Like many platforms dedicated to a specific function—though it allows for file-sharing and other functions, Slack is, at its heart, an instant messaging service. This doesn’t mean it’s not a great tool for your team. But when you integrate it with other tools and platforms your team is already using, you can tap into even greater benefits and ease of use.
Installing RingCentral’s Slack integration is one great example of an easy way to boost collaboration on Slack. The integration is easy to set up and allows you to make RingCentral audio calls or launch video conferences directly from the Slack app. How does this boost collaboration? Here are three key ways.
1. Save time
For the average worker, a typical workday requires using numerous different online tools, including Slack. But toggling between these vital apps comes at a time cost: 69% of workers say they spend an hour each workday—or 32 full days a year—switching between apps.
Research shows that the consequences of changing tasks can drag on longer than you might expect. Each time you get distracted, or change your focus such as by switching from app to app, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for most people to get back on track, according to a study by the University of California, Irvine. Distractions are also frustrating and can make you feel even more overwhelmed during busy times.
The best way to avoid that lost time is to reduce multitasking when possible. This doesn’t mean avoiding tasks or conversations that require you to switch apps—it means finding ways to do even more with the apps you’re using. Integrating RingCentral with Slack resolves one of the key limitations business software reviewers frequently cite with Slack, which is that the instant messaging tool is great for quick communications but not deeper discussions and brainstorms. But RingCentral with Slack allows team conversations to evolve as needed—without the drag of switching apps or scheduling a meeting for another time.
2. Improve collaboration and productivity
Text communication can be tricky, as anyone who needs to work remotely with team members will likely attest. Nuance can get lost and confusion that could be cleared up in a minute or two of speaking can drag on, creating miscommunications and irritation among colleagues. In those cases, jumping on a call or video chat is often a good idea.
The problem, per the research cited above, is that the distraction and lost time of switching to an appropriate app can kill the momentum of a conversation. Switching the conversation to a new place can also reduce your access to helpful context and information that is crucial to driving the objective of your call. But using RingCentral for Slack allows you to sidestep these challenges altogether so you can have the conversation you need without added friction. Simply start a call directly from Slack and keep the collaboration moving.
3. Never lose context
Switching between different apps doesn’t only result in lost time—it can also kill context. For example, if you’re having a Slack chat about budget numbers and switch to a video conferencing program to have a face-to-face discussion, you’ll still need to revert back to Slack during your conversation to refer to those details. The problem is it’s just too easy to lose track of what was said where, and if you can’t readily reference information during your conversation, it may not be as fruitful, or may require a follow-up call. RingCentral for Slack helps keep your conversations organized because it continues your chat in the same context where it started.
A complete collaboration kit
There’s nothing better than finding a communication tool your whole team enjoys and is comfortable using. For employees at many companies, one of those tools is Slack—especially as remote work continues to be a norm. But Slack has some inherent limitations, especially when deeper conversations and collaborations are required. Instead of layering on more tools, you can boost teamwork by finding ways to enhance Slack’s existing capabilities. Installing RingCentral for Slack is one easy way to transform the popular chat app into a complete collaboration kit.
Central to this is the RingCentral app, our unified communications solution that combines team messaging, video conferencing, and cloud phone into a single platform. Employees can easily switch between messaging and video or phone with just a click, making communication and collaboration seamless at every level.
Want to know more about cloud integrations? Check out our post, “What Exactly Are Cloud-Based Integrations?”
Originally published Jul 29, 2020, updated Nov 18, 2020