Why use Slack instead of Email

So what is the favourite mode of communication among your team members? Email? Text message? Instant Messaging or IM? Well, hold your breath because most people would say its Slack. Yes, that’s right. In this article, we will be discussing in-depth on this new communication methods and discover its advantages

So as you must have gathered by now, Slack is a communication tool, and it is cloud based. Teams and small groups of people can communicate with each other, send messages to not just these groups alone, but subsets of groups as well.

For example, if there are 15 people in your team, you can introduce Slack with all 15 of them, and send a message and all of them will get it. Next, you can create a subset of group within that group of 15, and send a different message. So within one tool itself, you can have different channels of communication. And it gets more awesome. Here are the advantages of Slack:

1) It doesn’t interrupt the teams on a project

With the tool, you have open lines of communication everyone in the team, and you can send them messages when you have something to share with them. But you don’t have to interrupt them physically with messages while they are in the middle of an important work.

When a team member approaches another with the question, “Can I ask you one thing?” it is physical disturbance, but when the same is done through this chat platform, the other person has the freedom to reply at his/her convenience. Or even snooze the notification until free to check.

2) An incredible search function

Slack has an awesome facility that lets you search for something instantly. It works almost like Google search, but here it would be searching for snippets of your conversation.

If a team member shared an idea with you, and you want to go back to it once again, typing the key words would instantly pop up that conversation back to you.

3) Integration with other tools

The aim of the tool is to keep everyone in the team in the loop of what’s happening. Slack can also be integrated with other tools like Trello and RocketBolt, Asana, Jira and so on. It lets you share files and documents with ease. You no longer have to worry about long email chains, but rather, send the file once, and be satisfied that everyone in the team gets it.

Take away: Slack is best suited for questions that need fast answers. It eliminates the long chain of emails that gets bloated with niceties and pleasantries, but rather gets down to the crux of the matter.

4) Great for new team members

When a new member joins the team in the middle of a project, you can easily bring them up to the speed using this tool. They can just log into it, learn how to use it, and catch up on past discussions without breaking sweat. It also helps the new person to gel well into the team, and understand the hierarchy of roles.

5) Acts a water cooler for the office

Slack acts a place where a virtual team can meet and have light discussions on the progress of the project. So it acts as a water cooler where everyone can meet up even though they never see each other. All the people in the project will be involved, no one is left out.

6) Great surge in productivity

There is no doubt that the communication tool has improved the productivity of teams. A study by Statista in 2015 has revealed that about 32% of the respondents in their survey have claimed that team productivity has increased by 20-40% with Slack. Also the team members don’t have to waste time opening their email and composing a message, when they can instantly type and send a chat message to all. Hence is contains fewer words, and thus, lesser time. Slack is less formal than the email because you don’t have to go through the pleasantries.

7) Keeps the team integrated

A number of tiny questions may crop up in the course of a project. You may think a question would affect only the person who asked it, but the truth is that it would affect everyone else in the team as well.

What if the rest of the team members also have a few thoughts to share? Email doesn’t give that privilege. If it is a social media campaign project, the SM Director, the designer, the content writer can all contribute together.

Take away: Slack eliminates the email clutter on your account. Your official mailbox looks cleaner and easier to manoeuvre.

So will Email go down the bin in the near future?

In spite of the hype created by Slack, it is highly unlikely that the tool will completely replace the good old email. After all, email is important for several other aspects of business and life.

It is where official transactions takes place, it’s where all the bills go, it keeps a record of all our business dealings, and acts as a centralized system when you need to reset the passwords, and so on.

The regular ‘traditional’ emails are good when you want to send long messages or when you are at the crux of an important business relationship. It is also a good idea when you need more privacy, and when you want to protect the information shared.

Closing Thoughts

Hence, when people tell you can use Slack instead of Email, remember, Slack is very important when you want to send messages internally, but the other mode of communication is also important when you need to send records, receipts, transactions and similar activities.

And yes, in certain situations face-to-face communication would be a better idea, especially when you have to gauge the other person’s tone, body language etc.

For example, the word “Thanks” can be interpreted in many ways when you see it in the written form. On the other hand, it wouldn’t so jarring when you hear the word from the mouth.

Interesting Articles:
Comparison between Email and Slack
Check out the interesting answers on quora about this topic and why your team should use it

Picture Source: Flickr.com/ Tatsuo Yamashita/ Gustavo

The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at www.Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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