This is the first in a three-part series focused on useful tools you and/or your company can utilize to improve work-from-home communication.
For many businesses, work-from-home (WFH) protocols have been in place for almost a year. Some companies have even mandated that WFH measures remain permanent, changing everything about how they correspond and communicate.
Difficulties People Face When Working From Home
Working from home is not a universally easy task. It’s the perfect solution for some, but for others, it isn’t easy to manage. Driving into work adds a sense of structure to a person’s day that working from home cannot hope to replicate; when you go into the office, you’re forced to follow routines mandated by management. You are free from at-home distractions for anywhere between 8-12 hours, separating your work from home life in a healthy way. You can hold in-person meetings and communications that might be rather difficult to manage from your home office.
In short, working in an office puts certain boundaries in place that cannot be avoided. That, however, isn’t to say you can’t make life easier if you struggle to work at home — especially if your struggles stem from a lack of human interaction. One suggestion is employing the use of online communication tools/apps to better manage your role at the company.
Slack*: An All-in-One Communication Tools Built for Collaboration
When searching for the right tools your company should use to make WFH measures match in-office standards, you need to start with an online application that makes things seamless. It’s impossible to replace in-person human interaction, but opting to use a platform built to mimic this type of communication through the web is important. Slack can do that.
Slack is an online chat-space that can help people organize, communicate, and effectively run their work lives via one application. Slack is built so you can communicate through multiple workspaces, meaning you can have one for work, one for play, and others for whatever you see fit. It’s incredibly easy to use and makes features such as DMing, mentioning, group messaging, and video chatting a breeze.
Slack offers mobile and desktop applications, so you can work from almost anywhere at any time of day. Some of the useful features Slack offers include:
- The ability to replace email, text messaging, and instant messaging in one app, making at-home communication more akin to those offered within an in-office environment. Multiple channels make organizing and participating with the teams you’re a part of easy and effective.
- Document sharing capabilities, allowing you to upload important files as well as funny GIFs to liven up the workspace.
- Video/voice conference features, letting you host conferences with multiple team members that resemble an in-office meeting.
- The ability to enable reminders and away messages, giving you a voice when you’re not present to let people know of your absence (think of it like an away email, but as an always-visible notification so you don’t get bombarded with messages while you’re at lunch or away from your computer). You can also DM and @ people separate from group chats, sending them reminders when you need to get their attention, as well as react to your peers’ responses with emojis, giving the workspace a more personal feel.
- Both a “save items” and “star conversation” feature so important messages, documents, and notifications never get lost.
- App importation/incorporation, letting users integrate other organizational business apps such as Microsoft Outlook, Google Drive, Dropbox, Trello, Adobe Creative Cloud, and more for a seamless experience.
Slack is not a perfect system; it isn’t as equipped to handle big-project brainstorms like Google Sheets or Documents, and the video chat service isn’t quite as organized as other platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. But from a communication standpoint, Slack is an innovative outlet that can make the transition to full-time WFH simple, efficient, and personalized.
Compulse Integrated Marketing is a full-service digital agency located in Baltimore, Maryland. To learn more about how we can help you reach your marketing goals, please contact us for more information.
*Compulse Integrated Marketing is not endorsed by Slack, and vice-versa. Our opinions are only meant to help WFH employees better manage their days, and we are under no contractual obligation to promote or sell products offered by Slack.