Wed, 2 Jun, 2021
Maybe your job has allowed you to work remotely for a while now. Or, perhaps, the pandemic (or another sudden change) sent you home and you’ve been adapting to it. In either case, you find yourself with a lot of online time— and a lot of it is spent with your coworkers on Slack.
The bright side: Slack is a serious productivity tool and (not a minor detail) it brings some much-needed socialising normalcy to a transformed workplace.
The less sunny bit: you might find yourself drawn into a vortex of Slack channels, tasks, and conversations. Setting priorities and drawing boundaries has gotten somewhat tricky.
The realm of Slack has given rise to some… interesting dynamics. In any workplace, you’ll find a few user types with clear characteristics and behaviours (positive, negative, or just mildly irritating).
Do you see yourself in any of these?
1. The Latecomer.
There’s a learning curve to Slack— and this user isn’t quite there yet. They might be having trouble figuring out channels, notifications, and posts. As a result, they end up responding late to… pretty much everything. Maybe lend a hand?
What they say — You send a message to organise the tasks for a new project. Everyone gets on board, roles and responsibilities get assigned, and you move on to chatting about your weekend. Then, they show up making suggestions on how to assign roles. Or, worse, LOLing at an old joke after one of your coworkers says they’re ill.
2. The Helpful Link-Giver.
They have good intentions. Maybe it’s to let you know how to ‘Adopt the Tangerine Method to Increased Productivity,’ ‘Create the Perfect Morning Routine for your Personality Type,’ or even ‘Becoming the Best at Slack’. But despite the altruistic intentions to better everyone’s lives, the links do add up. And you don’t think you (or any of your coworkers) have ever clicked on any of them.
What they say — ‘Have you seen this video?’. And right after, a link to “5 Steps to Being Better than your Coworkers”. Or if it’s a Friday, “Watch this dog get rescued and become Prime Minister”.
3. The Compartmentalizer.
This user watched Marie Kondo— and loved it. For them, incredibly specific channels like ‘’ ‘Where we talk about lunch on Wednesdays’ spark joy. So they create them!
And not just the normal three (emergencies, regular work stuff, and banter), but one for each imaginable aspect of your work life. Results: confused coworkers and unhappy computers.
What they say — ‘Hi everyone! This is the new channel to discuss Monday’s Remote Happy Hour. Not Wednesday’s or Friday’s (those have their channels too). Just Monday’s! Have a great week!”
4. The GIF Enthusiast.
This user’s usual message is a GIF or even a proficiently put together string of GIFs to signify a sentence. While interesting as an art form or an exercise in hieroglyphs, words are still necessary to maintain clarity in a serious workplace.
What they say — It’s one thing to put a funny GIF in a marketing email, but quite another to send Michael Scott’s death glare to a coworker who disagrees with you. They don’t know the difference.
5. The Keen Conversationalist.
The previous user had too few words — this one has a couple thousand too many. Thankfully, Slack gives us the tools to stay in touch with coworkers and beat back the blues of isolation. But this user takes idle banter to a whole new level.
Their devotion to constant chit-chat might not have been so significant at an in-person workplace. But now, with every post and meme getting archived for posterity (and management) to read, they might be in for a spot of trouble.
What they say — Everything. At all times. To everyone else.
6. The Silent Watcher.
If they were a Game of Thrones character, it’d be whoever was Master of Secrets at the time. Instead of indulging in gossip and contributing to the conversations, this user silently observes the unfolding of relationships and politics. All the while, curating a collection of sensitive screenshots to eventually unleash on the unhappy soul who stands in their way.
What they say — Deafening silence. For now. Watch out.
Whether or not you found yourself (or someone you know) on the list, Slack can be a useful tool to bring some normalcy into an increasingly online workplace. If you’re working to improve your company’s digital culture and talent process (or if you’re looking for the right tech job) you’re in the right place. Write to us today — let’s work together!
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