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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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