Slack Communication Etiquette

With a remote by default approach these days, more communication will follow on Slack. It’s time for us to establish a Slack Communication Etiquette. Chat can be problematic. This manifesto should help us to communicate better over Slack.

We don't expect you to monitor Slack every minute. Please be aware that responses can be async.

Overall communication should take place in group channels so that everyone in your team has the same status/information. Be transparent. Be kind.

Fewer Notifications Means Fewer Disruptions

With people working across different studios, projects and times (colleagues who need to watch after people - for example parents after their kids) it is important to open Slack not to "238" unread messages. How to make fewer notifications? Sent fewer messages! How? Look below! One message - one notification For every message you send in Slack other people will get a notification. Instead of sending one message per line try to get everything you need into a single message. For example don’t start with sent only “hey” or “hello”, make it a first line of your message.

💡 Tip: To draft a message with multiple paragraphs, press ctrl+return or shift+return to create line breaks.

Use threads

Use threads whenever possible. If you answer a question or have a comment please do so in a thread. This way people can scan 10 threads and decide if they're interested. This saves everybody time.

💡 Tip: You can even subscribe/unsubscribe. Click the message "Follow thread".

Screenshot of follow thread

Mark your thread with emojis

In case your thread was a question and answered, mark it with the ":solved:" emoji (see screenshot below). There may be lots of discussions ongoing in a thread. Often not everybody being interested in the answer, needs to follow the discussions. When you found the answer to your question mark it as solved so that people know to find answers without reading everything.

Screenshot of solved emoji

Share the result of the thread (optional)

If you think a message or answer is valuable for the team, feel free to cross-post it back to the channel. Please be careful with that. You're in a discussion and have context around it. Ask yourself: Will people get it or do they have to go and read the whole thread? If it's out of context, try to sum up the problem and answer in a single thread message and cross-post this one instead.

Screenshot of sending anser to channe

Use of @here and @channel

Use aliases (@name) of your colleagues first, if you need to reach everyone be aware of the notification and the difference between @here, @channel and @everyone.

💎 Hint: If your Slack Team has renamed the general channel, mention it.

Use the right channel for your Message

Channels vary in size and we should think about the importance of a message. Are your questions regional, could they be solved in your project/ team channel or do all members of the Slack Workspace have to see it? Consider carefully how many people need your attention. For getting a better understanding if it’s the right channel, read the channel topic and description. Of course that means we should have a channel topic and description in every channel and maintain it. If there is no channel topic or description, talk to the channel team and decide which description would fit best and set it up.

Screenshot of where to change the channel topic

Try to stay transparent. Away From Keyboard for lunch? Done for the day? Let your project/ team mates know in your dedicated channel (see also Status).

What you could do yourself to reduce your notifications

Learn more about notifications

Be Kind - Use Emojis To Show Attention

Nothing is more frustrating than post a question to a channel with 100 people and not get a response. If you read a message but have no answer or nothing to say, please acknowledge that you've seen it.

Be Transparent - Set Status

Meetings, workshops, lunch, vacation, …. It's hard to tell when someone is available. Use your status to tell your colleagues how you can be approached. Keep your status up to date and respect your colleagues' status. For example:

Don’t forget to let your team(s) know when you start to work, leave for the end of your working day or you are Away From Keyboard.

💡 Tip: By mouse over, over the emoji of someone's status you can see the massage. Screenshot showing emoji hover

💡 Tip: You can schedule the time for the status so it’s automatically clear after Xh. Screenshot showing autmatical clear time for status

Add Apps, Integrations, Channels

Do you want to optimise your work or the communication in slack? You need a channel for your team, project, Skill Group? Nice!

💎 Hint: In a lot of companies not everyone has the permission to do so, get in contact with your "User help desk", they are happy to help.

Did You Know That? Tips & Tricks


Can be used to set a reminder for you own or a channel. Syntax: /remind [who][what][when]. Learn more about remind

Keywords Notifications

You can add keywords to your profile & preferences and anytime someone use one of your keywords in a channel you’ve joined you’ll receive a notification. Further information about keywords

Tidy up your feed

Type /collapse to hide all image previews in the current channel and /expand to bring them back.

Workflow builder

Do you know workflow builder? It's a fantastic new feature from Slack which can help you with:

Learn how to use the Workflow builder

More tips and tricks