I work in an open office with a staff count of 40. It can get busy. It can get loud. It's easy to be distracted, especially with tools like Slack.
I've heard many stories with their love or hate for Slack. It seems like people that work in an office (especially open offices) hate it, but people who work remotely or part remotely grow to love it.
I'm in the hate crowd. Maybe that's just matching the Average Joe.
Slack is for Slacking.
Slack is the ultimate distraction tool. It drags you in with the promise of great communication, but ultimate it's a scare tactic. We don't want to miss out! It's in our nature.
I try to fight that and follow the Joy of Missing Out.
I remove as much distraction as possible. I often completely close Slack when I want to focus for longer periods of time. The problem with this in an open office though, is that people will just come and poke you in person. Boom, distracted.
I think Slack reduces the quality of commucation too. If you can't get your point across in a clear, concise and preferablly asyncronous manner, then instead of improving your communication skills, you can just interrupt people and talk face to face instead. Nightmare.
In another post, I'll go into more detail about how exactly I have things set up.