Understanding Slack & All Its Hacks

How we communicate is always changing and with more focus being placed on app creation, our lives at home and in the work place are evolving. On average companies use over 900 applications on a daily basis in the working world. We’re logging in, logging out, switching screens and switching back. It’s not productive or time efficient and drains us mentally and physically, which in itself impacts our working performance.

We invited Julian Brophy, a Senior Account Manager at Slack, to meet with our community and to discuss the evolution of the workplace and how communication is adapting. Slack has fast become the most adopted app within the working environment, growing to 6 million daily active users and an incredible 10 million active weekly users. The average user spends 10 hours a day logged in of which 2.5 hours are interactive. Many believe that Slack is an app just for start-ups but in truth, it is an app that is designed for companies of all shapes and sizes.

HOW HAS COMMUNICATION CHANGED?

The industrial age got us to where we are now, but there are still limitations in the workplace. Doing the same task over and over on in a factory meant it work was repetitive and communication was not a priority. But when work moved into an office environment it became totally different. The flow of information to the relevant authorities wasn’t great, and it was very limited.

Iconic Offices was highlighted by speaker Julian as a great example, this is as we provide the ability to work across multiple office destinations across the Dublin area. Moving forward with a fast-paced environment but we’re still communicating in ways that don’t allow us to move as quick – for instance, we still use email.

By using email we are multiplying the number of opportunities for information to become diluted. If there are 3 points of contact in one piece of information there are 3 points. However, if there are 14 people within the communication it turns into 91 possible points of communication. There’s a massive shift in communication across the world. Millennials are growing in the work place and they grew up with the likes of Facebook and Snapchat at their fingers tips. It is important that they are able to communicate in the same manor whilst in the workplace.

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WHY WAS SLACK DEVELOPED?

Slack wasn’t just created, it was part of a previous project the team worked on. Funnily enough, Slack originated as a game back in 2003. When the game didn’t take off the way they had initially hoped, the team moved onto the next project which was Flickr, which was eventually sold to Yahoo in 2005 after realising it wasn’t for them. They quickly returned to the previous idea of building an incredible game called Glitch. To help deal with communication in multiple locations a message system was built to communicate through IRC. However, even though Glitch didn’t quite take off, out of the ashes rose a phoenix – Slack. Realizing the communication tool was a product that was extremely useful and a necessity to help companies communicate and become more efficient in their work day. The application was put on centre stage and developed. And in 2013 this masterful app was launched.

‘Being part of 1300 channels in Slack is very demanding, it’s about using the tools to help manage that’

JULIAN BROPHY, Senior Account Manager @ Slack

NO MATTER WHAT DEPARTMENT, THERE’S AN APP FOR YOU

No matter what department you work in – hr, marketing, design or finance, there’s an abundance of applications for you. For instance, marketing teams can track their campaigns, and if someone interacts with the marketing flow, the marketing team can be sent a notification which they can communicate and distribute to other teams.

It’s not just a messaging service with Slack. The more effort you put into optimising the platform and utilising the 1200+ app integrations on offer, the more you’ll get out of it.

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TOP TIPS TO KEEP ON TOP OF SLACK

If you’re collaborating with an external agency on a project and that team also use Slack, you can sync up and communicate together via the app cutting out a great deal of back and forth via email.

DO NOT DISTURB

Do not disturb mode is an important feature to be aware of. As with any platform you can become over saturated within it and feel like you’re too distracted. When you need to switch to another project you can simply mute notifications from certain channels or people. Or even hit ‘do not disturb’ and Slack will go into hibernation.

CONTROL YOUR CHANNEL LIST

Know how and when to leave channels and also when to mute them. Once your goal has been completed within a channel, make sure you leave it so you don’t get bombarded with notifications from other team members – your job is done, get the heck out of there.

PRIORITISE YOUR CHANNELS

If you’re part of a large number of channels you can organise them and even prioritise them into a higher archery of channels, with the most important lying at the top. It’s also worth noting that you have the ability to Star Channels if you wish.

MARK ALL AS UNREAD

All unread – it’s like getting your inbox to 0, quickly and effortlessly mark all notifications as read. It’s simple and tidies everything up and puts your mind at ease.

ALT CLICK

A special feature that you might not know of is the ‘Alt + click’ feature. This will mark a read message to be unread from that point on. Quite handy if you want to return to the message stream at a later time.

YOUR NEW WORK BESTIE

Slackbot is a pretty nifty tool to make use of, always there and willing to assist you 24/7. For instance, one feature of Slackbot that was discussed is the ability to ask for a reminder regarding a particular message at a later date when it suits you better.

The are endless ways to set your Slack up and each users is going to be totally unique to them. But the more we use the product the smarter it becomes. Slacks learns your behaviours, your most engaged pieces and operations and will help you achieve your goals and searches quicker.

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If you’re looking to learn more about Slack features or how to best optimise the platform, you should check out their learning center below.

About the Speaker

Julian Brophy, Guest Speaker at Iconic Offices

Senior Account Manager @ Slack

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