Has your team done anything to tweak Slack, Microsoft Teams, or other team chat apps to make them more productive, less distracting, and a better assistant to your work? Any tips to customize chat apps, or add-ons to make them better?
Feels like Slack almost needs what Superhuman is to Gmail, something that rethinks the interface and makes it more productivity-centric.
Troop Messenger's pricing is significantly less expensive than Microsoft teams pricing. We decided to use Troop Messenger as our official office chat software because it offers on-premise, SaaS, Chat APIs & SDKs delivery modes. Given our security concerns, we chose on-premise.
Troop Messenger not only improved our communication but also resolved issues with contacting our other units' teams. This product provides features like remote access and screen sharing, live location monitoring, video conference, and more, so we didn't have to hunt for another solution for a different office need. It increased our team's productivity and made it easier for us to keep the workflow going.
I think it's more about the philosophy with which you approach these apps that matters more than what setup you could put in place using it.
Slack, and similar team chat tools, were made to get rid of email, to not be distracted by it. But by essence, they're still chat tools, and that's the problem.
We are naturally inclined to respond immediately to chat messages.
Don't you feel anxiety when you see that red little dot, knowing someone just talked to you and are probably sitting there waiting for an answer? (I know it's not always the case, but it's what my brain pictures whenever I get a message on Slack, thus the anxiety).
So to me, the best way to make these tool really productive and less distracting is not by any kind customization, but by changing the whole team's expectation, and using purely team chats apps as async communication tools.
One thing I've done over the past year that's worked nicely: Organizing channels into sections. It takes a bit of work to list the sections you want and move channels around. Once you do it, though, you can minimize sections to cleanup the sidebar, mute a whole section at once, and more. That, along with muting noisier channels (like one we have at Capiche that shows all new posts in the community), has made Slack tidier and quieter.
We follow the core principles outlined in A World Without Email (keeping the conversation in the project tool itself, etc. etc. et al).
We have protocols that direct the best methods for communication, when email or chat must be used.
It's that easy. :)
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