How Slack Changed the Quality of Work in My Business

I wrote a lengthy piece discussing my pains with Slack over the past few years.

When we switched over, it was a necessity due to the poor notification management provided by other platforms, both on desktop and mobile.

We used to rely on HipChat before, after Skype long ago, and it simply failed to prompt us when a new message arrives (at least reliably).

I’ve never been so passionate about all the bot integrations. It’s really all about collaboration. But reliable notification management is a must.

The problem with Slack is that it enforces a policy of “always on” and “instant messaging”. This causes friction and stress in communication, bypassing project management systems due to “quick pings”, and letting customers within the same workspace you use for internal collaboration.

We did that mistake and I wish we haven’t. We should have used a different tool or a separate workspace that allows us to switch to “work mode on” and only stay alert for client escalations if needed.

The UX itself is designed to keep you around at all times. It is almost like an addictive game. Even if you turn off notifications you don’t care about, channels will still show up at the end. Even muted channels show up!

So it’s a convenient tool but it requires the right discipline and proper upfront policy on what goes on where and under what rules. Or you risk your team spending 12+ hours a week in Slack and barely getting any real work done.