To start, Loop Team and Slack are different tools with different use cases but work well together. Many of our customers use both Loop Team and Slack cohesively as part of their daily workflow, so much so that we have tightly integrated with Slack.
Loop Team is meant to bring the best parts of your physical office into an online setting. Unlike Slack, Loop Team enables a sense of real presence to help your team feel more connected and be more aware of office happenings virtually, making communication and collaboration more easy, timely and inviting.
Let's look at some common reported challenges of remote work and compare Loop Team to Slack:
1.) Not enough communication & collaboration in the team
• Loop Team encourages synchronous communication by providing the fastest way to have an audio or video discussion with a teammate — just tap a teammate (or use the Instant Drop-In akin to Mac Spotlight search) to connect with a teammate in just 1 second.
Hover over teammate and click to audio or video call:
Or, hit (Command + Shift +D) to access the keyboard free QuickDrop:
• Automatic Activity Status enables real presence giving you context as to when might be good time to connect. Knowing when your colleague is working on Slides or is in Deep Focus provides context and encourages more conversation.
• Real-time discussion summaries across your team also invite conversation — it’s the equivalent of real-world background conversations that many of us are sorely missing from the office.
• Post-discussion history presented into a feed provides context and encourages more collaboration especially for your team spread across time zones.
• Slack does not naturally encourage more synchronous discussion; it is focused on text chat but it is also neither inviting nor optimized for fast, synchronous, 1-click audio/video discussions.
• Slack also lacks real availability or presence (a green dot simply shows that a user has been online in the last 30 minutes). More communication and collaboration happens when teammates know the availability of their colleagues corroborated by recent research from Harvard Business Review.
• Slack does not provide insight into the conversations happening across your team, meaning it is less inviting for others to join conversations. Unlike in an office where my colleagues may be discussing baking, in Slack, I would never know.
2.) Team members are continuing to feel lonely
• Seeing team activity, active discussions and more, brings liveliness into the work day. Real presence makes you feel that you are online and connected with your teammates across time zones. To support this, Loop Team has integrated over 200 business applications to bring a greater sense of presence and awareness to office happenings including what’s about to happen, what’s happening and what’s happened.
• Does not provide a sense of individual activity — the status doesn’t reflect if someone is really online and thus why recent surveys continue to show so many team members that use Slack still feeling lonely.
• Similarly, Slack also does not provide any sense of team activity like who is talking to who, making the workday feel more stagnant and boring.
3.) Not enough casual interactions across the team
• Seeing real-time summaries of live virtual office banter encourages others to participate.
• Knowing more daily context about teammates (e.g. local weather and holidays) helps build trust, empathy, and creates more ice breakers for casual conversations while remote.
Although many teams have done a great job creating Slack channels for posting memes and having watercooler type chat, Slack does not attempt nor try to encourage casual communication in a more synchronous way. Research has shown that micro-interactions (synchronous conversations) are a healthy component of remote work culture that can make teams feel more connected.