If there’s one thing a remote team needs in order to function well, thats’s coffee. You were expecting me to say communication, right? Well, that’s the third thing. The second thing is mechanical keyboards. (have you tried those things? They are flipping amazing.)
Joke aside, effective communication is something that all teams should strive for. Our CEO constantly reminds us to over communicate.
Surprisingly maybe, we have quite a few introverts on our team. Myself included-ish. Sometimes the chat can get pretty quiet but it doesn’t stay like that for long. We also use Slack quite a lot, too. Among the tons of integrations that we have in Teamweek’s Slack account (including an integration with Teamweek, wuuuuuuuut), some really make it easier to connect and communicate as a remote team.
The following 6 Slack integrations will also help your team start a conversation, make it funnier and bring a bit of humanity to Slack. (We only use the first two, but I’m sure that will chance after my colleagues read this article 😉 )
Donut introduces people who don’t know each other very well and encourages them to meet for coffee, lunch, or donuts. Simply create a dedicated channel for Donuts like #sf-lunch-buddies, #remote-coffee-connection, or #donut-buddy and Donut will pair its members via direct message every 1 to 4 weeks.
Since your team is remote, Donut can help you start a conversation with someone who you haven’t talked to in a long time.
HeyTaco is the closest you will ever get to buying a beer for your remote colleague when they help you with something. The system is pretty straightforward. When your colleague accomplishes something or does something nice for you, you can reward that by sending him/her tacos. (@colleague :taco:)
You can send up to 5 tacos per day so use them wisely! Also, team leads or HR can setup a few prizes that you can redeem with your tacos. For example, you can get a free day in exchange for 100 tacos. Or, you can get a real taco on your company’s expense for a virtual taco. #goals
Here’s a screenshot of the Teamweek taco ranking. As we’ve recently launched a new billing system, Arthur – our colleague who worked on it – got the most tacos this month.
Recent discovery, but I am super excited about this tool. I’ve always used Jing software for screenshots and it worked really well for the most part. However, I was a bit disappointed with how long it can take for screenshots to upload and this is a really cool alternative. And I will always get tools that encourage my laziness. If you don’t like having to upload screenshots yourself to Slack, this is worth every penny.
GIF’sor JIF’s. (We don’t care how you say it, but we will secretly judge you if you say it incorrectly.) You can now send these pieces of repetitive awesomeness straight from Slack. All you need to do is to install the extension and type “/giphy [TEXT]” in a chat group or in a direct message. This will give you an array of GIF’s to choose from.
Are you running a kindergarten and you’ve set up a Slack chat for the kids? Don’t worry, you can now choose the maximum rating of the GIFs that will be retrieved from Giphy.
Sometimes, your team needs a little bit of humbleness. Humblebot gives you wise advice every morning on how to be a better human being. Examples include, “Send someone a thank you note today” and “Ask someone for their opinion today”. Humblebot is created by the same person who created HeyTaco, so feel free to show him some love on Twitter.
This integration is for those moments when you just want to take a break from everyone and see what’s going on online. Digg Bot delivers the most interesting and talked about stories on the Internet right now.
Here are a few commands that you can use with Digg.
/digg – Gives you a cool, fresh link /
/digg fun – Gives you something… fun
/digg (keyword) – Search content by keyword /
/digg (domain) – See top trending stories for a domain. e.g. /digg nytimes.com
/digg trending – A list of stories trending on the Internets
So, which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments bellow.
Also, do you have a cool Slack extension idea? We might just make it happen in one of our Go-Loco weeks (more on that later)
It’s so much easier to plan & estimate with a small team when I can see everyone & all projects at once.