As a 100% distributed company with remote work employees across the US (and one in Canada!), WebDevStudios (WDS) relies on Slack as our main internal communication tool. So when Slack goes down, as it did yesterday, our team is directly affected, but the reactions are pretty comical.
When you’re working remote and @SlackHQ has been down all morning. pic.twitter.com/yxJCZcyZ1w
— Chris Wieber (@cwieber1) June 27, 2018
What is a remote team to do? How can we continue to work on client projects, manage proposals, write blog posts, and just be successful when our main resource for communication suddenly comes to a halt? Well, we scramble, check in on one another, and find other ways to connect. When Slack goes down, and it will again at some point, here are some methods we use at WDS to keep delivering quality service and building amazing websites.
Our WDS team enjoys keeping in touch after hours and on the weekends. We use GroupMe for that. Mainly, we send each other photos from Taco Tuesdays, videos of our families enjoying a day at the park, or an update about a movie we just watched and enjoyed. But when Slack goes down, it’s where we come together to panic and regroup.
Since participation in GroupMe is not mandatory and not everyone on our team uses it, we send text messages to those that don’t and verify that, yes, it’s all of us who can’t access Slack, not just them. We’re all in this together.
Whatever happened to good ol’ fashioned email? It’s still a viable form of communication, especially if your company is using Gmail. You can still share Google Docs and Sheets and keep projects moving along.
If you’re not familiar with Basecamp and you work on a team that tackles multiple tasks, you should get to know this project management solution. Not only does it keep things organized, but it also allows for communication threads per project or task. Very often, when WDS teammates need to update one another on specific assignments, they do so via Basecamp rather than on Slack. It just keeps project communications neater and tidier.
Hey, we like each other. We, really, really like each other—so much so, in fact, that a lot of us are Facebook friends, follow each other on Instagram, or tweet at each other on Twitter. So when Slack goes down and someone is non-responsive on GroupMe and an email reply just seems like it may take too long to receive, we can digitally tap one another on the shoulder via social media messages.
It’s a great big tech world out there, but that doesn’t limit your options for communications. Oh sure, it can be hard to turn to an alternative form of speech. We, ourselves, were left feeling a little…
That feeling when #Slack goes down and our #team has to find other ways to communicate. pic.twitter.com/G9b3HG4VIl
— WebDevStudios (@webdevstudios) June 27, 2018
But at WDS, we are determined to remain successful when Slack goes down. We hope you are, too. If you’re interested in joining our workday adventures, we’re hiring! Click to see our Careers page.
2 thoughts on “How a Remote Work Company Can Still Be Successful When Slack Goes Down”
All great methods to fall back on! Anyone jump back into the realm of IRC for communication when slack is down?
Thanks for asking, Jeff. Great question. I checked with our team and while some groaned about IRC, there were a few team members who did use it during Slack’s outage. They said they didn’t use it for any vital communications, but did enjoy using it just to feel connected with other teammates.