Communication. It's such a vast term that has undergone so many changes in the past few decades. Before the era of the Internet, communication involved playing phone tag all day, sending (gasp!) mail, and hosting clients (double gasp!) in person. Now, with the convenience of email, we can organize our daily communications through our inboxes. But think about how we communicate outside of work. We're talking texting. According to TextRequest, in June of 2014, there were over 561 billion text messages sent around the world. And we guarantee a good percentage of those were sent out during business hours. So how about combining the communication pastime we all love within the office environment? Enter, Slack.
What is it?
Slack is a messaging app that boasts "team communication for the 21st century." With the ability to organize team conversations in labeled "channels," you can speak freely to your teammates without bothering those that prefer the quiet. Public channels are ways for all of your team to chime in, and private channels can be created between smaller groups to brainstorm individual projects. You can also send direct messages to people, just like texting, so you can ask anything to anyone you need.
But Slack is much more than just a way for you to annoy your coworkers all day with requests work-related and not. It's also a way to share files including images, PDFs, documents and spreadsheets, which you can then star or comment on. It's also compatible with Box, Google Drive, and Dropbox, so you can search directly for the documents you seek.
Why use it?
If you're one of the people that likes seeing their inbox full of thousands of messages a day, Slack may not be for you. But for the rest of us, Slack is a great way to get important messages out promptly (with desktop notifications) that free up our inboxes from unnecessary fluff. It also builds camaraderie! The #random channel allows you to get your fill of after-hours banter when you need a pick-me-up or a funny meme to get you motivated. Off your desktop, the Slack app keeps you updated on the run!
The best part
Slack is totally free for teams of all sizes for as long as you want! That makes it a risk-free system to integrate into your workplace. If you're interested in more cool features and controls, of course there is a paid standard and plus plan, which can give you group voice and video calls, more storage, and user provisioning and deprovisioning.
Slack has been known to increase productivity by providing workers with the chance to communicate faster and more efficiently.