Marketing never rests. Amidst the societal events surrounding the new norms associated with COVID-19, many professionals in the digital marketing space are navigating how to remain productive while working from home (WFH).
According to Business Insider, three of the most common struggles of WFH are time management, feelings of loneliness and a lack of communication among team members. All three of these issues can be eased with messaging platforms, including Slack, which describes its technology as a way to keep teams connected and organized.
Slack Usage Surges During COVID-19
In the last few weeks, there has been a rapid global shift from working at the office to working remotely. According to Slack CEO, Stewart Butterfield, as of March 25 the number of Slack users surged to 12.5 million. Butterfield said, “Slack’s growth over the past couple of weeks has also surpassed its growth in each of the last two quarters.” Adding, “While the company counted 5,000 new customers in both Q3 and Q4 of 2019, it has already added 9,000 in Q1 of this year.”
Five WFH Productivity Slack Hacks
Shifting to a WFH setting may feel a bit awkward at first, however, with the aid of a few tools and strategies, marketing professionals can feel productive in any environment. Here are five hacks for using Slack to be effective and efficient while WFH.
1. Consistently Update Your Slack Status
Sync Slack with your Google or Outlook calendar. Aligning your schedule within the messaging tool will help professionals set expectations for their responsiveness throughout the day. Syncing a work calendar with Slack also enables team members to easily check availability just as quickly as they could if they stopped by a desk or office. Here are instructions for syncing your work calendar with Slack.
Remember to set a status. Even while WFH, there will still be instances when rapid response will not be possible. Update your status to reflect when you are in a meeting or otherwise unavailable to maintain instant response times.
2. Integrate Slack With Essential Work Apps
Whether a marketer is a WFH veteran or embarking on this new working environment for the first time, they likely already rely on a variety of tools to get their job done properly. Zoom, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Hubspot, Salesforce and Gmail all have app integrations to allow users to sync their Slack to help achieve productive workdays. Free Slack accounts provide users with the ability to integrate with up to ten apps. Paid Slack plans include unlimited integrations. To view a full list of Slack apps, click here.
3. Organize & Prioritize Using Slack
Using messaging tools, like Slack, presents an opportunity to increase coordination within and across teams and minimize an overflow of emails. A Slack user can easily choose to sort messages by newest, oldest, unread or alphabetically. Click here to learn more about sorting messages in Slack. Similarly, calendars synced, Slack can help professionals stay on task with reminders. A user can add a reminder to a direct message or use the self-message space to create to-do lists with reminders. With reminders, users can make it to that virtual meeting on time and never miss a follow up, even when the dog is barking and the kids are playing in the background. Click here to learn how to use Slack reminders.
4. Video Call & Share A Screen Without Leaving The Slack Platform
Sometimes, text is not enough to convey a message appropriately. Instead of switching from one system to another, sending out an invitation or testing audio quality, marketers can use Slack to have quick and informal voice and video calls without ever leaving the platform. While in a direct message, click on the phone icon at the top right of the conversation. A user has the option to continue with a voice call or activate the camera icon for a video call. Up to 15 Slack users can be involved in a call at once. Slack’s paid plans include access to the screen share feature during video calls, which can be a helpful tool for clarifying questions or solving problems collaboratively while WFH.
5. Use Slack To Keep Track Of Great Ideas Easily
While WFH, some marketers may discover they miss easy access to a cherished office supply: the notebook. Instead of hunting for an alternative, professionals can send direct messages to themselves via Slack and use their Slack space as a virtual notebook. The content that appears in the self-message space can house text, files and hyperlinks, and, most importantly, it will not be deleted. In addition to employing the self-message space, professionals can ensure they do not miss vital updates by starring important conversations or channels. You can also add a star to individual messages or files to have them kept in your starred items area for quick access. Starred messages and channels appear above your channel list.
The Importance Of Staying Connected & Moving Forward
As professionals in all verticals adjust to their new virtual workstyles, it is important to remember productive telecommuting is not the end goal. We're all working from home to collectively overcome a health crisis while moving our communities and our businesses forward. Embracing the importance of staying connected and learning new ways to engage with each other will benefit us all when the tides finally turn. With team members continuing to employ their WFH communications strategies and work habits, they'll drive greater success for their teams.
Maintaining “Business As Usual” When It Feels Anything But?
We are too. Digital Media Solutions (DMS) is actively working with brands across the U.S. to grow brand engagement while consumers practice social distancing. Contact DMS to leverage our industry-leading digital media distribution to deploy customized, performance-based customer acquisition campaigns with every interaction tracked to provide direct accountability for every dollar spent.