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How We Use Slack to Build a Strong Remote Team Culture

Madeeha Khan
Author Madeeha Khan
Screen Shot 2022-10-05 at 10
Author Whitney Filloon
Published On Sep 29, 2023

From Brooklyn to Mumbai and so many cities in between, working at Heady means being part of a global team. Our New York and India offices are separated by nearly 8,000 miles and a nine-and-a-half hour time difference, and while we may be worlds apart, we pride ourselves on being a close-knit and collaborative team. Our collective knowledge and diverse perspectives are part of what makes us great, but fostering a unified, strong culture when we’re scattered across the world also poses a unique set of challenges.

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When we can’t all be together in the same room, how do we foster a sense of belonging? How do we facilitate strong teamwork between people who have never met face-to-face? And how do we ensure employees who live thousands of miles away from the Heady offices feel they’re part of a supportive community? Unsurprisingly, it largely comes down to communication.

In a world where remote and hybrid work models are increasingly becoming the norm, digital communication tools play an essential role in maintaining a strong, integrated culture. That's why we've fully embraced Slack as an invaluable tool in fostering a robust global culture at Heady. It's a solution that aligns perfectly with our underlying mission to constantly search out ways to help our team members do their best work and live their best lives.

With many organizations still finding their post-pandemic footing as a remote or hybrid workplace, and others transitioning into global teams through mergers and acquisitions or good old-fashioned growth, we thought it might be helpful to share how we use Slack to maintain a strong sense of culture within our close-knit but far-flung team. Of course, these solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all: This is what we’ve found works for us after a lot of trial-and-error over the last several years, and every team’s needs are different.

But First, a Note on Culture

It’s no secret that a strong culture is a huge asset for any organization: According to Jobvite, 81% of workers feel company culture is somewhat or very important in deciding whether to apply for a particular job. Meanwhile, a Deloitte survey shows that 94 percent of executives and 88 percent of employees believe that a distinct workplace culture is important for business success. Statistics aside, we’re passionate about making Heady a place that people want to be and it’s something we’ve prioritized since day one. (And we’ve got the stats to back it up: 97 percent of our employees agree that Heady is a great place to work!)

From Brooklyn to Mumbai and so many cities in between, working at Heady means being part of a global team. Our New York and India offices are separated by nearly 8,000 miles and a nine-and-a-half hour time difference, and while we may be worlds apart, we pride ourselves on being a close-knit and collaborative team. Our collective knowledge and diverse perspectives are part of what makes us great, but fostering a unified, strong culture when we’re scattered across the world also poses a unique set of challenges.

Imagery 01@2x

When we can’t all be together in the same room, how do we foster a sense of belonging? How do we facilitate strong teamwork between people who have never met face-to-face? And how do we ensure employees who live thousands of miles away from the Heady offices feel they’re part of a supportive community? Unsurprisingly, it largely comes down to communication.

In a world where remote and hybrid work models are increasingly becoming the norm, digital communication tools play an essential role in maintaining a strong, integrated culture. That's why we've fully embraced Slack as an invaluable tool in fostering a robust global culture at Heady. It's a solution that aligns perfectly with our underlying mission to constantly search out ways to help our team members do their best work and live their best lives.

With many organizations still finding their post-pandemic footing as a remote or hybrid workplace, and others transitioning into global teams through mergers and acquisitions or good old-fashioned growth, we thought it might be helpful to share how we use Slack to maintain a strong sense of culture within our close-knit but far-flung team. Of course, these solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all: This is what we’ve found works for us after a lot of trial-and-error over the last several years, and every team’s needs are different.

We believe culture isn’t something we can set out to intentionally build, but rather, it’s the result of the actions we take every single day. It’s crucial to have strong core values and operating principles to serve as your north star, and the truth is good communication or fun Slack channels simply aren’t a substitute for things like integrity and equality.

At Heady, the happiness and well-being of our employees is always top of mind. We recognize that we’re not robots building mobile apps and websites; rather, we're a team of dynamic and unique humans constantly seeking novel    ways to bring out the best in each other, both professionally and personally. Work-life balance isn't just   a buzzword for us — it's a core ethos we live and breathe daily, and Slack is simply one of the tools in our toolbox that allows us to do that.

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Building Strong Connections

On our quest to build solid relationships, we've turned our Slack channels into a bustling digital forum of information and ideas.

From Brooklyn to Mumbai and so many cities in between, working at Heady means being part of a global team. Our New York and India offices are separated by nearly 8,000 miles and a nine-and-a-half hour time difference, and while we may be worlds apart, we pride ourselves on being a close-knit and collaborative team. Our collective knowledge and diverse perspectives are part of what makes us great, but fostering a unified, strong culture when we’re scattered across the world also poses a unique set of challenges.

Imagery 01@2x

When we can’t all be together in the same room, how do we foster a sense of belonging? How do we facilitate strong teamwork between people who have never met face-to-face? And how do we ensure employees who live thousands of miles away from the Heady offices feel they’re part of a supportive community? Unsurprisingly, it largely comes down to communication.

In a world where remote and hybrid work models are increasingly becoming the norm, digital communication tools play an essential role in maintaining a strong, integrated culture. That's why we've fully embraced Slack as an invaluable tool in fostering a robust global culture at Heady. It's a solution that aligns perfectly with our underlying mission to constantly search out ways to help our team members do their best work and live their best lives.

With many organizations still finding their post-pandemic footing as a remote or hybrid workplace, and others transitioning into global teams through mergers and acquisitions or good old-fashioned growth, we thought it might be helpful to share how we use Slack to maintain a strong sense of culture within our close-knit but far-flung team. Of course, these solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all: This is what we’ve found works for us after a lot of trial-and-error over the last several years, and every team’s needs are different.

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We have spaces where we show off our pets, share our outdoor adventures, and discuss the latest page-turners we’re reading and podcasts we’re listening to. The arguable star of the show? Our #watercoolertrivia channel, an epicenter of friendly banter where team members engage in a heated weekly trivia match to test their knowledge on everything from baseball stats to state birds (and countless random things inbetween).

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From exchanging intriguing articles and hilarious TikToks in #random and sharing pet photos in #be-pawsitive, to engaging in friendly banter in #watercooler-chat, Slack provides us numerous avenues to mingle and connect. The professional conversations blend effortlessly with the personal, creating an environment of open dialogue and mutual respect.

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We've also harnessed the power of Slack’s Donut plugin, a surprise matchmaker that randomly pairs two team members every three weeks for a virtual “coffee date.” It's our secret weapon for bridging departmental silos and fostering meaningful conversations that go beyond work-related topics.

 

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Promoting Transparency & Rapid Information Sharing

At Heady, transparency isn't just one of our core values, it's an essential thread in our cultural fabric. With Slack at our fingertips, we break down barriers and ensure that information flows as freely as the coffee in the breakroom. By creating an environment where everyone can seek, share, and access information in real-time, we foster an empowered workforce that thrives on clear communication.

Celebrating Milestones & Sharing Experiences

Every day at Heady is a celebration, from birthdays and wedding anniversaries to work anniversaries (or “Heady-versaries”, as we like to call them) and new hires. Our Slack channels come alive with well-wishes and virtual high fives, radiating positive vibes and providing moments for fun and connection between project work and meetings. We also take plenty of trips down memory lane, sharing snaps from past team getaways, celebrations, or that time when someone's cat crashed a team meeting. These moments, shared and LOLed about together, fuel our sense of community and make each day a little brighter.

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Maintaining Clear & Organized Communication

In the bustling digital hub that is our Slack workspace, chaos could easily reign supreme, so it’s crucial that we keep things tidy and organized. We've got dozens of designated channels for different clients, projects, teams, and topics to keep our digital house in order and ensure that every conversation finds its audience.

From Brooklyn to Mumbai and so many cities in between, working at Heady means being part of a global team. Our New York and India offices are separated by nearly 8,000 miles and a nine-and-a-half hour time difference, and while we may be worlds apart, we pride ourselves on being a close-knit and collaborative team. Our collective knowledge and diverse perspectives are part of what makes us great, but fostering a unified, strong culture when we’re scattered across the world also poses a unique set of challenges.

Imagery 01@2x

When we can’t all be together in the same room, how do we foster a sense of belonging? How do we facilitate strong teamwork between people who have never met face-to-face? And how do we ensure employees who live thousands of miles away from the Heady offices feel they’re part of a supportive community? Unsurprisingly, it largely comes down to communication.

In a world where remote and hybrid work models are increasingly becoming the norm, digital communication tools play an essential role in maintaining a strong, integrated culture. That's why we've fully embraced Slack as an invaluable tool in fostering a robust global culture at Heady. It's a solution that aligns perfectly with our underlying mission to constantly search out ways to help our team members do their best work and live their best lives.

With many organizations still finding their post-pandemic footing as a remote or hybrid workplace, and others transitioning into global teams through mergers and acquisitions or good old-fashioned growth, we thought it might be helpful to share how we use Slack to maintain a strong sense of culture within our close-knit but far-flung team. Of course, these solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all: This is what we’ve found works for us after a lot of trial-and-error over the last several years, and every team’s needs are different.

Slack channels keep us organized, but they also foster a sense of community and allow for close-knit teamwork. Each department and team has a dedicated channel, providing a centralized place where the whole team can easily discuss important subjects and share updates and feedback.

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Dedicated channels for projects mean that team members can utilize Slack as their main form of communication and collaboration, foregoing messy and never-ending email threads. This also means that when new team members join Heady, they can easily catch up on the relevant details and communication for a particular project without having to sift through tons of forwarded emails.

Having a large number of channels that are carefully segmented by department, team, project, and/or interest ensures people get messaging that is relevant to them. Everyone may not want to be bombarded by photos of our team’s furry friends — so we keep them relegated to one channel, making it easy for people to opt in. By ensuring people only receive communication that’s pertinent to them, we prevent “Slack overload” and ensure engagement stays high.

Summing It Up

From Brooklyn to Mumbai and so many cities in between, working at Heady means being part of a global team. Our New York and India offices are separated by nearly 8,000 miles and a nine-and-a-half hour time difference, and while we may be worlds apart, we pride ourselves on being a close-knit and collaborative team. Our collective knowledge and diverse perspectives are part of what makes us great, but fostering a unified, strong culture when we’re scattered across the world also poses a unique set of challenges.

Imagery 01@2x

When we can’t all be together in the same room, how do we foster a sense of belonging? How do we facilitate strong teamwork between people who have never met face-to-face? And how do we ensure employees who live thousands of miles away from the Heady offices feel they’re part of a supportive community? Unsurprisingly, it largely comes down to communication.

In a world where remote and hybrid work models are increasingly becoming the norm, digital communication tools play an essential role in maintaining a strong, integrated culture. That's why we've fully embraced Slack as an invaluable tool in fostering a robust global culture at Heady. It's a solution that aligns perfectly with our underlying mission to constantly search out ways to help our team members do their best work and live their best lives.

With many organizations still finding their post-pandemic footing as a remote or hybrid workplace, and others transitioning into global teams through mergers and acquisitions or good old-fashioned growth, we thought it might be helpful to share how we use Slack to maintain a strong sense of culture within our close-knit but far-flung team. Of course, these solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all: This is what we’ve found works for us after a lot of trial-and-error over the last several years, and every team’s needs are different.

Slack isn't just another app for us at Heady. It’s a centralized digital conference room and campfire in one that allows us to gather together, regardless of geographical location, to share our thoughts, collaborate on projects, and simply enjoy each other's company. It’s not just an app where we share project updates and send custom Heady emojis (although we definitely do plenty of that) — it’s a tool that helps us weave a strong, unified global culture spanning multiple continents.

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All this being said, trivia and fun GIFs aren’t a replacement for face-to-face interaction and the bonds that are built in-person when we’re all together. We kept that in mind when deciding on our post-pandemic hybrid structure that brings us together in the office two days a week. It’s also why we regularly send team members overseas from Brooklyn to Mumbai for visits and vice versa, and invite our fully remote team members to visit the office throughout the year — facetime is undeniably irreplaceable.

But as a global team that can’t always be together in the same room (or even on the same continent), Slack gives us a robust platform on which to connect, collaborate, and celebrate. And while it's proven a powerful tool for us, we’re continuously exploring new avenues to enhance our team's experiences and promote an empowering work culture (for more on that, check out our recent blog on why we introduced sabbaticals at Heady!).

So, if you're a part of a global team, or aim to be one, we hope our take on leveraging Slack for a stronger team culture provides you with some insights you can put to good use. After all, the strength of any organization isn’t just about their output, but how they got there — and doing it all together, as a team, makes the journey all the more rewarding.

Want to Join Us at Heady?

Interested in being part of our close-knit global team? As a certified Great Place to Work®, we're always looking for outstanding talent to help us shape the future of digital innovation. Check out our open roles and join us in shaping the digital future.

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