Slack communication tips


Efficient communication is important. This article is made up from 12 suggestions for you to follow to improve your Slack communication.


No doubt, communication is important. Good communication helps prevent errors, resolve conflicts and make right decisions earlier. So it’s obvious that you will communicate a lot. And that's why your communication must be efficient – you want to focus on your work and not on chat with coworkers, right?

Slack is probably the most popular tool for communication in teams and companies. In this article, you'll find suggestions from my experience working for different companies. They can improve your Slack communication and increase your team productivity.

Channel sections

Usually channels looks like an unorganized list of random things, where you can find general company-wide channels along with some specific ones. And some of them are even dead with little to no messages, but they are still sitting there and making it harder to spot the channel you are looking for now. The solution is to use sections and group your channels. You can create sections and set the order of them. Also, you can collapse the section, so you will see only the active channel.

Control your notifications

It might be rude, but I don’t care a lot about your notifications. I mean, I’m trying to communicate only in work hours, but I’m not you, so I don’t know completely what works best for you. But I know what time works best for me, and I know how I can be more productive and efficient. So If I need to send a message, I will send a message and that's it. You’re already in the bed? Then disable your notifications, and you’ll solve your problem. Slack gives you a lot of flexibility – you can schedule disabling and enabling of notifications, mute channels and direct messages. And you can have different configurations for all your devices where you have Slack.

And if it’s not enough, you always can go one step further and configure focus mode on your laptop you need on your laptop (special apps even exist for this purpose).

Scheduled messages

Okay, what if you want to be completely kind and respectful? Then you can a schedule a message, and it will be sent when you think it's better for a person. You can set exact date and time (but only in this year FYI, don’t think it will be a problem).


People writing hell long messages are bad, but people writing hell long messages without thread are on the next level. What’s wrong, will all them? With threads, you can keep your channel more clean and also thread collect more context in one place, so it’s easier to understand what’s going on. Just imagine the situation, when two groups of people are talking about two different topics at the same time in the same channel. How easy it will be to run such a discussion? And how easy it will be for some other person to join one of the conversations? It will be really hard. What’s more, I assume it will hard even for you to read this conversation some time later.

The first message in a thread should provide enough context to understand should you join it or not. So instead of reading all your messages by every coworker, only people interested in the topic will read it. You keep the whole channel more clean and group discussions into threads.

Do not use direct messages

This is the problem I usually cry at nights, so I will cover it in a separate article, but... They are not transparent, and you need to talk to everyone in person, repeating messages. With direct messages, nothing happens to managers or everyone who is not involved in the conversation. It means you have fewer people who can spot opportunities, prevent errors and just share thoughts.

Do not use group direct messages

Same concern as for direct messages, but they are even messy because there is no way to add a new person into them. So you’re running group direct messages for three developers, and you now need to add one more… You need to create one more group with four devs. Then you will probably go and screenshot or copy-paste some messages from previous groups. Again and again. Till infinity.

Channel description and topic

Make sure all channels have topic and description. And make sure you understand them and use the channel in a right way. It’s strange to see developers talking about some dev things in office channel. All channels should have a purpose, and it should be clear for everyone.

Use emojis

Slack emojis are great – you can react without writing useless messages, so conversation is cleaner. And emojis are a great tool for creating engagement. Default emojis are great, but you can take it a step further – custom emojis (especially animated) create much more engagement. Local emojis meaningful only for your team or company create exclusivity that people like, so they can work way better.

You can even create patterns and documented use cases of emojis on a company or team level. For example, you can use 🚀 to react to your coworker’s daily standup. But they shouldn’t be mandatory – people should use whatever emoji they want.


Here are the emojis I use more than usual, and I’ve created my personal frameworks for using them. Try to think about possible use cases, and I’ll share my flow in a separate article.

Make statuses work for your team

Statuses can be really helpful, if everyone is aware of them. They make it more clear what are you doing now. If you’re on a long meeting, and you have your status set, people will not expect that you reply during meeting time. Want to focus on something and exclude communication for some time – set your status as busy and let people know about this. Feel bad today? Sync with your direct managers and then set Out sick status, so coworkers will see that you’re now available. You don’t even need any messages like “Hey, folks, I’m not feeling well today, taking my time to recover” – it will clear from your status.

Remember about apps

Slack is good out of the box to provide efficient communication, but you can make it even better with third-party apps and integrations. With them you can automate status updates and sync it with your calendar, create issues from messages, run surveys will little to no effort, automate asynchronous scrum stuff like daily stand-ups and much more. Every time you feel that something is useful, but still takes quite a lot of time or just frustrating to do, search a little and maybe there is an app for it that will help you.

Create a guideline

Communication involves not only you. And you’re not going to improve your team communication if you’re the only person who knows how to communicate. Simple things you can do is to create a guideline to make sure that everyone is on the same line. This guideline should cover the most important points of your company communication and must be used a source of truth. So in case of any concerns you should have an answer in the guideline. Of course, the guideline will not cover everything, but you can update or change it as you go.

Be a moderator

If you see something is going wrong or something can improve, say it out loud. You’re a team, and you want to communicate effectively, so if you can improve efficiency… Just do it. Yeah, it can be hard, so you may think that small improvements are not that critical to start a conversation trying to prove your point of view. But always remember that great results are coming from small steps.


Of course, I haven't covered everything, but the points above cover at least of 80% (80/20 rule) of Slack communications problems. And you can resolve them without much effort. It can be hard to spot communication issues when the team is small, but they will be more obvious to enterprises. And simple advice is to keep an eye on your communication when your organization is growing.

Hope you found something useful here, and I’ll be happy to see what’s works for you, and your team, in the comments.