Don't Get Enough Focus Time? Update Your Slack Status Often

When everyone on your team works remote, it's hard to spot if someone is available for a quick chat or some pairing session.

Pinging people on Slack, to know if they are free, results in a notification nightmare and an “always-on” culture. It destroys any focus time due to ongoing interruptions too.

Create Transparency By Using Status Updates

One feature you could leverage to mitigate this problem is “status updates”. By setting your status, you are creating immediately transparency for your co-workers. Be as verbose as possible to give context.

Some examples:

  • Fixing a bug. Focus Time for 2h.
  • Editing the next blog post.
  • Out for a walk. Back in about 30minutes.
  • Doing client demos, I will not be available all day.

In addition, when you are not available and don't want to be disturbed you could add “Busy — DND” or “Busy — ping” (when there is slight chance you are available) to your status.

Automate As Much as Possible

If you are using Google Calendar, the Slack App could do 80% for you by setting your slack status according to your appointments.

Or if you are using the pomodoro technique a bot like Focus Mode is a fantastic way to let you co-workers know when your next break is coming up, and you are available for a chat.

Keep in mind that chat is synchronous. Therefore, think twice if your request really requires this kind of communication.

Maybe you could start a forum thread instead?