Slack is well known as a team chat app. It’s a great way to centralise an organisation’s work, particularly if that organisation is spread by distance. It’s a digital office space for the modern day worker whose work desk is whatever café table their laptop is sitting on.
But as Slack’s user base grows and the platform gains more integrations, it’s becoming obvious that it is so much more than just a simple messaging service; there are many unusual ways that Slack can be utilised by an organisation.
So what are some of Slack’s more surprising uses?
As a living, breathing new employee handbook
This use comes from the creators themselves. As a business, Slack obviously use their own product for internal communications. Having used it from day one, they’ve built up a healthy backlog of intra-team communications (with messages numbering in the millions).
While standard procedure for modern day new employees is to arrive at your new work station to a couple of welcome emails, Slack instead gets its new employees to trawl the company’s Slack messaging archives (which are fantastically searchable) in order to get a sense of the company culture, how workers interact, and what sort of productivity is expected of them.
And by looking at the #random channel, new employees can also get an idea who they might share a sense of humour with!
As a more personal way to interact with clients
Slack’s paid service allows for organisations to invite non-employees to join specific channels, allowing for a more personal interaction.
While this function essentially provides the same service as the live chat option that is available on the websites of most large companies, the invite-only nature of Slack offers the client a sense of exclusivity and will make them feel valued. It’s the digital equivalent of taking them into a meeting room for a private discussion, but all from the comfort and convenience of their computer.
As a way to ensure the same task isn’t done by two different employees
Newsrooms have flocked to Slack, and this is a major reason why. In the news game, it’s not uncommon for two journalists to be given the same story, resulting in wasted, doubled-up coverage.
In the high-paced, stressful, and deadline-laden world of news, there needs to be clarity and openness. Everyone needs to be on the same page at all times. That’s where Slack chat comes in. News service Quartz, for example, uses a system of emojis on an open message board to indicate who is taking care of what, and where the work is at – a system that is as clever as it is efficient.
As an insight into how your business operates
Whether it be as a display for potential investors, or a breaking of the fourth wall for your customers, Slack can be used as a tool to offer outsiders an insight into exactly how your business operates.
By using a Slack integration such as SocialWall, you can collate and display selected Slack communications that give others a sense of what your organisation is about – your work culture, your productivity, your professionalism – to help sell the fact that you’re either a good investment, or that you’re the sort of business that potential clients should be interested in dealing with.
As a way to get rid of email
A modern office without email seems as ridiculous today as an office without paper may have seemed a few decades ago. But with Slack chat, intra-organisational emails could soon be things of the past.
It’s not super surprising – collaborative tools are designed to centralise communication – but what may be surprising is just how effective Slack can be at doing this. In one example, online coaching tool Coachseek managed to leverage Slack in order to cut their intra-office email count from 600+ per day to just three or four. A huge boon for efficiency and productivity.
Thanks to the base flexibility of Slack as a tool, and the creativity of the integrations that are available, the sky truly is the limit to what Slack messaging can be used for.
So, is your organisation using Slack’s full potential?