In case you thought 2021 would be easy, the first workday of the new year has already brought major problems to many remote workers.
On Monday morning, Slack, the much-used business communication software platform, mysteriously went down around the world. Some customers have since been able to reconnect to the internet, as of press time, but many users still have trouble signing back on.
In the meantime, if you use Slack to work with your team throughout the day, don’t just go dark. Here are several suitable alternatives to use while you wait for Slack to come back.
Microsoft Teams : As a direct competitor to Slack, Teams integrates Microsoft Office 365 with a Slack-like group chat and other productivity features, like the ability to easily send files to colleagues in your organization. The user experience isn’t quite as seamless as Slack’s, but it’s the most robust alternative in the bunch.
Google Chat : If you’re used to the look and feel of Google’s online tools and if you used to spend your workdays on Gchat or Hangouts you’ll be plenty comfortable with Google Chat, which helps you securely share messages, files, and tasks with your co-workers.
WhatsApp : You’re probably used to the mobile version of this incredibly popular messaging app, but the desktop version is a good temporary Slack swap, too, WhatsApp uses end-to-end encrypted technology and internet protocols for transferring messages rather than mobile internet connection, which makes it a safe, secure channel for general communications and a great way to transfer sensitive information.
Zoom : We know – the last thing you need is another Zoom meeting. But in a pinch, the video conferencing tool does have perfectly adequate chat functionality. Turn off your webcam and simply use the service as an old-school messaging platform.
Depending on your workplace, you may already have an existing account with one of these services. If that’s the case, you should prioritize migrating your group to that service, since your employer has given it the seal of approval. Otherwise, you can email, text, or call your coworkers to discuss which service you should all sign up for and use.
We’ll call this your first collaborative project of 2021.