Why Do We Use Slack Statuses

If you’re part of a remote team, you may have found that Slack has replaced email as the preferred channel of communication between co-workers. It allows information sharing to be done effectively and discussions between departments to be conducted while each member is at various physical locations.

Using Slack also saves you the frustration when a co-worker or superior did not instantly reply to your message. Unlike emails, you can set your status on Slack that reflects your current availability. If your co-workers have been utilizing this feature, you’ll have a good idea of what they are currently up to.

Setting Slack Status

You’d be familiar with what online statuses are all about if you grew up using MSN Messenger. Slack allows you to choose from five default statuses, i.e., In A Meeting, Commuting, Out Sick, Vacationing, and Working Remotely. These statuses are represented by an associated emoji respectively.

If none of these reflects your current activity, you can set a custom status. Make use of emoji and simple phrases to keep others updated on your availability. You can also specify when the status will be cleared by choosing from a range of 30 minutes to a custom date. Or you can indicate that it should remain permanently.

Setting your status on Slack is no rocket science. Just click on your name at the top left corner, and you’ll have the option “Set A Status”. Clicking that will bring up a pop-up box that allows you to configure your status as mentioned above. You can set custom statuses like “Strictly Do Not Disturb” if you need absolutely no distraction as you attempt to trace severe issues in the code.

When you’re done, you’ll notice that a new emoji appears on the right of your name, and the text of your status appears as you hover over the emoji. Similarly, you can check out the status of other members in the channel by hovering over their emojis.  

How Slack Statuses Improves Communication

Our team at Netcore has been relying on Slack as a primary channel of communication. A glance at the list of our team members will reveal creatively crafted statuses with equally unique emoji. For instance, one of our developers will be “Meditating With Rock Music” during lunch breaks.

While you can have a free reign of setting Slack statuses, the benefits of doing so is obvious when members are away from their workstation. Members who are away are marked by an empty dot instead of a solid one. By having the status set, you will have an idea what the co-worker is up to.

If a co-worker is out for a meeting, you can have an estimate on how long will he or she be away by checking out the expiry time. By doing so, you’ll know when you could expect a reply and try alternative communications method if the matter has a high level of urgency.

We know that some employees are hesitant when sending direct messages to their superior. This is where Slack statuses will help. Managers can update their statuses accordingly so that employees wouldn’t send lengthy messages that flood their screen at the most inconvenient situations.

Using Slack Status Wisely

Setting crafty Slack statuses can become a daily ritual. In fact, our team members often tried to outdo each other with their wacky statuses. However, the flexibility of setting statuses come with great responsibility.

For instance, you’ll want to ensure any custom status is in line with the culture of your company. As Slack is often used as a professional platform, you’ll want to avoid phrases that reflect poorly on you or divulging private information that are unfit for a workplace.

Besides that, it’s vital to ensure that the status reflects your current availability. You wouldn’t want to repeat the mistake of our team leader, who forgot to clear his “Vacationing” status after spending a few days at a hotel. He was left wondering if Slack was broken, as none of his team members were sending messages to him with the usual frequency.

To prevent such inconvenience from happening to you, ensure that you have the right status set the first time you access Slack daily.

Improved Performance And Efficiency With Slack Status

Communication is one of the key factors that could make or break a team working in a remote environment. When working remotely, each member should be aware of the availability of their co-workers to ensure uninterrupted workflow. Contingency measures can be immediately taken when co-workers are sick or have personal emergencies.

By growing a habit of setting Slack statuses, it saves the time to inform everyone that you’re “Out Sick” as in a couple of clicks the entire team is aware that you’ll be unavailable for the day, of course, don’t forget to write a message to your direct supervisor as well.

As precious time is saved, the ultimate performance and efficiency of the team are increased. No more unanswered emails without knowing why. And no more making mistakes of bothering your manager in a meeting.

The Bottom Line

If you haven’t started updating your status on Slack, you should make it a regular practice. It does help your team to know what you’re up to. However, be responsible and remember to clear or edit your status to reflect your availability. You’ll be amazed how such simple maneuvers could translate into increased productivity for your team.

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