A Love Letter to Slack

A romance that began like so many other great romances in history — with a company-wide email.

“Hey! We’re going to try out a new chat program. Follow the steps in the link below to download it. Thanks!” Cryptic and mysterious — Slack, you had our attention. It was only a matter of days before you had our hearts.

Contrary to what it’s name might suggest, Slack is a business collaboration tool aimed at boosting team efficiency. In other words, fewer time-sucking meetings to attend and fewer emails to wade through. This obviously had some appeal because as of November 2016, just two and a half years after launching, the program boasted some 4 million daily users. Also impressive was the user survey that revealed this brightly colored chat program actually did reduced the number of internal emails by nearly 50%.

Yeah yeah yeah, everyone hates emails and yeah, it’s well designed and fun, but why do we really have a love affair with Slack? Lemme break it down.

I feel like we’ve met before

While most of us here at Standard Time didn’t know much about Slack when it slunk into our inboxes, it didn’t take long for us to feel like we had used it all our lives. There was the undeniable giddy teenage nostalgia of AOL Instant Messenger and a buttoned up, business-first functionality of something like Basecamp.

This melding of familiar formats made mastering the ins and outs of the tool (and falling in love) so, so easy.

Things can get crazy, but an organized crazy

If we had to guess Slack’s astrological sign, we’d go with Virgo. A pro at orderly compartmentalization, here, everything has a place and there is a place for everything. Enter Channels, the one key feature that sets Slack apart from other inner-office communication programs. In client and project-specific channels, ideas, inspiration, scripts, and brief questions fly freely among the people working on that project.

Then there are channels like #trump_watch at Standard Time, a communal collection of comic relief surrounding the dumpster fire currently burning in the White House.

The point being, everything relevant to our office right now, work-related or not, can be easily searched for and found all in one place.

You’re a champion for culture and our own private offices

Don’t get me wrong, working in an open office is great. But, as the Wall Street Journal uncovered, it does have its drawbacks.

This is where Slack saves the day. Its Direct Messages and team-specific Channels bring some privacy barriers to the office without walls.

Teams can meet without needing a conference room, conversations can continue if someone is on a call, and one-on-one check-ins can happen without the conversation being blasted to the whole office.

On the other hand, where Slack gives us some private space, it also makes the open office even more open. Fun, public Channels means no one feels left out of a conversation. Plus, Online Disinhibition Effect is totally a thing. We’ve found Slack conversations help us connect on a new level (more than water cooler talk ever could anyway), resulting in a tighter knit in this already tight knit crew.

You forgive our mistakes

Unlike the sometimes-brutal permanence of text messages or emails, Slack let’s you edit and even delete messages on the spot. So if that GIF didn’t get as many laughs as you planned, you can quickly get rid of it and pretend like it never happened. Good lookin’ out.

You’re all about the extra

A desk-stretch coach? Shopping assistant? Uber-hailer? TACO DELIVERY???

Slack hooks it up with an entire zoo of bot integrations and apps making it a truly all-inclusive tool.

Our favorite is Flexbot; a friendly wellness coach that reminds us to drink more water, stretch, and take short breaks to keep sanity intact. Complete with instructional videos for stretches, Flexbot makes it easy to take care of ourselves during work hours.

Oh, and Taco Bell? We’re still waiting patiently for this to go live.

Please text us back, we’re ready to be exclusive.