Review by Perry Timms is an independent HR/OD practitioner, writer and speaker, and is CIPD adviser on social media & engagement. Follow him on twitter @PerryTimms
There’s a growing school of thought that links unproductive, misunderstood actions and communication by email. If you believe what you read, at least three hours a week is wasted deleting, sorting, searching and managing emails. The stress chemical cortisol tends to be higher in those with high-volume or uncleared inboxes. Excess cortisol impairs our ability to make the right (or even rational) decisions, be creative and generally isn’t good for us.
So, Slack is an app that proudly declares itself to enable team communication for the 21st Century. Indeed, users of Slack declare a greater sense of inclusion, fewer meetings and more cohesion across their project teams. Slack is a message board type app organized around hashtag-themed discussions. Searchable by keyword or user or combination, it can be used to mention people (by using the @username convention) or simply to post information others can read if they choose to.
It can also be used for file exchange and here’s the good thing: it can integrate with Dropbox, with Google Drive and other file-sharing apps, plus it can integrate with GitHub, Trello and other efficiency/ project-related apps, your Twitter feed, Google Hangouts, GoTo meetings, MailChimp, RSS feeds and Zendesk customer service app. Slack is not a project/ work app in its own right, it is a communication and integration app which handles other apps and platforms through an extension/connecting function which means you can use it as your hub.
And yes, you can dispense with email for those people with whom you are working who are part of your Slack entourage. It will take work but the growing list of companies providing testimonies proves that Slack is anything but, well, slack.