10 Slack Communication Best Practices

Slack Communication Best Practices
Organize channels, schedule messages, use threads effectively, and maintain a positive, respectful tone. Use the status feature to notify team members of your availability.

1. Unravel The Power Of Threads

Imagine flipping through a thick book without any chapters or sections. Frustrating, right? The same goes for navigating a Slack channel without threads. Threads help bundle related messages together. It’s like having a neat little folder for every conversation.

Using threads helps prevent the main public channel from getting cluttered with too many responses. Threads make it easy to catch up on specific discussions and follow-ups without scrolling through an avalanche of messages.

Here’s how to use threads effectively:

  • Start a thread when responding: Click on the ‘Reply to thread’ button that appears with other buttons when you hover over the message. 
  • Keep conversations in threads: Once a thread is started, keep the conversation going in the thread. Don’t hop back to the main channel halfway through.
  • Use @mentions sparingly: Use @mentions when you really need to draw someone’s attention to avoid bombarding them with unnecessary notifications.

2. Respect Privacy

Respecting privacy is about being polite and making Slack safe for everyone. We all have some sort of sensitive, important messages we wouldn’t want just anybody to lay their eyes on.

For such information, let’s embrace private channels. It’s like having a secure room where only the invited can enter. 

Think twice before you hit that send button. Is the information sensitive? Could it harm someone if seen by the wrong eyes? If yes, it’s time to reconsider. That quick double-check can save a lot of heartache down the line.

3. Embrace Clarity And Brevity

Clarity and brevity are the lifeblood of effective communication. Keep your Slack messages short, sweet, and to the point. Nail your point right away and save your teammates from unnecessary scrolling. 

Make it a habit to proofread your messages before hitting send. This will not only ensure proper grammar and spelling but will also show your respect for others’ time. Ditch the jargon, too. Not everyone can decode them; you don’t want to alienate your teammates.

4. Leverage Platform Perks

Slack is more than just a messaging platform. It’s a powerful tool with many features that can take your team’s communication to the next level. There are reaction emojis that are more than just cute icons. They can be a speedy way of showing you’ve seen a message or expressing agreement.

You can also use emojis and gifs to add personality to your messages. They help express emotions and sentiments that might not come across in plain text.

Slack also allows you to ‘@’ mention someone. This feature gives you the power to catch someone’s attention directly, ensuring your message isn’t lost in the sea of chatter. Be mindful, though. Overuse can feel like spam. Use it when it’s necessary.

5. Channel Names And Topics Mastery

Channel names and topics are the building blocks of your conversations. Good channel names are like signposts, leading your team to the right conversation.

When naming your channels, be specific. A channel named “Marketing” is broad, but “Marketing-Leads2023” gives a clear idea of the conversation. Keep it short; long names can get cut off, which is confusing.

Adding topics is like setting the agenda for a meeting. It tells your team what’s on the table. Ensure it stays relevant by changing it as the conversation shifts.

6. Time Zone Savvy

We live in a world where our workplaces are no longer bound by geography. With this newfound freedom comes the challenge of different time zones. Knowing when your remote teammates are in their “work mode” is about being considerate and optimizing collaboration and efficiency.

To avoid turning your well-intended Slack message into a midnight alarm for your colleagues overseas, use Slack’s scheduling feature. You can time your messages to land during your teammate’s work hours.

7. Status And Availability

set availability status on Slack
Set availability status on Slack

We’ve all had those days when we’re bombarded with direct messages while in the middle of something important. This is where the status feature comes in handy.

The status feature in Slack is like the digital equivalent of an ‘Open’ or ‘Closed’ sign hanging on a shop door. It tells your colleagues whether you’re available or away. It’s a quick, easy way to communicate your availability without sending a message.

To use this feature effectively, update your status whenever your availability changes. If possible, be specific in your status message. Clear your status when it’s no longer applicable.

8. Embrace Video Calls

Video calls are not just a remote work tool but an essential part of efficient communication in any team. Virtual meetings add a human touch to conversations, prevent misinterpretations, and build stronger team relationships.

Double-check your audio and video settings before setting up a video call (called huddle on Slack). Find a quiet spot with good lighting, and remember to mute your mic when you’re not talking. To start a video call on Slack, click on the headphones toggle (huddle). To turn the video on, click on the camera icon. 

9. Notifications Nuance

Slack notifications paused example
Slack notifications paused example

Overuse of notifications can easily become a distraction, often breaking our concentration and causing us to lose valuable time regaining our focus. You can keep your Slack notifications in check by customizing your settings to suit your preferences and needs. 

You can select to be notified only when you’re directly mentioned or during your designated “active” hours. The trick is to tweak these settings to create a balance that meets your needs and minimizes distractions.

10. Unleash Slack’s Potential

Slack isn’t just your everyday communication tool; it’s a productivity powerhouse ready to streamline your workflows. With a suite of features and tools, it has the potential to become your one-stop shop for all your work communication. 

To make that happen, you must move past the basics and take time to familiarize yourself with all the features and integrations this collaboration tool offers. Since Slack always introduces new features and integrations, regularly check their blog or subscribe to their newsletter.

What is the best way to organize your Slack channels?

Channels are the backbone of your Slack, acting like different compartments in a toolbox. To get the channels in order, start with the channel name. It should be straightforward and relevant. If a channel is inactive, don’t let it gather virtual dust. Archive it.

Use private channels wisely. They are perfect for sensitive discussions, but too many can hamper transparency. A well-organized Slack workspace etiquette can significantly boost your team’s productivity and communication.


Tabitha is a curious and enthusiastic writer who believes in the power of words and the importance of good manners. Etiquette is her passion, and she enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.

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