a chat-based platform, it truly is a hub for all types of communication: voice, video, chat, file sharing and much more. Slack includes a vast range of apps that provide seamless integration with other platforms such as Jira, Outlook, Gmail, GitHub, Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive and several popular video meeting platforms. Along with these apps, Slack partners have built bots that help with office automation on a range of tasks from running quick surveys to tracking staff birthdays and setting up random lunches with colleagues.
How Slack differs from email is the ability to fluidly start, grow and close channels around specific topics. With email, it can be nearly impossible to hop out of a conversation without asking someone to remove your name from an email distribution list. This causes inbox overload and reduces the efficiency of everyone involved in the conversation as a variety of people attempt to determine who needs to take an action — or everyone studiously ignores the request while waiting for others. With Slack, you can target information and requests specifically to one individual in an actionable way. If you need to branch the conversation, that’s easy! The Slack interface shows that there was a tangent and allows you to follow the path without taking you away from the core conversation on the channel. Integrated desktop and mobile notifications help ensure that you never miss another update.
Keeping the various details for projects together is an ongoing challenge for busy professionals, but having tools such as Slack available for collaboration adds accountability and speed to your organization. The transparency that this type of communication tool adds is also a benefit for many organizations. It is important to ensure that you adequately train your users that while Slack is a relatively secure platform, you need to take steps to take advantage of the additional security required before sending private information. Just as with all corporate communications, anything that you share can be accessed by platform administrators.