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HOW WE WORK: SLACK

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Slack, a team-messaging app, is said to bring death to email by providing instant and informal feedback, allowing business and communication efforts to become more productive and transparent.
Through careful and deliberate planning, the Tech Park has progressed from email as the primary method of interoffice communication to implementing Slack daily.

Implementation

When we began using Slack in January, email was the main communication method between staff; however, emails oftentimes responded too slowly or would only be the length of a sentence or subject line.
To first implement Slack, we categorized our usual emails sent out into Slack’s two main communication equivalents: open channels and direct messages.
Open channels allow anyone a part of the Technology Park team to read and facilitate conversation, replacing mass emails. Direct messaging between two members of the group allows for more focused conversations and replaced no text- subject email reminders.

How Slack makes us more productive

Slack’s ability to combine file sharing, app integration and search-ability makes it a “one stop shop” for whatever is happening with the team. It allows all members to see information without leaving the conversation. With file sharing, Tech Park members can drop files, images, PDFs, documents and spreadsheets directly into the conversation.
Slack’s app integration allows us to connect Slack to apps specific to the Tech Park’s communication and marketing department, such as Twitter, Salesforce and Mailchimp. These integrations allow us to receive notifications directly within Slack—no more switching between apps.
Every message, notification and file in Slack is archived. Basically, Slack indexes the content of every file, allowing members to search more specifically for content within PDFs, word documents, Google Docs, etc.

Slack for personal use

When you first log into your Slack account, there is a direct message set up between you and Slackbot. Slackbot was created to act as a personal scratchpad, allowing users to ask basic questions about how Slack works and to search the Help Center for you if you have issues.
Slack also automatically sets up a direct message between yourself. These messages are only visible to you and can include things such as notes, important links or other information that you might need in the future.

How to get started

1.     Download the mobile and desktop apps
2.     Personalize your profile, adding a photo and letting people know what you do
3.     Challenge your coworkers and yourself to exclusively use Slack for a week.

While the Tech Park is still perfecting its use of Slack, it has enriched our office communication efforts. If you are looking for a way to improve your team’s communication, share this post with a colleague.

Stephen Loy