The world of work is now distributed. Every team has employees in different timezones with varying schedules, which makes it difficult to know the boundaries around communication. Slack status updates are a powerful method to building a strong remote team culture.
Limiting your team to just two work states - available or not - doesn’t explore the full potential of Slack. Fully utilizing statuses has a few benefits:
- It creates more visibility within a team
- It keep people better connected
- It helps people focus without feeling guilty
Without a status, people often are unsure of when to send a message, if they’re interrupting something important, or why someone isn’t replying. Productive remote teams like Zapier use statuses extensively, and many more remote teams are adopting specific Slack status policies.
How to set your status manually
To set your status you need to first open Slack, click on your name, and click "Update your status"
Use one of the defaults (in a meeting, out sick, vacationing, working remotely), or set your own based on your current work state.
Be creative! You can set a status based on the current work you're doing (such as writing), or more general (focusing). Often Slack teams have suggested stats updates, which are set by your workplace admin.
The emoji next to your name will be seen by everyone (in the direct message sidebar), and if a colleague hovers over your status they can view additional metadata.
Slack statuses are valuable, but setting manual statuses can be a hassle.
No one wants another thing to do when they’re prepping for a meeting or a sales call. Here are the best ways to automate your status.
How to set your Slack status with your calendar
Gcal's Slack integration sends you notifications for calendar events, and can automatically update your status when you’re in a meeting. Check it out on the Slack marketplace.
Syncs with your calendar to update your status just like Google Calendar, but also, manages your “do not disturb.” Oliv.ai is free, and you can try it out at this link.
Holopod Smart Calendar
Holopod Smart Calendar takes automating your status a few steps further. It works with both Google Calendar and Outlook calendar, and allows you to automatically update your status when you're in a meeting. It can also turn on Slack's Do Not Disturb. While other apps can do that, Smart Calendar takes it a few steps further. It allows you to program your calendar to trigger a custom status.
For example, if your calendar event has "lunch" in the title - an out for lunch status will appear in Slack. It can trigger any custom status you want, and teams are using it for statuses like collaboration time, coffee break, picking up the kids, and coffee break.
Other ways to automatically update your Slack status
Besides calendar integrations, there are a few ways you can now automatically update your Slack status.
Zapier was the first tool to enable automatic Slack status updates through clever zaps. With Zapier, you can still do some really cool things such as:
- Set your “working hours” status based on the time of day
- Set your status with 1-click on their chrome extension
- Set a status with a tweet or SMS
Learn more here.
Along with the Smart Calendar feature, Holopod is the most flexible tool for updating your status.
It automatically detects your state of work (eg. on a call or doing focused work) based on the tools you’re using, and updates your status accordingly. You can also manually set a status through the dropdown.
Holopod helps teams stay focused on important work, but also helps people have more productive conversations by finding the best times to chat.
Try Holopod free here.
Why should you update your Slack status?
With all the tools out there, there's no excuse not to create more visibility within your remote team. Automatic Slack status updates are an easy way to help your team feel more connected and get better work done.
Slack statuses give you the opportunity to know who's online, who's busy, and when the best time to connect is. It helps create a feeling of community and energy - even when working remotely.
Looking for more info? Check out our complete guide to automating your Slack status to learn more.