How to Smoothly transition to remote work with Slack

Whether it's Twitter, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Spotify or any other reputed organization that we can probably think of, from Asia to Europe or US, all the companies in last few days have rolled out mandatory work - from - home policies amid the spread of Covid-19 aka Coronavirus. Everything is shutting down, the countries have closed borders and people are requested to put themselves inside their house to stop the spread of this disease. 

And honestly, it is the best that we can do to save mankind. If we take a look at it realistically, then shifting to “remote work” or “home office” won’t be new for the techies or freelancers who have been doing it since ages but some employees will be working from home for the first time, which means initially they will be figuring out how to stay on schedule or tasks in a new environment, which may not be productive. 


As we all know, changes are not easy - especially when it comes to shifting the way we have been working. So, everything does not always go according to the plan but that does not mean we stop making one. But making a plan for transitioning to remote work isn't exactly as easy as it seems. Making the shift on an urgent basis could be chaotic as there are some factors, which are beyond our control and that also somehow reshape how teams are working separately. But it is an excellent opportunity for improving how teams work together while ensuring their health and safety. 


But Cloudify has been working remotely for a long time. Whether working remotely is something you're familiar with or seems very foreign to you, we just wanted to help people in shifting to remote working, so that you’re still delivering results without going crazy, from setting up your new workspace to communicating with them, we have tips and tricks to help you with the A to Z of remote work. 


What separates us from the rest, because we have been working remotely for years and the article comes from personal experience. 

1.  Set Up Slack for Communication 


At Cloudify we use Slack for communication, as it not only serves as a communication tool but seamlessly integrates with other systems and important tools, meanwhile helping in making tasks and management easier. 


Have multiple teams to manage? Set up dedicated announcement channels (group) for sharing updates with your team and vice versa no matter wherever you are. When the colleagues are not under one roof, it is essential to have a single place where everyone can refer or go to for information. Announcements channels are crucial for sharing updates or receiving updates from your team. 


You can start with a default #general channel or make a separate channel for announcements where vital information is shared. 


2. Use Channels for All Your Work Related Communication, Collaboration & Project Tracking 


Channels are essential in Slack as they help you check-in and keep the projects moving. Teams who have just started using Slack or have been using it in their physical office may have been using it as a tool for personal communication. If you're shifting to remote work, you will definitely want your teams to keep moving forward on their projects. You can have separate channels for projects, or you can also create channels where you can share docs and designs for approvals and suggestions from your workmates. Collaborate with different teams, ask for their suggestions and share documents or images, Slack supports multiple formats. 


Not everyone needs to be in every channel, if it's not the matter of their concern - cut the clutter by making relevant channels with relevant people. Channels could be your alternatives to endless email threads, when they're being used for keeping everyone informed about the work that still needs to be done. 

Apart from meetings and the emails, channels help the team in conversating - sharing docs and files for collaboration or brainstorming new ideas. 


3. Connect the tools you use every day & Make things easier with automation 


Bring all the apps together under one roof. Whether you're using G-Suite, Dropbox, Trello, Office 365, Zoom or role-specific tools like Salesforce, Pipedrive - you can use Slack to keep track of literally everything by bringing updates directly into your channels. Slack, seamlessly integrates with hundreds of apps and tools for ensuring everyone has the visibility to their team's unique work systems. 


As Slack integrates with thousands of apps and tools, you can reduce the workload from your shoulders by automating updates or notifications. Integrate Gmail with Slack, say goodbye to looking inside your inbox again and again. You can set triggers and automate stuff like - you will get notified or receive a snippet of subject and text body of the emails you receive on Gmail in slack channels. No longer missing out on important emails. You can also connect Pipedrive with Slack and get notified when a new deal is won. Integrate Slack with GDrive and get notified whenever someone adds something to the Drive. 


4. Set up Trello in Slack


Step 1: add the Trello bot to channels. From the left sidebar, select your desired channel. Type /invite @trello into the message field and hit Enter.

Step 2: link trello  boards to channels. Type /trello link and your board's name or URL into the message field, then hit Enter.


Let automation make your job easier, integrate Trello with Slack and use Zapier for automation. 


Create Trello cards from new starred Slack messages


When this happens in Slack 

Step 1: New Starred Message


Then do this in Trello 

Step 2: Create Card


Get Slack notifications for Trello cards created or closed


When this happens in Trello 

Step 1: New Card


Then do this in Slack

Step 2: Send Channel Message



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5. Post Statuses


At Cloudify, we have a separate channel #standup where we share our status every day - which is generally a summary of the work we started, how far we have come, the issues we faced and estimated time to be completed. 

It is an excellent way of letting people know what's going on in your organization at the team level. Another great use of status is you can put a status on your profile, if you're in a meeting, having lunch, driving or picking up your kid from school. You can put a status - so that people know - when you're available. 


6. Make calls without leaving Slack


Calls are ideal for one on one communication, especially when text fails; they're also great for remote meetings. Everyone needs a quick face to face conversation, or sometimes you need to collaborate with your team for group meetings. Use a call button in Slack for calling up a co-worker or arrange a conference call for the whole team. You can also share your screen with your co-workers - if you want to do a presentation or explain something complicated. 

Slack also integrated with other video and voice call apps like Skype, Google Hangouts and Zoom. 


7. Maintain Your Availability on Calendar 


Since you're working remotely and sometimes teams are dependent on each other for getting things done. Each team member might be working from a different location and time - zone, so it's essential for you to maintain a calendar with times and days when you will be available along with updated leaves and festivals. You can also add your essential meetings in Calendars. Integrate Google Calendar with Slack and get notified about important meetings. 


8. Set Reminders 


Have some tasks that need to be done every day? And you want to make sure that you forget nothing? Use slackbot as your assistant, set reminders for yourself and leave the rest on the slack bot. 


We know that a list of tips and tricks or an article is not always a solution. Whether you're a pro at using slack or just got your hands on it for the very first time, we would like to help you throughout your transitional journey from your physical workplace to working remotely. 

For any assistance regarding automation and remote work, please feel free to book a consultation with our experts.


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