By: Justin H.
It’s roughly 2:30 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. The Tek Team readies a mass email to everyone at eGumball’s lovely corporate office. In its contents are all the articles and happenings that Tek Shouts! covered for the week, typically accompanied by a lighthearted, funny meme to give everyone a solid chuckle. This is a fairly standard practice among cubicle warriors, as workers begin to loosen their ties and wind down at the end of the day.
But then, it happens. Yes, it. IT!
Flippin’ Bob from accounting just had to reply all, because he couldn’t let everyone go home on Friday without being subjected to his lame, out of touch sense of humor. If you’re particularly unlucky, Janet from billing replies all again, taking it too far and sending a risky joke which casts an awkward spell over the whole office, and honestly, should probably get her fired.
Your meme wasn’t funny, Bob. Get it together, Janet.
The moral of the story is everyone hates corporate emails, and agrees that replying all should be punishable by law. Because of this, it’s no wonder the communication app Slack has become so popular.
Just two short years ago, the world was introduced to Slack. It was designed to smooth the communication process between employees, and has done exactly that. Everything was going swell...until this morning.
Naturally, Slack’s servers tanked and the app went down within minutes of me beginning this blog post. You can’t make this stuff up.
We have covered Slack before on the blog and, only now, we can offer true insight after finally using it. After a few weeks of communicating on the app, this member of the Tek Team came to a few conclusions.
Organization is a Cinch
Slack has a lot of positives going for it, the main aspect being its versatility. Slack archives every interaction you have on the app, while also providing a reliable search engine.
Say your co-worker sends you a document to look over while you are in transit and you are unable to conveniently pull up the file on your smartphone. No worries! You can open it right up on your desktop once you get home, since Slack makes it so easy to go from one device to another.
Another great organizational aspect is how you can break into groups on the app. You can have one group featuring everyone in the office, while another contains maybe four or five team members in your department. You can also have different windows that pertain to general topics, in order to keep work discussions separate from more casual ones.
According to TechnologyReview.com, the goal is for the app to enable users to send messages not only to people, but to other machines. Employees can send a message starting with a ‘/’ sign to create a new entry in the company’s bug tracking software.
“That has saved people a lot of time,” said Slack co-founder Stewart Butterfield. “Every company has a handful or many dozens of different internal devices it uses from accounting to CRM, business analytics, or customer support ticketing,” he said.
The whole aspect of communicating with machines is what could propel Slack to the next level. Should they execute on that plan, it will make them much more of a “corporate group text” app.
It’s Much More Fun
Let’s face it – emails are boring. The Tek Team has some legendary email exchanges within the department, but what can you expect from the funniest, most creative employees in the company? Unfortunately, not everyone can masterfully manipulate emails into a combination of work and play.
General enjoyment in work projects is the main takeaway from Slack. It brings you closer to your fellow coworkers because somehow communicating on a cool new app makes discussions feel more personal. It’s not as cut and dry as email, and you don’t have to ‘reach out’ to or ‘run that by’ a coworker. You just hit them up on Slack as if they were…wait for it…a real person!
Finally free from all things Google, Apple or Microsoft, it is refreshing to use a different platform for once, although Facebook is jumping right in to wipe Slack out with its own chat app. This is why we can’t have nice things, Facebook!
Slackbot is also a big help. It serves as somewhat of a virtual notepad or source of help, and it is always available to you. Just like all the other conversations you are having on Slack, you can flip right to Slackbot without interruption.
We’d strongly encourage every team to give it a shot. You’ll find that production is at an all-time high with Slack (no pun intended), and you won’t have to deal with any more abysmal jokes or memes from ‘that’ department.
Do you use Slack? If so, what do you like about it? Let us know in the comment section!