Update 6: Unhealthy Slack Habits
For the last two weeks, I’ve been learning more about the problems companies have with Slack communication. These are often wide-ranging and vary based on what the company does, its size and a variety of other factors. But throughout my calls and meetings, a few themes have still developed:
- It’s challenging to keep up with all of the messages shared in Slack
- It’s hard to surface important content amongst the noise of chat
- Too much info goes through direct messages instead of public channels
- Real-time chat leads to too many workflow interruptions
- Team members often disengage and don’t track updates when there’s lots of activity
- To-do’s shared in chat messages are often forgotten about
Our Slack habits aren’t healthy
I’ve come to realise that the way many companies use Slack today is harming rather than aiding their productivity. Much of these issues could be improved by merely setting ground rules on how Slack should be used internally. Things like asking team members to think before they post. Does this message need to be in chat? If it does be considerate of the recipient(s) time and understanding, communicate clearly and concisely in one message rather than across multiple. If replying to something use threading etc.
But even with rules in place to streamline communication, it’s likely that in a busy company the team will still get overwhelmed, some people will switch off, others will try to stay on top of messages to the detriment of their productivity. Information and actions will get lost if Slack is the only place they’re shared.
We want to help. By my next update on March 23rd, we plan to launch a guide for teams on how to use Slack productively.
By doing so, I believe it will help us work out where Lowdown fits within a companies communication workflow while providing value that increases their productivity.
There have been some significant improvements to the Lowdown product in the last two weeks. We launched the redesigned and improved newsletter alongside a few adjustments to how the product works which lay the groundwork for forthcoming changes.
The next two weeks
We’ll be continuing with developments from our public roadmap, including some exciting changes that will make Lowdown better at identifying and formatting the posts that matter most from your Slack.
I’ll be continuing my conversations with companies and will be working on my version 1 of my Slack guide. If you’ve any tips on how to make the most of Slack let me know on Twitter!