Slack is a centralized bulletin board and file sharing system that makes it easier for teams to work together on projects. It brings together messaging, file uploads, progress reports, calendar functions, and even phone calls. Instead of the need to log into multiple different accounts throughout the day, a user can log into Slack and get all the information they need in one go. While Slack does make life easier for everyone involved on a project, it does have its strengths and weaknesses. Is Slack right for your operation? Following are three pros and cons that can help you decide.
The Learning Curve Slow-Down
All software comes with a learning curve that slows everyone down. Managers have to make the decision if it’s worthwhile to deal with the slower pace while people get up to speed or to keep the old software in place. Except there’s the small detail that a lot of time gets eaten up by users switching from program to program for communicating and file sharing.
Training people to use the software before it goes live is beneficial as is accepting the fact that operations go slowly for a while until everyone is comfortable with the interface.
Be Mindful of Security Issues
Software that lets users share files comes with an inherent security risk. Add into that the fact Slack allows users to create private chats that are invite-only. There’s a potential for files to get out into the world at large and users to discuss things they shouldn’t be on company time. It’s true that these problems can happen in any workplace collaboration software system, but that doesn’t mean that managers are off the hook for these problems.
Make it clear to users that they’re using company equipment when they’re on Slack and the implications that go along with it. Employees need to understand they’re being paid to do a job and anything they generate on Slack is company property. Make sure that IT has complete oversight of the software, is keeping up with what users are doing, and making sure file access is controlled to prevent them from getting out.
Improves Efficiency for Faster Results
As previously mentioned, Slack centralizes how people interact, share files, communicate, and keep tabs on their work. It reduces the need to swap from window to window and program to program, saving time in the process. Swapping windows takes seconds, but the mind needs to catch up and react to the change. Focus stays sharper when everything is located in one place and allows the user to stay on their train of thought. As a result, projects get finished more quickly and clients are kept happy.
Slack is an excellent tool for keeping everything together, enabling clear communication, and speeds up problem solving. But it’s not perfect and has its issues. Be mindful of what they are, how they affect the organization, and find ways to prevent problems from cropping up in the first place.