Slack Etiquette: How to use it effectively?

Remote working is easier when you have a channel where you can be connected with your team and can separate the social and working life.

Slack Etiquette: How to use it effectively?

Slack is a popular team communication and collaboration platform that allows coworkers to easily connect and communicate with each other.

Slack is like another social media platform for working professionals. They check it before going to bed, right after waking up, during walks, etc. After covid, slack has become an important part of the IT industry for a smooth workflow. Remote working is easier when you have a channel where you can be connected with your team and can separate the social and working life.

Joining a new team can be exciting and terrifying at the same time. One way to quickly get up to speed and make a good impression is to follow some basic etiquette guidelines for using Slack, the popular communication and collaboration platform.

Here are some tips on how to use Slack professionally and respectfully:

How to use Slack professionally and respectfully?

Slack is a great tool for remote teams, as well as for teams that are co-located but still need to communicate and share information quickly and efficiently.

📢Introduce yourself:

The first and foremost is to take a few minutes to introduce yourself to the team in a channel. Let them know your name, your role on the team, and a little bit about your background and interests. This will help build connections and establish your presence on the team.

Be respectful and use appropriate words.

📟Use appropriate channels:

Slack allows users to create different slack channels for different purposes or teams. It's important to use specific channels for the right discussions and to keep conversations on the topic. For example, if you want to discuss a new marketing campaign, use the marketing channel rather than the general channel.

🎯Be mindful of Slack notifications:

Slack allows users to customize their notification settings, so you can choose to be notified about all messages or just certain ones. It's important to set your notifications in a way that works for you, but be mindful of the fact that excessive notifications can be disruptive to others.

😀Use of emoticons and emojis:

Emoticons and emojis can add personality and context to your messages, but it's important to use them in moderation. Overuse of emoticons and emojis can come across as unprofessional or even disrespectful. For example, if you are sending a message to your manager and the conversation is around some high-priority topic, the use of excessive emojis can show that you are not taking it seriously.

📚Keep conversations organized:

It's important to keep conversations organized and easy to follow. This means using clear, concise language, and avoiding using multiple threads or channels for the same conversation. This shows how you work and handle situations. It’s important to be mindful of what you are saying and where you are saying it.

🔏Avoid the use of Slack for private or sensitive information:

Slack is a platform that is accessible to everyone within your organization, so it's important to be mindful of what you share on it. Avoid sharing sensitive or important information on Slack, and use other secure methods of communication when necessary. Before sharing any sensitive information on Slack, make sure to get permission from your manager.

🧑‍💻Be respectful and professional:

As with any form of communication, it's important to be respectful and professional when using Slack. This means avoiding using unprofessional language or making offensive comments and being mindful of cultural differences and sensitivities. Remote working doesn’t change how you should behave with your colleagues and team.

⌛️Be mindful of time zones:

If you work with team members in different time zones - it's important to be mindful of the fact that not everyone has the same work hours as you. Try to avoid sending messages outside of regular business hours unless it's necessary.

Make sure to get a green sign before you start sending your colleagues messages at odd times. Ask them if they are okay with it and only then continue doing that.

🧵Use threads for conversations that are off-topic:

If a conversation starts to go off-topic, it's a good idea to start a new thread rather than cluttering up the main conversation. This helps to keep the main conversation on track and makes it easier for others to follow.

This one is a bit underrated. Important messages get lost in the off-topic conversation, so, it’s a good hack to start a thread and close the conversation in the thread altogether.

📞Don't use Slack as a replacement for face-to-face communication:

While Slack can be a useful tool for remote teams, it's important to remember that it's not a replacement for face-to-face communication. Use it as a supplement to in-person meetings, rather than a replacement. If you have a chance to have a meeting face-to-face, then take the opportunity.

Working with your team in real-time is a different experience and a must-have too.

💬Use proper grammar and spelling:

As with any form of written communication, it's important to use proper grammar and spelling when using Slack. This helps to ensure that your messages are clear and easy to understand, and helps to maintain a professional image. This is for everyone who sends messages full of abbreviations. Don’t use any short forms that are not known in your organization.

For example, HR stands for Human Resources, everyone knows that. However, using GOAT during the conversation is not appropriate, because it’s not the most known abbreviation.

🧩Use @mentions carefully:

@mentions are a great way to get someone's attention in a channel, but overuse can become annoying and disruptive. Use @mentions carefully, and only when necessary to get someone's attention or to ensure a message is seen by the right people and at the right time.

⛔️Use the "do not disturb" feature:

If you need to step away from your computer or phone for a while, use the "do not disturb" feature to temporarily mute notifications. This will help you avoid being interrupted while you're focused on other tasks.

You can use the same feature when you are out of the office, or on vacation to separate your work and personal life.

🔍Use Slack's search feature:

Slack's search feature is a powerful tool for finding information and staying organized. Use it to search for specific messages or to find conversations that took place in the past.

It’s difficult to keep notes of everything that has been said during the conversation when a team of 5-6 people is conversing. That’s when this feature comes in the use.

Bonus -

⌨️Use the keyboard shortcuts to navigate and perform actions faster:

Slack has a range of keyboard shortcuts that can help you navigate and perform actions faster. Some common shortcuts include:

"/" to access the command bar.

"Shift + Enter" to create a new line in a message.

"Shift + Up/Down" to move a line of text up or down.

"Shift + Tab" to switch between channels and conversations.

Install an app like Polly or Simple Poll from the Slack App Directory. Follow this👇

  • To create a poll, type "/poll" followed by your question and the options (e.g. "/poll What should we order for lunch? Option 1 | Option 2 | Option 3").