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Table Of Contents

Slack Apps For Remote Teams To Help With Team Building

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Table Of Contents

Slack Apps for remote teams have saved small, medium, and even large businesses during the pandemic. We are so grateful for all of these tools on a normal day. But now, we really don’t know what we would do without them!

With that being said, we’ve done it again. We’ve gone through the Slack directory to pull out our favorite finds.

Although all our lists might have certain recurring apps, we are confident that the following are particularly great for remote teams and team building.

We are presenting them here in 3 categories:

  • Planning & scheduling
  • Teamwork & team building
  • Listening to employee feedback & giving recognition

Planning & Scheduling

The apps in this first category help to set up the day or follow up on the day’s plan.

1: Use Clockwise to Plan Your Productive Working Hours

Creating a daily routine is a key part of remote work. Clockwise helps you plan out your day and guards you from interruptions. The app can automatically turn on Do Not Disturb mode when you have stretches of time between meetings, setting a boundary for when you need heads-down time or a break.

Use the Clockwise app for Slack to:

  • Automatically sync your calendar to your Slack status
  • Turn on DND when you’re in a meeting or carving out focus time
  • Receive a daily forecast of your meetings and bandwidth, right in Slack

2: Schedule Your Day on Outlook Calendar

There’s no better way to keep everyone on track than using team calendars. From Outlook Calendar, you can get your daily schedule delivered in Slack each morning. Also, you can customize when you’d like to be notified and join a call directly from your meeting reminders.

When everyone is working remotely, keeping teammates aware of your status is key. Indeed, it can help to avoid many negative feelings. Outlook Calendar will automatically update your Slack status when you’re in a meeting, so your teammates know you’re not available for a quick DM or casual call.

Use the Outlook Calendar app for Slack to:

  • Automatically update your custom status when you’re in a meeting
  • Get a daily schedule delivered to you in Slack each morning
  • Receive a custom reminder when your meetings are about to start

3. Standuply for Daily Team Tracking

Often the first interaction of the day sets the mood for a team, especially when everyone’s remote. Start your morning with a Standuply meeting in Slack, to prompt teammates to share what they’re working on, what’s blocking them, and what they’ve completed. It not only helps give everyone on your team visibility into each other’s work, but prevents duplication too.

Use the Standuply app for Slack to:

  • Automate daily standup meetings, weekly reflections, quarterly feedback, and more
  • Allow remote team members to answer questions via text, voice, or video messages
  • Track work progress, business metrics, obstacles, and team happiness

4. Vacation Tracker for Staying On Top of Days Off

This HR Slack integration makes it easy to submit, approve, manage and view vacation requests.

Team members can book and manage their vacation requests through the Vacation Tracker Slack bot. There is no longer a need to remember another HR tool or login.

Moreover, it’s really easy for a team member to request a vacation, a day off, or a half-day. Users can activate the Slack app with the slash command “/vacation” in any channel. Only the user and his administrator or approver will be able to see the pending vacation request.

Use the Vacation Tracker app for Slack to:

  • Get employees to request their vacations directly through Slack
  • Set up notifications for upcoming team vacations or days off
  • Plan work around the upcoming holiday calendar for the entire team

Team Work & Team Building

Our next category is all about connecting online. Whether it’s for business or just for fun.

5. Seamless Videoconferencing Through Zoom

A lot of important nonverbal communication happens when people are sharing physical office space. If a thread or discussion is becoming increasingly unclear, emotions are escalating, or the right people aren’t being looped into the conversation, it’s a good time to call a timeout” and chat face to face.

You can launch a call when you’ve installed Zoom by simply typing /zoom in Slack. (Similar commands are available if you use Cisco WebExBlueJeansFuze, or RingCentral too.)

Use the Zoom app for Slack to:

  • Start a call from a channel or direct message
  • See who has joined a call before you connect
  • Share recording links with your teammates

6. Easy Video Sharing with Loom

When you can’t swing by a teammate’s desk to offer help or answer a question, there’s Loom.

The Loom app is great for sending quick video snippets, like a new concept you’ve been discussing in a Slack channel. Record your screen and your front-facing camera simultaneously as you narrate your mockup, then send the resulting video straight into Slack for others to see.

Use the Loom app for Slack to:

  • Create short screencasts you can narrate and use to explain your work
  • Send videos into a channel or direct message
  • Mention teammates or tag channels from inside Loom

7. Have a Virtual Coffee Break with Donut

When everyone works from home, it’s perfectly natural to feel a little isolated. Keep your social connections at work going with Donut. Use it to grab everyone in a channel and pair them up randomly for 1:1 video chats. The larger the channel, the better you can help people in different sectors of the organization get to know one another.

Use the Donut app for Slack to:

  • Introduce teammates and schedule meetings over Slack
  • Break the ice with conversation starters
  • Automatically welcome new teammates and invite them to join your Donut channel(s)

Listening to Employee Feedback & Giving Recognition

8. Polly’s Not Just a One Trick Poney

Although the most simple use of Polly might be to hold online polls, it can actually do so much more. It can be used to measure team sentiment in real-time. A Polly poll can help get feedback on just about anything. Schedule your polls ahead of time or run a weekly survey automatically. A lightweight question allows employees to respond in seconds and allows you to analyze trends over time.

Use the Polly app for Slack to:

  • Gauge everyone’s morale with a quick survey
  • Make your surveys optionally anonymous, and choose to show or hide results
  • Run scheduled and recurring polls/surveys, with automated reminders for unanswered surveys

9. Recognize Quick Wins with Disco

Highlight the great work by your team in real-time with Disco. The app makes recognizing a job well done as easy as sending a message in Slack. Send kudos using Disco and squash the fear of “Will colleagues and managers still notice my contributions even if I’m not in the office?”

Use the Disco app for Slack to:

  • Acknowledge people and their good work in real-time
  • Uncover trends and metrics on applying your company values
  • Broadcast values and stats to the wider team

And so many more…

This was just a selection of Slack apps for remote teams. We have other lists on our blog. While we are sure that these apps can help with team building, the apps on their own won’t do the trick. Effort and time need to be dedicated to make these tools work for your remote team. Keeping people happy and engaged cannot be solved with a download.

Kristina Ousmanova
Kristina Ousmanova

Kristina recently left behind fast-paced life of Human Resource Business Consulting to freelance as a Content Writer. A regular Vacation Tracker contributor, she can be found working remotely from her home in Montreal, usually while eating a variety of snacks.

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