Why this popular communication tool is hurting productivity

Last updated on: 
September 20, 2023
Created on: 
September 5, 2023
Rebecca Lowe, Founder of Joyflo
Image of communication tools Joyflo uses and doesn't use.

In today's fast-paced world, productivity is the golden standard that every business and employee strives to achieve.

Technology has played a pivotal role in transforming the way we work, with communication tools like Slack gaining immense popularity. However, beneath the surface of this seemingly indispensable tool lies a paradox: while Slack promises to enhance communication and collaboration, it can often hinder productivity in subtle yet significant ways and may be hurting your team more than you realize. Here are some significant productivity issues Slack is causing many teams around the globe:

  1. Constant Interruptions: One of the most apparent ways in which Slack can hinder productivity is through constant interruptions. The nature of instant messaging platforms encourages immediate responses to messages, leading employees to switch their attention away from their primary tasks whenever a new notification pops up. This continuous cycle of interruption disrupts the flow of work and can significantly decrease overall productivity.
  1. Information Overload: Slack channels can quickly become a breeding ground for information overload. The sheer volume of messages and notifications can make it challenging for employees to filter out what's important from what's not. As a result, crucial messages may get buried, leading to missed deadlines and miscommunication.
  1. Reduced Focus: Slack's real-time nature often encourages impromptu conversations that might not be work-related. This can lead to employees spending excessive time on trivial discussions and memes, diverting their attention away from essential tasks. The constant switching between work and social conversations can reduce the depth of focus required for productive work.
  1. Negative Impact on Deep Work: Deep work, as popularized by Cal Newport, refers to the ability to focus without distraction on cognitively demanding tasks. Slack's interruptions and the need to respond quickly hinder the ability to engage in deep work. When employees struggle to find uninterrupted time for concentrated work, it can lead to shallow work and reduced overall productivity.
  1. Inefficient Communication: While Slack is designed to facilitate communication, it can sometimes result in inefficient exchanges. Lengthy threads and multiple conversations happening simultaneously in a single channel can make it challenging to track important information. This can lead to misunderstandings and the need for additional clarification, consuming more time and resources.

At Joyflo, we've decided to outlaw Slack completely.

As a business that runs 100% async, we understand that effective communication tools are vital for productivity. Having worked remotely for 6+ years (that’s right - even before the concept was popularized by the pandemic!), we’ve tried and tested many tools throughout the years and know what to use for optimal outcomes. Below are the three main tools we use to ensure reliable collaboration and alignment with our clients/partners:

#1 Trello:

When you sign up for a Joyflo membership plan, you and your team will immediately get access to a personalized Trello board where we will manage all your projects.

What is Trello?
Trello is a versatile project management and collaboration tool designed to streamline workflows and boost productivity. Its core functionality centers around organizing tasks and projects on digital boards, where users can create cards representing individual tasks or items. Trello's visual and intuitive interface makes it easy to track progress, assign responsibilities, set due dates, and attach relevant files or information to each card. The benefits of Trello are substantial. It enhances productivity by providing clarity and transparency within teams, ensuring everyone is on the same page regarding project status and responsibilities. Its flexibility allows for agile task management, accommodating a wide range of project types and work methodologies. With Trello, users can reduce the clutter of emails and lengthy meetings, promoting efficient communication and enabling teams to focus on their core tasks. Overall, Trello is a valuable tool for improving organization, collaboration, and productivity in both professional and personal contexts.

#2 Loom:

Not only have we outlawed Slack but we've also outlawed (dare we say it) meetings - gasp! Why? Well, simply put, meetings are often ineffective and can cost a lot of wasted time and energy. For this reason, we've replaced Zoom calls with Loom videos.

What is Loom?
Loom allows users to effortlessly create and share video messages, screen recordings, and presentations, streamlining communication and boosting productivity. Loom's benefits are multifaceted. Firstly, it facilitates faster and more effective information exchange by conveying complex ideas and instructions visually, reducing misunderstandings. Secondly, it enables asynchronous communication, freeing users from the constraints of live meetings and giving them the flexibility to consume content on their own time. This enhances time management and reduces the need for back-and-forth emails or meetings. Additionally, Loom promotes better engagement and understanding by adding a personal touch to remote interactions, fostering a sense of connection among team members or clients. Overall, Loom is a productivity game-changer, enabling more efficient, flexible, and engaging communication in both professional and educational settings.

#3 Figma:

Last but, certainly, not least, is our GOAT, our number one, our chief of design and collaboration tools' - Figma!

What is Figma?
Figma is a groundbreaking design and prototyping tool that revolutionizes the way teams create, collaborate on, and iterate designs. It operates entirely in the cloud, enabling real-time collaboration between designers and stakeholders from anywhere in the world. Figma simplifies the design process by providing a unified platform for creating user interfaces, prototypes, and design systems. Its benefits are profound; it enhances productivity by eliminating the need for designers to sync files, reduces version control issues, and allows for simultaneous edits, fostering seamless teamwork. There is also a commenting feature in Figma that allows team members and stakeholders to leave feedback on the visual canvas to ensure detailed communication and iterations.

In summary

While Slack's constant interruptions and information overload can hinder productivity, alternatives like Trello, Loom, and Figma offer streamlined, task-focused solutions. Trello excels in project management, Loom enhances communication through video, and Figma optimizes design collaboration. These specialized tools provide a more efficient and productive approach to communication and collaboration, addressing specific needs without the distractions often associated with platforms like Slack.

What do you think? We'd love to hear your thoughts about Slack, as well as other communication tools, such as, Trello, Loom, and Figma. Reach out to us at hello@joyflo.co.

Curious in learning more about our unlimited design and Webflow development plans?

Book a call with us today.

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