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8 Slack etiquette tips you should know about


There was once a time when e-mails were considered the go-to tool for internal and external communication. Then came Slack, who carved itself a place as the preferred tool for internal communication, leaving emails for communicating with those outside the organisation. 

Slack for its part is a very useful tool for opening up communication and creating transparency throughout an organisation. It’s core features that facilitate instant communication, however, can be over/misused, leaving fellow coworkers very much frustrated. It is for this reason that we created a poll on Slack (the irony!) to evaluate the pet peeves of the Mood Up team. Heres what we found out. 

1. Posting irrelevant content on channels

Slack is a fantastic tool for segregating workplace communication, provided this communication happens on the channels they are reserved for. Such channels are created specifically to address certain areas of activities and should strictly be used for said purpose, as not doing so can create confusion amongst your coworkers. It will also be near impossible to find attachments or past conversations if they are posted on the wrong channels. 

Take a look at the below channels. One is where we book times for playing Bomberman and the other is for letting the management know of what we need from the supermarket.

Now imagine if I asked for more milk in the games channel!

Screenshot 2019 09 17 at 10.30.28

2. Slack bombing

Slack as I keep on repeating is heaven-sent for workplace communication. But there is such a thing as messaging etiquette and bombarding your coworker with numerous messages when you could have simply written it in one go is quite frankly irritating. Remember that their notifications will be pinging constantly when such messages are sent and might disrupt them from a very important task.

Save the Slack bombarding messaging tactic for when something is actually urgent.

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3. Messages outside work hours

Messages and emails outside work hours have been a thorny issue for many and this hasn’t changed with Slack. Keep the work communication on Slack during work hours and respect your coworkers time. 

Have a message that you have to send tonight, as you might forget tomorrow? Write the message but do not send it. These messages will be displayed with a pencil in the following morning (as I’ve shown below) allowing you to send them off with a press of a button.

Screenshot 2019 09 17 at 10.51.40

4. Not using threads

Slack has a very nifty feature which allows for the creation of a thread on any message sent on the channels and private messages. This is very helpful to keep all conversations related to a specific topic as with forums.

Not using these threads would make keeping track of conversations difficult and make coworkers meander needlessly. 

Take a look at Piotr’s request for some assistance that was answered immediately by the rest of the team, in one thread. 

Screenshot 2019 09 19 at 14.58.42

5. Using public channels for private chats

Public channels are for public use and not meant for discussing matters that could have been done so in a private chat. Remember, no one likes seeing communication that does not involve them as its a distraction.

6. Using company-wide mentions liberally

Sharing pictures of cute doggos is great for relieving stress. Just make sure that you use mentions such as @Channel and @Here sparingly since those alert all your co-workers and not everyone would like to be interrupted during their work to see a picture of a cute pupper you discovered on the internet.  

adorable animal breed 1108099

7. Leaving messages in the air 

Mentions should be used sparingly, but also when you need them. Not doing so when needed is akin to throwing questions or comments in the air and will give you no answers. See below example 

Screenshot 2019 09 17 at 11.39.54

Sending a message such as this where I need Bart’s help is not useful as he would not receive my request for help. Mentioning Bart on my question, however, will ensure that he is notified. 

Screenshot 2019 09 17 at 11.40.12

8. Not acknowledging messages 

Slack loved by many due to its ability to allow instant communication between coworkers. The coworkers, therefore, need do their part and acknowledge any messages received as failing to do so can have the other party waiting for a reply (as with an email, ugh). 

Remember that acknowledging a message doesn’t always have to be via a very wordy sentence. I use ✅ to acknowledge the receipt of a message, 👀 to show that I will think about it and 🚫 to say no. 

To conclude

Slack is a wonderful tool for workplace communication, provided you don’t use it akin to a social media channel. Follow these tips, establish certain communication standards with the team and you will notice an incredible jump in your productivity and overall liability at work.

Do you have any Slack etiquette tips to add? Let us know in the comments below! 

Header image source- Giorgio Minguzzi

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