SaaS bloat is a common problem businesses face today. The usage of unnecessary applications especially for communication makes you prone to lose important information and miss urgent messages. In absence of a centralized communication channel, information can easily become fragmented and disorganized. Resolving this issue, Slack streamlines your communication and is great for remote team management as well as physical office spaces.
In this article, we will explore how Hubstaff Slack and Remoty boost productivity by saving you from the hassle of context switching. So let’s get started!
Slack is a cloud-based chat program that helps people in workspaces communicate internally and sometimes externally with stakeholders. As of October 2019, Slack had a sum total of 12 million subscribers, and demand for the application has been on the rise since Covid.
With its 1,500+ tools sync capacity, Slack shows up to 10,000 recent messages, provides and 5GB of file storage. A survey shows that Slack users reported a 48.6% reduction in email usage, 80% of users experienced improved transparency and office culture, and overall their productivity increased by 32.4%. These stats qualify Slack as a very handy tool to use as an internal knowledge base.
Slack apps are available for Windows, Apple Mac, and Android mobile devices in addition to Slack website accessibility through the web browser.
Slack for Whom?
Slack is for people who want:
- Organization; notes/document management
- Want to simplify workflows, searches, and other monitoring features
- Visibility and transparency in work
- Enhanced collaboration
- Improved decision-making processes.
Slack Left Sidebar
The sidebar has a menu with options to choose from.
Channels are mutual group chat rooms for members of a workspace. Users can communicate with the entire team or certain team members through various channels. Channels can be dedicated to specific teams, projects, and discussion topics. You can create different channels for each segment of the business, such as #accounting, #marketing, #sales, #operations, #general, etc. You can also create ‘no work’ or ‘side work’ channels, like #food, #movies, or #random. You can even micro-niche channels; for instance in marketing, you can have #marketing-seo, #marketing-content, #marketing-growth, and more. Also, the good news is that there is no limit to the number of channels a workspace can have, even in Slack’s free version.
The direct messages section in the sidebar lets you select any name to send that person a private message or conduct a one-to-one meeting (huddle). Slack’s new interface allows a comprehensive overview of everyone in your company’s workspace. By clicking on “People” on the left-hand sidebar, you can search all Slack members in your workspace.
Tap your username or the drop-down arrow next to the Slack team name to access a settings menu. Here you can adjust your preferences about themes (colors, day/night mode), messages, and emoji style. You can also view your profile and account access, and browse the Help/Feedback page to get Slack inbuilt tools and integrations.
By default, channels with unread messages appear in bold in the sidebar. You can enable a red notification badge when someone mentions your name and get an alert via desktop, email, or mobile. When you initially sign in to Slack, default settings push every sort of notification. The bell icon lets you set notification preferences; snooze, ‘do not disturb’ schedule, etc. You can set limits for a few minutes, hours, or even as many as a few days. Doing this setting enables you to be part of many busy channels within Slack without being distracted by constant notifications. Slack offers to automate notifications as well; for example, you may want to disable notifications outside your regular work schedule.
Everything you’ve starred (channels, messages, threads) appears above the channels section and below your team name and username in the sidebar.
Slack top menubar
The top bar also has a menu with numerous options to choose from.
Chat room name
The left of the menubar always starts with the title of the room you’re in, whether that be a channel or direct inbox. Next to the name, you will see a drop-down menu from where you can access channel details, such as the purpose and current topic of the channel, any pinned items, a listing of all the members who have access to the channel, any shared files within the channel, and notification preferences.
To send a message in a channel or to a person, click within the text field at the bottom, add, attach or type your message and hit enter. While holding a conversation in a channel, you can type a person’s @username to leave them a note.
Uploading and Sharing Files
You can drag and drop the file (document, image, video, link, etc) to the Slack window, copy and paste images directly into the message box, or click the + button next to the message box and select ‘Upload a file along with a title and comment (optional).
Set Alerts and Reminders
You can use Slack for private reminders for yourself and for others on the team to remind them of important tasks, events, etc.
In Slack, both messages and attachments are searchable. Search modifiers help you narrow your results, and when you start typing in a search field, Slack will show you related channels, team members, and search history.
Mentions and Reactions
You can instantly start a Slack Huddle (only available for paid teams) in any of the channels or via direct message. You can share your screen with other participants in a huddle. Slack lets you see your latest @mentions, @channel messages, and any highlight words by clicking on Mentions & Reactions in the left sidebar of Slack. You can send and respond to any message on Slack with several types of reactions. Slack has its custom emojis in addition to Gipgy integration.
When you save an item (messages, files, snippets, posts, and comments), etc, it shows in the left sidebar.
Automations and Integrations
One of the qualities that makes Slack a successful collaboration tool is its range of automation and integrations. There’s also a dedicated Slack App Directory website to choose integrations. These allow you to share documents and files, manage and track projects, share important information with the right audience, and automate various workflows.
Slackbot is Slack’s built-in robot. Slackbot helps keep notes for you as well as manages private files sets tasks and reminders for yourself and teammates, adds custom automatic responses, etc. In addition to the native bot, you can also use bots like DiggBot, SpacetimeBot, PaperBot, etc.
It is automation used to streamline tasks, standardize and centralize how you collect requests from the team, report outages or glitches/bugs, in real-time, share welcome messages and relevant documents with new team members, etc.
Hubstaff Slack Integration
With Hubstaff Slack sync you can set one or more Slack channels to receive Hubstaff notifications or send updates in direct messages. Management and team leads can tailor settings and set up notifications for their teams, in addition, to customizing whose actions trigger a notification in Slack, and whose actions don’t require alerts. The default setting is on a per-user basis.
By default, Hubstaff doesn’t have access to private channels in Slack. To send notifications to private channels, you will require to invite the Hubstaff bot as a member of the specific channel. If you use Slack for your team messages, you can link it to Hubstaff so you get notified when your team starts and stops tracking time, as well as when they complete a to-do/task.
Setting up the Slack integration
- STEP 1: Navigate to ‘Integrations’ on the sidebar menu.
- STEP 2: Under the ‘Communication’ section, select Slack.
- STEP 3: Allow Hubstaff to access your Slack integration.
- STEP 4: Choose the Slack channels where you’d like the notifications to appear. (Only channels available to the user who authenticated the integration will be available on the channel list and the users on the Slack integration list must be added to the channel where notifications appear)
- STEP 5: Configure the timer settings for your team.
- STEP 6: Configure the Completed To-do/Task settings for your team.
- STEP 7: Once set, you’ll receive notifications for actions on Slack.
Hubstaff is an employee monitoring software that allows you to track activities during work hours. The app monitors which websites and applications your team is using, their screen activity, and how much time they spend on their work devices. It then gathers all this data and generates comprehensive reports for employees. Your team members can also do their work task or project-wise. The time logged helps anticipate and set benchmarks for the completion of projects. It can also create invoices using this information and allows you to bill your clients based on the hours spent.
These features help you understand your team’s habits and working trends during office hours.
Application and Website Monitoring
In an online survey from Pew Research Center in 2016, 67% of respondents said they regularly check social media when they’re checked in at work. As a result, the project team loses up to 13% of productive hours every day. Hubstaff app/website monitoring feature gets enabled when your team member starts recording their work time. The software also displays what percentage of recorded time people spend on applications or websites. You can view the specific URLs and websites your employees accessed during the day.
The employee monitoring tool allows you to take screenshots of your employee’s screen every 10 minutes. If they are concerned about their sensitive information being displayed, you can enable the screenshot blur option. The blur allows you to see whether the employee is active without revealing the contents of the page. Your employees can also view their own screenshots to understand what information is being shared.
Activity Levels Monitoring
Hubstaff monitors employee activity based on keystrokes and mouse movement. In the set span of 10 minutes, the software calculates the time a user was inactive (no keyboard or mouse movement)
Weekly Work Limit Monitoring
You can set the maximum number of hours that your employees can log for an entire week. This way you can keep a check that your employees don’t burn out working overtime. Hence it is a good tool to ensure work-life balance.
Learn to calculate employee hours worked here!
Employee Location Monitoring
Hubstaff’s iOS and Android apps have a GPS option that tracks your remote member’s location during work hours. It can estimate how much time your members spend commuting, doing personal stuff, or working from a specific location. Based on their location and activities, you can figure out the ideal time to communicate with them along with analyzing their productivity trends.
Project Status Monitoring
The team dashboard shows each team member’s working hours and summarizes the tasks and projects completed in the past 7 days. The dashboard lets you know team members’ availability and displays their activity levels.
Project Billing and Invoicing Features
Hubstaff’s billing and invoicing features help you automate your transactional activities relating to accounts, salaries, and finances so you could focus on real business processes.
The timesheet tool automatically logs the first activity (mouse movement or button press) and the last activity of the day. You can manually pause and resume from breaks and go through your team’s daily or weekly timesheets which can be linked to the automatic payroll system.
The tool calculates your consultants’ payouts based on the hours logged by the system. Your team gets paid based on the number of hours of work they spent on their project. For members who get a fixed salary, this feature is optional and can be disabled.
Hubstaff tracks the time taken to complete a project. Then it generates an invoice based on the hours spent on various tasks within the project. The software allows you to modify the invoice by adding bonuses, tax rates, and discounts. You can then send the invoice in formats (pdf, HTML, doc) to your clients. When you get the payment from your clients, the tool records the invoice as ‘paid’ or ‘partially paid’.
Customized Employee Settings
You might need to customize settings with the specific job responsibilities of designated team members. The features you can customize from these settings include screenshot frequency, weekly limits, inactivity timer, time activity, etc.
Client Access To Project Progress
Hubstaff lets you add clients to monitor the project activity using the ‘Members’ tab. You can view as many viewers or clients.
The lightweight desktop app allows you to manually start and stop tracking time for various projects. The app is available for Mac, PC, Linux, and Chromebook. You can track time from your browser using Hubstaff’s chrome extension.
Tracking tasks is quite complicated in Hubstaff. You don’t have the liberty to directly create a task in the desktop version. You will require to log in to the web version to create a task. You will be able to track that task only when it syncs with the desktop version.
Late. or Absent Report
If your employees are late or absent, you can not mark their attendance on the timesheet.
Unlike Remoty, Hubstaff doesn’t urge procrastinating employees to focus on their work through ‘are you still working’ pop-ups. The app’s algorithm only checks whether any keys are pressed to see if there is any activity. It then uses this information to formulate activity levels. It does not keep a record of any keystrokes. Morover, it is difficult to track distraction channels (websites, apps) manually in reports with Hubstaff.
Location tracking should only be activated after people consent. Otherwise, it may give rise to security and privacy concerns. Moreover, this feature is often only relevant to field teams. In-office or remote employees might get bothered and frustrated by unnecessary surveillance.
Remoty is another option for a smooth time tracking experience in Slack. Unlike, Hubstaff integration it is inbuilt within the Slack app.
Remoty-The Best Alternative For Employee Monitoring
Remoty is a state-of-the-art SAAS product for on-premise teams, distributed, hybrid, and remote teams. The app makes it easier for the team leads to monitor the workforce during work hours and saves them from the hassle of collecting individual timesheets. For, Remoty let people control their hours and reinforce employee empowerment by building a culture of responsibility and self-accountability among team members.
Onwards and Upwards with Remoty:
Remoty is a work management system for agile teams that manage attendance smartly, generates meaningful reports, and lets admins know their team members’ statuses with the help of a single command. Its versatility and suitability for a diverse range of use cases make it a must-have for remote teams and freelancers alike. Remoty offers:
- Shared workspace
- Convenience for Slack users, developers, HRs, and Clients
- Quick adoption for new teams
- A format with transparency and visibility
- Tasks Management from multiple channels or departments in one place
- Third-party integrations to optimize the entire workflow and minimize context switching
Integrate with your favorite tools and Get Edge with Remoty
Remoty’s sync capability with essential applications like Asana/ ClickUp / Jira /Trello helps you stay in Slack and aggregate information onto a single platform. In fact, it facilitates management in various roles.
Though Slack has some great apps, none of them offers a lightweight time tracking solution with a well-integrated team coordination system. Remoty boosts productivity by fostering a culture of visibility and transparency in the workforce. With Remoty, you are in charge of tracking the time of individual or group tasks. Each task’s elements include its priority, total time logged, progress, comments, and notifications. You can monitor time for each member’s tasks & analyze their workload capacity to avoid burnout.
With Remoty, teams diligently and voluntarily post their availability, efficiently manage tasks within limited time slots, readily get help on blockers from fellow teams, and create an atmosphere that nourishes connectivity, reliability, a sense of inclusion, and makes work a piece of cake.
Also Check Out: 11 Most Acclaimed Slack Attendance Tracking Applications in 2022
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Remoty is a Slack built-in solution that your agile teams love using. The watercooler topics, interest groups, and meetup 1-on-1s help foster a ‘team mind’. You can reach out to colleagues quickly and directly or request assistance in case of blockers. The Open Slack Channels let you collaborate on mutual projects while the Private Channels to share confidential information with selected team members.
Let us know what are your team’s favorite Slack Integrations in the comment section below.