For me, finding innovative ways to boost office productivity is always top of mind. How can we do more, in less time, with a more concentrated effort and better results?
Enter: Slack, an efficient, next-level instant messaging platform. In the year since my agency started using Slack, it’s revolutionized our office dynamic in four key ways:
Cutting back on emails. When it comes to multiperson discussions, email is a headache waiting to happen. Slack allows for focused, filtered team conversation. I created 16 separate channels in our Slack account. Whether it’s Personal Lines, Life Insurance or something else, only relevant employees are members of each channel.
Streamlining processes. Perhaps our favorite Slack integration is channel-specific email addresses. Our website is currently set up to email incoming leads to the appropriate Slack channel, which speeds up response time. Forwarding leads to a Slack channel also means we can easily search through previous leads when necessary. We integrate a handful of other Slack apps for maximum efficiency.
Connecting to remote employees. Although five of our employees are in the office Monday–Friday, three producers are in and out during the week. The Slack mobile app keeps us all in constant contact. If one of us is out meeting with clients or carrier reps, we still have instant—and filtered—access to the rest of the team.
Improving accountability. The structure of our custom Slack channels holds every employee to a higher level of accountability. “Must have missed that email” is no longer an option. Since Slack allows users to set their status, such as “in a meeting,” other channel members know when they shouldn’t expect an immediate reply. I also assign an owner to each channel, who has the added responsibility of keeping everyone focused on the project or task at hand.
Bonus: Slack is user-friendly. It was easy for our staff to pick up, regardless of age or tech savviness.
Trace Meek is the third-generation owner and president of Condon-Meek Insurance.
Time For Lunch?
Don’t think ordering lunch can be a major time vacuum? This mundane task can take 30–45 minutes between choosing a restaurant, looking up the menu and waiting for everyone to make a selection—all via the dreaded group email.
Our Lunch Room Slack channel saves time and expedites lunch orders. We have nine saved menus on file, and we’ve assigned one designated person to call and place the order. The last time we ordered lunch in the office, the whole process took 10 minutes. —T.M.