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Etiquette Guide: Slack Communication Rules

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Table Of Contents

Since many of us have traded our business attire for sweatshirts and leggings, office cubicles for couches, or (maybe) a small table in the quiet corner of the home, communication has moved from spoken word and a brief email to a wide world of Slack. 

Slack holds a vast potential – threatening to replace emails, but it also become one of the main ways we communicate with our team members. 

However Slack communication brings with it an unwritten set of rules to follow, even if we’re casually talking with our coworkers. That’s why we decided to give you a definite guide on slack communication, making sure you know the most important etiquette rules when using this tool. Let’s go!

Be direct.

If you want to excel in your Slack communication, make sure to be direct while messaging your coworkers and associates. If you already use Slack for daily communication, then you know that you’ll get a notification every time someone sends you a message. 

So, if you type and send “hello” and then continue with a real question line by line, your coworker will get notified about it every time you press “send”. Instead, make sure to write a full message and then press the ‘send’ button, without leaving your coworkers on hold while you’re typing the rest of the message.

Get to know the vibe before you start writing in a group chat.

Extroverts usually don’t have a problem striking up a conversation which is something every introvert out there admires. But that doesn’t mean it’s a quality that should be used always and on any occasion.

Slack communication etiquette rules require you to slow down and get a grasp of each Slack group you’re added in before you actually write something. That said, make sure to spend some time going through older conversations to get better insights on what’s acceptable to say in a group, and make sure you don’t repeat questions and information that can be easily retrieved. In short, you should be mindful of every participant in the channel and think twice before you start typing.

Make use of emojis.

What is modern-day communication without emojis? If you ask us, we would say we couldn’t imagine a daily Slack communication without the occasional: high five: or :muscle: emoji.

If someone asks a yes or no question in a Slack chat, sometimes the best answer is via emojis. Simply, too many “yes” and “nos” can clump up the chat, disabling others, who might have missed the initial question, to see what the topic of the conversation is about.

Furthermore, you can also show how much you appreciate your co-worker’s effort by putting emojis on their most recent message, making sure they know you’re proud of them.

Announce your absence (and presence).

You wouldn’t leave the person you’re talking to within the middle of the sentence if you met online. You shouldn’t do it online as well! The first and most important rule of Slack communication is to let everyone know when you’re present (preferably by your online status) and make sure they know when you left the conversation. A simple, “I have to go, but I’ll respond to this tomorrow/ in a few hours” is fine, as it allows undisturbed communication, and makes other participants feel valued and appreciated.

Add a Channel Description

When it comes to Slack communication, being casual while messaging seems too easy. But that doesn’t mean every Slack channel should be named #random #fun #whatever. To ensure everything stays organized, give each channel you make an appropriate name, and a description that will signal in a clear voice what that channel is all about.

Take care of your after-work etiquette

Knowing how to communicate in the workplace is crucial, but that doesn’t mean you should go bonanza once working hours are over. There are a few Slack communication rules to follow when you clock out of work. That includes turning off your Slack’s availability when work hours are over, turning off notifications, and using Slack only on work devices.

Don’t make a habit to respond to your manager’s (or employee’s) questions after work hours. It is unlikely that work will suffer (unless it’s really an emergency) but keeping your tabs open during your private hours can leave you burned out, or stressing over some things that could be easily solved in the morning.

Don’t forget to use threads.

The rule is: if you pile up too many things on your work desk, you’re more likely to get distracted and leave the work unfinished. The same rule applies to Slack conversations. To avoid a mess in your Slack channel, make sure to respond and use threads whenever it’s appropriate, and be mindful of other people in the chat.

Take a break.

When we’re tired, our ability to communicate decreases. That’s why it’s important to take regular time off from work, allow yourself to recharge, and be productive year-round. Luckily, there’s a tool for Slack users that can help them request leave within a Slack chat in seconds.

Vacation Tracker is an online leave tracking tool that helps teams stay productive throughout the year by ensuring everyone gets well-deserved time off. By using it, managers can track their employee’s availability in a few easy steps via Vacation Tracker’s intuitive dashboard, and they can approve leave in seconds. What’s more, this tool offers full customization of leave types, to suit the needs of each team, and there’s also a possibility of assigning different Approvers for different teams or offices in multiple locations. Lastly, since you can test it for free during the 7-day trial period, you’ll get a chance to explore and see how your workplace can benefit from this tool.

Ana Mladenovic
Ana Mladenovic

A cat enthusiast and a cupcake maniac, Ana is a freelance Content Writer passionate about HR, productivity, and team management topics. When she’s not at her keyboard, you can find Ana in the kitchen, trying to make delicious cookies.

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