Asynchronous communication on Slack

by Ilma

Slack can be a synchronous and asynchronous communication tool. It depends on how you use it. What is the difference?

Asynchronous communication means that you have clear rules about what is expected. For example, this includes expectations for how fast people should answer requests daily and what people should do when an instant reaction is needed. 

If you are not a firefighter, your job probably doesn’t require much instantaneous reaction. Yes, things happen, but most work-related activities should be planned and need your focus and concentration. Clear communication rules allow teams to plan their day, have time to think, strategize, and be more constructive with their answers. 

Here are some Slack rules we use at The Remote Company

Update your Slack profile

  • Include your telephone number. We only call if and when something urgent happens.

  • Add a short ‘How to Work with Me’ paragraph in 'About me'. Do you like small talk, emojis, and gifs? Do you prefer calls, emails or Slack messages? When should people expect your reply? Sometimes, we add a link to our 'How to Work with Me' Manual here too.

  • Your Slack status should show your location so people know your time zone e.g. 🇲🇽 Working from Mexico City.

Adjust your Slack status

  • You're encouraged to do focus work throughout the day. Switch on the Do Not Disturb status and add when you will be back (time and time zone), e.g. ⛔ Focus work until 4 PM LT.

  • The same applies when you are on a lunch or coffee break, e.g. 🍒 Lunch until 2 PM LT.

  • If you're on vacation, update your status with the date you're back, e.g. 🌴 Vacationing till Aug 3rd.

Organize your Slack

  • Star ⭐ the channels connected to your team and the ones you use the most.

  • Mute channels that are not essential to you.

  • Everyone can create a new channel. It’s better to have more channels with specific topics. This makes it easy for team members to search for the information they need. If you see too many topics in one channel, separate them.

  • When you create a new Slack channel, announce it in the #general channel and add it to the list below.

  • For more structure, add sections and organize channels based on product names and topics.

Communicate clearly on Slack

  • Don’t be afraid to over-communicate. People who are no longer interested in the topic can easily leave the channel. People on the channel are interested in the topic so every form of communication is welcome.

  • If you mention something (a merge request, issue, commit, webpage, comment, etc.) please include a link.

  • If you plan to resolve an issue, give a deadline and come back with feedback if something changes or when you’ve resolved the issue.

Boost asynchronous team engagement by integrating MyZenTeam into your Slack

In addition to these tips, you can enhance your Slack conversations with MyZenTeam's customized Slack engagement bots. With these bots, you can automate Slack channels such as:

  • Question a day: A bank of random questions that are intended to spark surprising conversations

  • Moment of the week: Share the little things and the big moments with your team.

  • Birthday and workaversery reminders

Manage your team better and build authentic human connections no matter what work model you operate in with this feature. Create your MyZenTeam account for free today!

#1. Inform people about the trip as early as possible

Anticipation is a source of free happiness. A valuable emotion.

Research shows that people can reap substantial enjoyment from anticipating an upcoming event even if the event itself is not entirely enjoyable. People who devote time to anticipating enjoyable experiences report being happier in general. 

From the moment you will reveal the destination and the date of your workation your team will start planning. Some of them might stay longer or travel around. Perhaps their family and friends may come along too. Others will have to make arrangements, such as childcare or pet hotels, for their time away from home.

Another great benefit of planning workations is that you can mention them in your job ads. This might increase the chances of people applying because they are eager to join a unique company culture and meet their new hybrid or remote team in Panama City or Bali. 

At The Remote Company and MailerLite, our top rule is to provide all the necessary information about the trip at least three months before and invite all team members who have worked for more than three months at the company.

#2. Involve as many people as possible to create a program

With over 8 years of experience, we are very particular when it comes to planning our workation.

90% of what makes a gathering successful is put in place beforehand. (Priya Parker)

#1. Workation is a business trip from Monday through Friday

Workation is the best way for us to meet and work together. We take it very seriously and expect everyone to attend it (the last two years were exceptions. If people feel unsafe, they can stay at home)

People can buy flight tickets for any dates that include the workation. Team members usually plan their vacation with family and friends before or after the workation.

#2. Mix work-fun-work

On Monday evening, we welcome everyone with drinks. 

Tuesday is focused on work - presentations, discussions and workshops.

Wednesday is a Creative Day full of fun activities. 

Thursday is usually for planning sessions and time to reflect before the goodbye party. 

After breakfast on Friday, we all say goodbye until the next time.

#3. Food brings people together

Our team takes food seriously. First, we have breakfast and lunch in the hotel to save time.

However, when it comes to dinner… that’s a different story. We plan dinners with 6-8 random people every night, allowing everyone to connect with people they might not work directly with. The conversations and topics vary a lot, and it's a great way to get to know everyone.

#4. IKEA effect

Finally, we ask everyone to contribute to the workation. This could mean organizing workshops, selecting restaurants for dinner, or planning a goodbye party; the more people are involved, the more engaged they are. We call this the IKEA effect.

#3. The destination should be a place that makes people excited

And also accessible.

In 2022, we planned a MailerLite & Vercom workation for 140+ people from 30+ countries. I started the process by googling ‘European airports with the most connections’. And this is how we chose Istanbul. 

Another important aspect is the accommodation. It can make or break the trip. 

Fast internet, on-site conference facilities, easy access to the airport (max one-hour drive) and walkability to restaurants are non-negotiable for us.

Previously, I asked remote teams to share their favorite places and collected a list of 20 destinations & approved hotels with activities nearby.

Planning your next workation? Join our email list and gain access to our exclusive list of 20 destinations & approved hotels to make your planning easier.