Helpful how-tos for the transition to remote work

Our best tips and tricks to make remote working soon feel routine

A photo illustration by Slack to accompany piece on remote work

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Click here for quick resources on working remotely with Slack.

Making a planned transition to remote work isn’t exactly easy. Making one on the fly, as factors beyond our control reshape how teams are working across the globe? That’s a dramatically different challenge—but also a rare opportunity: a time to improve how we work together while ensuring the safety and health of our teams.

Whether telecommuting is something you’re quite familiar with or a completely new setup, we’ve rounded up our most popular resources and tips for this different way of working. Consider them your how-to guides to making the transition as smooth as possible.

shared channels customer support hero two people communicatingLean on Slack when offices need to close

We’re often asked how we use Slack the tool to keep Slack the company up and running. With our recent office closure, a bundle of Slack practices and shortcuts—most of them small and simple to adopt—are making teamwork work for our newly remote teammates.

The manager’s manual for remote work

Working remotely comes with a learning curve, particularly for managers. Since several of Slack’s own managers have years of remote experience, we’ve rounded up their most helpful tips for inspiring trust, clarity and performance outside the traditional workplace.

Make your remote meetings more effective

How do you choose the right meeting tool for your team, and what is standard etiquette for a remote meeting? Including advice on working across conflicting schedules and holding online meeting follow-ups, this guide can help your team make the most of every remote meeting.

Remote Work 101: Take stock of your meetings

Tips for having effective meetings, fewer meetings, or no meetings at all (freeing your team to do more of their best, most creative work)

  1. Define the minimal viable meeting: Move weekly status meetings to channel updates, try bi-weekly team meetings instead of weekly ones, and audit your recurring meetings to determine if they’re past their purpose. 
  2. Set attendees up for success: For group meetings, send out agendas and relevant materials at least 24 hours prior. Set clear goals up front: “This meeting will be successful if…” After the meeting, share a clear recap with actionable next steps so everyone is in the loop.
  3. Maybe it’s not a meeting after all: Sometimes you need open-ended time with another person or a small group to solve knotty problems together. In those cases, the framing of a meeting can make it harder to get that work done. Just spend time working together over video call. Once in a while, a single afternoon is magic.

Create an inclusive remote environment

Engaging distributed employees takes extra effort and ingenuity. Try these tips on building a strong, supportive remote team culture (hint: it all starts with open communication).

Keep everyone connected with remote team-building activities

Our friends at Okta share some advice for bonding and collaborating with dispersed colleagues. Looking for a ready win? Have team members take turns hosting remote lunch-and-learns.

Boost collaboration from anywhere

Pamela Hinds, the director of Stanford University’s Center on Work, Technology and Organization, has made a career of studying collaboration. She sheds light on the benefits of remote and distributed teams and how to improve interpersonal connections when teams are apart.

3 tips for finding your remote working groove

  1. Establish a routine: Working from home can quickly blur the boundaries between work life and home life. It’s tempting to work in bed or graze on snacks instead of eating lunch, but establishing a consistent routine will go far to instill work-life balance and productivity. Try dressing as you would for work, or working from the kitchen table or a nearby cafe. Set start and end times for work every day, and match your Do Not Disturb schedule to those hours.
  2. Get comfortable with video calls: Some things are better said in person than over text, and video calls are the next best thing when your team can’t physically work together. Choose the right tool for your team, like Zoom or Slack calls, and find an uncluttered background with good lighting when you hop on a call.
  3. Communicate more, not less: Don’t make assumptions about things that may seem obvious to you; instead, spell out the obvious. For example, read over and edit your messages for clarity before sending them out, and include an explicit question (Is my request clear?) to check for understanding. If you’re stepping out to grab coffee for half an hour, let your team know—it’s as simple as updating your Slack status.

Lessons from a decades-long remote worker

Adjusting to telecommuting isn’t always easy, but for Slack senior writer Matt Haughey, working this way is one of his favorite parts of the job. He breaks down how to set up your space, new gadgets to try, and more.

Keep distributed teams in sync

When it comes to running distributed teams, our customers know a thing or two. Whether it’s tracking wildlife sightings in real time or triaging equipment malfunctions, read on for best practices on collaborating with team members near and far.

Get more from Slack on mobile

Now that you’re no longer commuting, you can skim new messages in the morning or update your status while walking your dog. Here are shortcuts and tips to make the most of Slack on your phone.

We’re here to help

To further help you navigate the transition to remote work, we’re hosting a series of dedicated webinars this week. These will be live sessions with Q&A opportunities. You can get more information and sign up to attend here.

If you’d like some personalized help with using Slack with your newly remote team, we’re happy to get on a call with you. Click here to schedule a time.

A photo illustration by Slack to accompany piece on remote work
Work remotely in Slack

Best practices, tips and tricks for getting the most out of work with channel-based messaging—no matter your location.

Learn More

Slack is the collaboration hub, where the right people are always in the loop and key information is always at their fingertips. Teamwork in Slack happens in channels — searchable conversations that keep work organized and teams better connected.