Productivity tools have been on the rise since… well… the Industrial Revolution? I mean, in a certain sense, each industrial invention created during the Industrial Revolution was in some way designed to make things more efficient and/or productive. Not all that much has changed in the interim. It’s just that now, those productivity tools usually come in one of two packages — technological tools that allow a worker to have a far larger impact than they could have had previously; or, automating humans out of that work entirely.
Even before Covid completely upended our working normals, companies were hellbent on increasing both collaboration and productivity (as companies are wont to do). One of the best companies on that front, for years, has been Slack.
Why Slack is a good idea (even if you don’t use its product)
Regardless of whether or not you use Slack (or Teams or any other collaboration platform of your choosing), the value remains a relatively easy sell to me. Email is super useful, but poorly suited to, I would argue, most of the tasks to which we subject it. Email is great for actual correspondence you need to file and keep for reference. But, much of how we use email is to trade short notes or updates on an ongoing process. How many “reply all” chains have you been roped into with, all of a sudden, dozens upon dozens of emails and replies rolled up into that one thread?
No, when it comes to grouping teams together, collaborating, trading the short of quick notes and updates that comprise a majority of the work-based communication we do, Slack is a fantastic alternative to email. It’s so good that Microsoft completely copied it with Teams (even though a lot of firms prefer Teams given its integrations into other Microsoft-suite products) and Salesforce spent a lot of money to acquire it. It became all the more valuable during the pandemic as many of the in-person conversations we used to have ALL migrated to the digital sphere. But the main problem with Slack was that while it was amazing for collaborating within your organization… it didn’t replace email when you worked closely with vendors or clients on a consistent basis. You’re still left with email in that scenario.
Not any more.
According to Engadget, Slack’s new Connect feature “lets you direct message anyone, not just the people inside your company or team. Send an invitation and you can start a secure conversation with an important customer or partner without having to resort to back-and-forth email threads.
Up to 20 companies can talk together. You can already use a handful of apps designed for Connect, such as a scheduler (Calendly), document signer (DocuSign) and account mapper (Crossbeam).”
It’ll take some time to figure out how best to integrate this new functionality into our workflows, but the possibilities are tantalizing.
Whether or not you use Slack or Teams or some other workplace collaboration tool, adding new tools to increase your productivity should be high on the list for any companies. These are the sorts of decisions and implementations a managed service provider can quarterback for you — you stay focused on running your business, and we focus on making sure it’s as productive as it can be with the technological tools that fit your industry and your firm. No more, no less. If you want to know how we can help you get more productive, drop us a line!