Our Pivotal Support team uses Slack to communicate. We have found this tool works well with our mix of co-located and remote team members. It’s our command center; a virtual water cooler where we chat, pass code snippets, and links back and forth. Slack is where we maintain a connection with teammates, both the ones we can see and the ones we cannot.
Why do we use Slack? We know it is a great platform for when you need to communicate to an entire team. We have created channels for specific products and teams keeping the communication focused. It is much easier to search in Slack than in other platforms. Have you ever needed to find that line of code that fixed an issue? Searching in your email can be super frustrating especially if it’s buried in a thread. The search function allows you to filter and narrow your options making finding the link or conversation you are looking for much easier.
Slack allows you to integrate with services like GitHub and many others that can be useful to your team. Integration of services and the ability to add code snippets make this a time saving tool as well. We provide support for many different products and using this as our primary communication tool has saved us countless hours of work.
We use it to help convey our personalities with humorous anecdotes or the latest “Happy Friday” gif that is making the rounds. This helps remote team members feel connected, be “in” on the office jokes and creates a culture that includes all. Communication can be challenging as a remote professional. You need to be skilled with words as they need to present not only information, but also your personality and feelings. One advantage of living in this era of technology is all the incredible communication tools available for use from anywhere.
Remote professionals have a lot to offer, besides the financial gains of not requiring additional real estate, you also have someone who is working on their own terms and somewhat outside the office politics arena. Remote workers are statistically happier, feel they are more productive than the co-located worker and can add a nice balance to your team especially as the world becomes a smaller place. The goal is to make your co-located team think the remote team members are in the office with them. It is always great to hear that they forget we are elsewhere.
Let me know how you communicate as a remote professional, or if you are co-located, challenges you may have had dealing with remote team members, I would love to hear from you! You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.