Office definition: a room, set of rooms, or building used as a place of business for non-manual work. But, what do you do when you have a remote team? Simple, build an online office.
Of course we tried many tools until we decided upon Slack. And yes, those tools were efficient at their given time. But now, we cannot even imagine life without it. It's important to give your team a feeling of belonging and to create an inside culture as well, even if it's done remote. It's a great tool to use in any type of office for a matter of fact. You can easily keep all personnel in contact and in the same time keep contact also with your vendors.
Here's why we like it so much in building our team culture:
1. You can create channels
You can easily break up Slack and create your own channels for:
- groups - organize easily your company departments or types of vendors
- different projects - from small to big ones we can easily stay updated, have brainstorm sessions or resolve tasks
- activities - from a simple team building to planning a sales event
We found we can stay connected with each others in different matters without them interfering with each other.
2. The General Channel
A great way to keep everybody up to date with general issues for the company. Well... for us it's a bit different. Yes, we do post general info there but we also made it our place of gathering. We send pictures from where we travel, what hobbies we have started, lots and lots of food and any type of cool futuristic information that might be interesting not only to read but also try. We are a software development company after all.
One of the many apps that Slack has is Rafflebot. An ingenious app that enables you to create and run raffles. What a great way to create even more culture in making raffles about local cuisine pictures or surrounding places or even traditions.
An awesome and fun integration that lets you search animated GIFs from a library. So useful in bringing people together and creating a fun team culture. You can have them:
- in the general chat
- in projects that you're working on
So simple and effective to make work more enjoyable.
Slack integrations are basically Slack apps that integrate with anything you want them to integrate. In the same manner you can build your own integrations within the Slack channel.
We use them for a bunch of our activities like:
- Commits - we have integrated Github git repo to make aware the whole team whenever there's a new commit or even a new deployment
- Deployments - we are using deployHQ for our production and even test environments. Our developers can see the deployment and can start doing tests right away.
- Manage tasks - we found Asana to be the best option for us when it comes to taking action in tasks, getting notifications, linking projects and creating new tasks without ever leaving Slack
- Sales and marketing - with HubSpot integration, you can create a task and associate it with a contact, company or stay connected to activities in your HubSpot CRM by receiving notifications within Slack
These integrations are wonderful to keep track of what's going on in the back and also to make available all information to all company employees. Understanding productivity is a big challenge in any company. On a remote team the challenge is bigger to understand volumes of work and also to mobilize your people to act like one big team.
6. Slack bots
Bots are something like working with a virtual team member. They can help you out to manage your tasks, run stand-ups, poll the office, you name it. We use bots already developed in Slack as Donut, where we can pair developers that work on the same projects and let them enjoy a virtual coffee; and even bots created by us like our TimeBot that represents the TimeSheet for our devs that are working on projects and need to report their activity.
Of course Slack is endless when it comes to having tools and integrating them in your day-to-day activity. The great part is that you can use them from a vast variety that Slack already has, or integrate APIs and create your own unique versions.
Have you ever imagined life without tools that make it easier? We haven't!