Though sometimes it can be challenging, making the modern workplace a healthier, happier place gets easier by the day. Yes, you can wear leggings to work, ask for a mental health day, and maintain an awesome work-life balance. Plus, now there’s Slack, the workplace version of AIM (RIP), on which you undoubtedly spent your teenage years chatting away while you were supposed to be finishing your biology homework.
The platform has become a workplace staple thanks to the way it’s streamlined office conversations and helped curb unnecessary meetings. But since the technology is relatively new, people are still figuring out what exactly constitutes healthy workplace Slack behavior. So, Fast Company spoke to CEOs and other executives at a number of Slack-endorsing companies for tips on office-appropriate chatting.
Keep reading for 3 ways to have better Slack relationships—and seriously good coworker vibes.
1. Don’t abuse the “enter” key
Is there anything more frustrating than someone texting you a single sentence or thought broken into a million individual messages? Although Slack makes interactions with your coworkers feel super casual, it’s important to think, process, and then type your thought into one succinct message rather than a barrage of a dozen two-word responses.
2. Be aware of your (channel) surroundings
We’ve all felt that excruciating heart-pounding anxiety that immediately follows sending a text to the wrong person. With your friends, you can explain that you’re actually confirming brunch plans with someone else, but the same is not true for your coworkers.
Trave Harmon, CEO of technology and IT support firm Triton Technologies, told Fast Company that when people don’t pay attention to the channel they’re in, “They respond with inappropriate information.” (Hello, #urgent-issues vs. #funny-memes.)
So, before sending or responding to a message—examine your digital surroundings. Is this a private DM or an office-wide channel? Is the information you’re relaying pertinent to 30 people or just one?
3. Remember that Slack is a professional platform
A general rule of thumb, according to Josh Braaten, cofounder and CEO of Brandish Insights: “Ask yourself what annoys you on Slack, and then look through some of your chats to see if you’ve done those things.”
And although you may want to spend all day chatting with your #workwife, Andy Abramson, CEO of Comunicano, Inc., says having “back-channel conversations” (private DMs) during meetings is distracting and obvious.
All the more reason to save your extracurricular comments for some low-sugar happy-hour drinks after work hours.