Yes, Slack Is Down. Here's How to Keep Chatting With Your Coworkers.

Courtney Linder
·3-min read

From Popular Mechanics

  • As of press time, Slack is down, and remote workers around the world are predictably peeved.

  • Slack hasn't offered up any reasoning for the outage yet.

  • With Slack down, there are plenty of alternatives to communicate with your coworkers, including Microsoft Teams, Google Chat, and regular email.

In case you thought 2021 would be easy, the first workday of the new year has already brought major problems to many remote workers.

On Monday morning, Slack, the much-used business communication software platform, mysteriously went down around the world. As of press time, some customers have since been able to reconnect to the service, but many users are still having trouble logging back on. (Here's how to tell if and when Slack is back working for you. And to get ahead of the next inevitable outage, follow the Twitter bot @SlackStatus).

Photo credit: Screenshot/Slack
Photo credit: Screenshot/Slack

In the meantime, if you use Slack to work with your team throughout the day, don't just go dark. Here are several suitable alternatives to use while you wait for Slack to come back.

Microsoft Teams
As a direct competitor to Slack, Teams integrates Microsoft Office 365 with a Slack-like group chat and other productivity features, like the ability to easily send files to colleagues in your organization. The user experience isn't quite as seamless as Slack's, but it's the most robust alternative in the bunch.

Google Chat
If you're used to the look and feel of Google's online tools—and if you used to spend your workdays on Gchat or Hangouts—you'll be plenty comfortable with Google Chat, which helps you securely share messages, files, and tasks with your coworkers.

WhatsApp
You're probably used to the mobile version of this incredibly popular messaging app, but the desktop version is a good temporary Slack swap, too. WhatsApp uses end-to-end encrypted technology and internet protocols for transferring messages rather than mobile internet connection, which makes it a safe, secure channel for general communications and a great way to transfer sensitive information.

Zoom
We know—the last thing you need is another Zoom meeting. But in a pinch, the video conferencing tool does have perfectly adequate chat functionality. Turn off your webcam and simply use the service as an old-school messaging platform.

Discord
It may seem counterintuitive to recommend a software platform meant for gamers to bolster communication at your 9-to-5, but when it comes to Discord, it actually makes sense. The app includes text messaging and voice and video calling, all without bogging down your device storage—ideal for gamers, sure, but also for the modern worker.

RocketChat
Open-source technology is becoming increasingly popular as scrutiny over black box algorithms and enterprise companies' data practices have made headlines. That's all the more reason to consider RocketChat, an open-source communication and data management platform, over Slack. There are endless options to change up the color and style of your dashboard, and there's even a tool to migrate all of your Slack data over to RocketChat.

Depending on your workplace, you may already have an existing account with one of these services. If that's the case, you should prioritize migrating your group to that service, since your employer has given it the seal of approval. Otherwise, you can email, text, or call your coworkers to discuss which service you should all sign up for and use.

We'll call this your first collaborative project of 2021.

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