Effective communication and collaboration is crucial for the success of any team or organization. With remote work becoming increasingly common, businesses are constantly seeking innovative ways to foster seamless collaboration and maintain strong team dynamics. Slack, the popular team communication tool, has introduced a new feature called “Slack Huddles” to enhance team interactions. Though you may initially believe that there isn’t a real difference when it comes between Slack Huddles, Slack Calls, or Slack Meetings, think again! In this blog post, we will explore how Slack Huddles is transforming traditional Slack Calls and revolutionizing the way teams communicate and collaborate.
What Are Slack Huddles?
Slack Huddle is a feature added to the Slack platform that allows users the ability to talk to each other in real-time. Instead of a long formal meeting that has to be scheduled and planned, a huddle offers a way to spontaneously talk with other team members when you need a stronger communication type than an email but don’t require a full meeting. Huddles are best used for businesses that want to simulate the experience of gathering around in an office or common area, enabling teams to have quick, ad-hoc conversations, brainstorming sessions, or casual catch-ups.
How Is Slack Huddle Different From Slack Calls Or Slack Meetings?
Slack Makes It Easier To Join Meetings
Slack Huddles eliminates the need for scheduling meetings or sending calendar invites. Team members can simply join a huddle with a single click, making it easy to initiate quick discussions or seek immediate input from colleagues. This feature is particularly valuable when teams are working in different time zones or when time is of the essence. Huddles foster live communication, allowing for faster decision-making and problem-solving.
Relaxed Environment = Great Ideas
The intensity of regular in-person or even remote meetings may make some team members shy away from expressing their best ideas and insights. In a Slack Huddle, you can have quick conversational discussions you may find yourself having with coworkers in the hallway and other informal areas. Instead of engaging in formal meetings where there is a set objective, the huddle’s impromptu meetings allow for team members to talk about whatever is on their mind respectively, leading to creating discussions and ideas among teams that can help improve whatever project they may be working on.
Team and Relationship Building
Some can argue that the most successful projects stem from teams who exhibit great communication, trust, and mutual respect for one another. That’s why when new team members who have never worked together before are assigned a project, their manager might have them work on their assignments within a Slack Huddle to encourage team bonding on both a formal and relaxed level. This is a great way to get new team members to quickly come to a consensus especially if they work remotely from each other and come from different backgrounds.
Q&A – How Does Slack Even Work?
Q.1 How To Set Up Slack Huddles + Cost
You can use Slack Huddle on both your desktop and as a download from the App Store or Google Play. To start a huddle on Slack, you can follow these steps:
- Open Slack on your desktop or mobile device.
- On your dashboard, navigate to the channel or message you want to join.
- Click the circle next to the headphones toggle in the bottom left corner of your sidebar.
- You may need to give Slack permission to turn on your microphone so make sure these permissions are enabled.
- To see a larger view of the huddle, click the new window icon.
- To configure video-based huddles, click the camera icon to turn your camera on.
To add more people to your huddle, click on the person icon that’s to the left of the headphone toggle. From here, you can search for the person you want to invite to join the huddle.
Q.2 How Can You Join a Huddle On Slack’s Mobile App?
Though joining Slack Huddles on a desktop is almost identical to the process of joining a huddle on Slack’s mobile app, there are some slight differences in the look of their interfaces. Let’s have a further look below:
- Open the Slack app
- On the main screen, select the channel you wish to join.
- To officially join and listen to the huddle, tap the ringed icon in the upper right corner.
- On the bottom of your screen, you can view the three main buttons in the huddle which are the “Mute”, “Invite”, and “Leave” functions.
- To invite someone to the huddle, click on the “Invite” button and search for their username in your provided search bar.
Q.3 How To Accept A Invite To A Slack Huddle
If you’re on the receiving end of a Slack Huddle invite, you will usually be sent an invitation through a popup at the lower left of your screen. Users have the option to decline the invitation by clicking “Not Now” or clicking on “Join” to listen in.
Q.4 How To Leave a Slack Huddle
Leaving a Slack Huddle is as easy as joining one. The only thing you need to do is click the headphone to turn off the toggle. The huddle is officially ended when the last person within the specific channel leaves the huddle.
The Main Features Of Slack Huddles
- Auto-Captions: There’s nothing worse than attending a meeting only to forget the most important topics of discussion after the event. That is why a great feature within Slack Huddles is the ability to enable auto-captions to automatically transcript any audio or speech conducted in a huddle session.
- Notes: In addition to auto-captions, users can take digital notes directly on the platform as well. These notes can then be automatically saved to the main Slack interface.
- Screen Sharing: Just like other remote conference platforms, Slack Huddles gives users the ability to share their screens with other team members. This feature is useful in situations where a user may need clarification on the information within a document or needs real-time troubleshooting help for technical issues. Users can also collaborate and edit presentations together using the screen-sharing option. Up to two people within a Slack Huddle can share their screen at a time.
- Custom Backgrounds: While in an impromptu video meeting, Huddle users can choose to create custom backgrounds in situations where they want privacy but still want to participate in video discussions.
How To Create A Link For a Slack Huddle
Though huddles are designed for informal meetings with no set invitations if a worker is unable to find their huddle or channel, a link for the huddle can be created and sent to the employee. All you have to do is click on the conversation name in the bottom left-hand corner of your sidebar with your chosen channel. Then click on “Copy Huddle Link”. You can now share your huddle with your intended recipient of the link.
Slack Huddles is a main add-on feature for the main Slack application. Slack Huddles come in Slack’s free plan but only allow conversations on a 1:1 basis (only two users are allowed in a huddle). Teams and enterprises would be better suited to buy the Pro ($7.25/month) and Busineess+ ($12.50/month) plans of Slack where the huddles feature is automatically included. Up to 50 users are allowed within the paid huddle plans.
What Are the Best Practices For Using Slack Huddles?
To make the most of Slack Huddles, here are a few best practices to consider:
a. Establish Guidelines
Business leaders should set clear guidelines on when to use Huddles versus scheduled meetings or calls. They should encourage team members to embrace the informality of Huddles while ensuring that important discussions that require documentation or broader team involvement are conducted in appropriate channels or meetings.
b. Respect Boundaries
While Huddles are meant to be spontaneous and informal, it’s essential to respect the availability and focus of your colleagues. When workers are faced with stressful projects and tight deadlines, it’s important to be mindful to decide when or even if it’s a good time to engage in a huddle meeting.
Ultimately, it’s best to avoid joining or initiating Huddles without other team members or management permission and when someone is busy or in the middle of deep work. Workers should consider using status updates or dedicated channels to indicate their availability for Huddles.
Is There Even a Need For Slack Huddles – Yes!
Whether there’s a minor issue that comes into the forefront of one’s work, or there’s a tiny update that needs to be announced for a product, many business leaders call upon using meetings as the main communication method of choice to get these issues resolved. In the US, it’s estimated that nearly 25 million meetings take place every day. But are these meetings always necessary and effective? The answer may surprise you.
The Truth About Regular Meetings
According to Overhead On Conference Calls, nearly $37 billion was spent last year in unproductive meetings with workers averaging around 31 hours of their time in ineffective conferences. Overall the majority of employees (nearly 65%) believe that the meetings they attend are a waste of their time and distract them away from more important work. Not only do employees waste their valuable time while in meetings but also in tasks that involve planning and preparing for these get-togethers even before they happen. According to Zippa, the average employee spends four hours prepping for and attending meetings each week. Additionally, multitasking is a common habit for employees in meetings, with 55% of employees reporting to have engaged in multitasking activities such as checking emails and texting frequently.
Slack Huddles are a great communication medium that has the same qualities as formal meetings without the need for complicated scheduling and preparation. With the main focus of Slack Huddles being impromptu communication, workers will be more engaged with the conversations they choose to take part in. This means having valuable conversations when they are actually needed.
Fun Facts and Statistics About Slack
In a study conducted by SalesForce, among 181 Slack users, 43% believe that they saw an increase in their team’s productivity while using Slack Huddles.
Nearly 44% of Slack users who pay for the Pro and Business+ plans say that they use the platform on a weekly basis.
Most Slack Huddles only last 10 minutes. This just goes to show much time meetings can be condensed while remaining effective. In comparison to a Slack Huddle, it’s estimated that the average meeting usually lasts between 31 to 60 minutes.
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What Other Application Integrations Come With Slack?
Though Slack Huddles can’t integrate any third-party applications like Google Calendar into its platform, the Slack platform as a whole is experimenting with implementing AI into its makeup to automate many of its processes for workers’ convenience. Einstein GPT, a recently created AI platform by SalesForce is announced to be expected to be integrated into Slack’s platform.
Using the GPT features, Slack has the potential to automate certain functions such as adjusting the tone and length of messages created within Slack, summarizing unread messaging within the platform, and even possibly attending Slack Huddles on your behalf.
Alternatives To Slack Huddles
One of the downsides of Slack Huddle is that it can only be used directly by Slack Users. That’s why below, we’ve compiled the top four alternatives to Slack Huddles.
Twist is a communication tool specifically designed for remote teams. The platform offers a wide range of integration capabilities such as Skype, Google Calendar, Asana, and Google Drive.
Flock offers the ability to create both private and public communication channels as well as the ability to create interactive polls for user engagement. Some of the platform’s integrations include Todoist, Zoom, Zapier, and more.
Workplace by Facebook
This platform offers powerful file-sharing capabilities and can be directly connected with some applications that include OneDrive, Dropbox, and Jira Cloud.
Rocket. Chat embraces means of productive communication through its ability to allow users to create notes, share to-do lists, and set reminders directly within the application. The platform is able to integrate other applications such as Jitsi Meet, Github, Office 365, and many more.
Slack Huddles are revolutionizing team communication and collaboration by providing a seamless and spontaneous platform for quick discussions and ad-hoc conversations. Unlike traditional meetings, Huddles eliminate the need for scheduling and formality, making it easier for team members to join and engage in real-time communication.33
With features like auto-captions, screen sharing, and custom backgrounds, Huddles enhance productivity and foster creativity among team members. By incorporating Slack Huddles into their workflow, businesses can reduce unproductive meeting time and create a more efficient and engaging work environment. So, whether it’s brainstorming sessions, casual catch-ups, or team bonding, Slack Huddles offer a valuable tool for teams to communicate effectively and collaborate seamlessly.
Shivani is a talented CS manager with the skillsets to elicit, scope and manage end-to-end B2B SaaS project delivery. She has a keen interest in depicting her learnings in customer success by writing resourceful blogs and articles.
Published May 11, 2023, Updated May 22, 2023