Trying to find ways to inject some fun into your remote team’s work days?
With COVID forcing employees to adopt remote working, communicating with teams via apps like Slack and Zoom has been on the rise. But staring into a computer screen all day without any work colleagues around can take a toll on an employee!
So, what can you do to help your team have a bit of fun?
How about trying out some Slack games?
Slack is a workplace communication and file sharing app, but it can integrate with tons of tools, including games and social apps.
In this article, we’ll look at why you should use Slack during work breaks. We’ll also show you some games and social apps that you can implement for your team’s break-time diversion.
This Article Contains
(Click on a link to jump to a specific section)
- Why You Should Use Slack For Games And Social Apps
- 7 Slack Games And Apps To Add Fun To Your Workspace
- 6 Slack Apps To Break Monotony At Work
Why You Should Use Slack For Games And Social Apps
Slack isn’t just a workplace chat app.
Here’s why Slack can be used for a variety of non-work applications:
A. It’s Easy To Create Communities In Slack
Have you heard of an app called Discord?
The Discord server is where gamers worldwide engage in game-specific team chats.
But what does it have to do with Slack?
Like Discord, there are Slack channels, teams and global communities dedicated to different topics.
These channels cover a ton of topics such as travel enthusiasts sharing the best photo spots, soccer buffs arguing over the latest games, and gamers discussing a video game with the game developer.
You can easily create a new channel so that each employee can get together and discuss non-work related topics or play a fun game whenever they are on break.
B. Slack Is Perfect For Breaks
If you’ve worked in a physical office before, you’ll know that people don’t just talk about work.
They chat about their personal lives, sports and politics.
Using Slack channels for non-work-related chat gives your remote team space to take a break, socialize and bond over mutual interests. It’ll help strengthen connections among remote team members.
If you’re concerned about platform compatibility, don’t be!
Many of these Slack apps are accessible on the browser, and Slack’s desktop and mobile apps.
So, where can you find games and social apps for Slack?
You can download apps from the Slack app directory, and some apps are even downloadable from their websites.
7 Slack Games And Apps To Add Fun To Your Workspace
Let’s take a look at a few games and apps that will make work a lot more fun for your team.
Remember, you can customize the Slack Bot for a list of games and commands, so your team knows how to launch specific games or social apps.
Would you like your team members to get to know each other better?
Just create a Slack channel and get Donut to invite people. Donut will introduce team members through direct messages and encourage conversation between them.
This works for both on-site and remote teams, so your matched team members can meet either in person or virtually.
By connecting people, Donut helps teams build trust and friendships, regardless of physical distance.
Here are some ways that Donut works:
- Remote workers: Creates virtual coffee meetups and daily meetings so distributed teams can get to know each other.
- Team building: Facilitates cross-department meetups and lotteries for activities like a special virtual company lunch or a coffee break with the CEO.
- Learning opportunities: Donut connects peers for mentorship programs, job- shadowing sessions, and introduces code review buddies.
- New hires: Welcome new hires with onboarding pals and new hire lunch buddies.
Where to get Donut: Install from the Slack app directory or directly from the Donut website.
Polly is designed by a Seattle startup developer of the same name. It’s not a single game app but a suite of light-hearted, interactive social and team-building games designed for Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Here’s a look of some of Polly’s features:
- Trivia: Get your entire team to compete over trivia questions.
- Hot Takes: This feature lets you run a random Hot Take poll and spark a round of debate to give your team an exciting break.
- Surveys: Get feedback from your remote team using Pulse Surveys to see how they’re doing and ask for their opinions on important matters, in real-time.
Where to get Polly: Install from the Slack app directory or directly from the Polly website.
Remember playing rock-paper-scissors with your buddies to decide who had to buy lunch?
Your remote team can do that too!
Once installed, you can launch this fun game in your Slack channel with slash command “/rps @mention” (where “mention” is the person you’re challenging). You can also play in direct message channels with just “/rps”.
Want an extra challenge?
Type “/rpsls” for rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock!
Where to get Rock-Paper-Scissors: Install from the Slack app directory or the Rock-Paper-Scissors website.
Enjoy answering questions during your coffee break?
This app is called Trivia, but it’s actually a suite of four games designed for Slack and Microsoft Teams:
- Trivia Quizzes: Offers 1000s of fun and easy trivia quizzes for your team.
- (Un)Popular Opinions: Get quick votes on any subject from your Slack team.
- Word Puzzles: Discover the word genius among your team with this anagram puzzle.
- Gotcha!: Generate multiple-choice questions for your players. They get points for getting it right, and you can earn points by fooling them with the wrong answer.
Track results on a leaderboard to see team member rankings and generate some friendly competition.
Where to get Trivia: Install from the Slack app directory or directly from the Trivia website.
This is an old-school classic morphed into digital format in Slack.
Now you can challenge a team member with a game of tic-tac-toe over a Slack channel. All you have to do is type “/ttt @mention” (where “mention” is your team member) to challenge them.
Run a quick three-minute game or let it last the whole day. You could also play personal challenges via direct message with “/ttt.”
Where to get Tic-Tac-Toe: Install from the Slack app directory or directly from the Tic-Tac-Toe website.
Ever wanted to learn a new language but just couldn’t find the time?
WordofTheHour is an app that helps you expand your vocabulary. Every hour, a new word is featured with translations into over ten languages. It’s a fun game for any user who loves learning languages, and it could even be useful on your next overseas trip.
How does this game work?
Once installed, use these bot commands:
- /getword: displays the current word of the hour
- /getword help: gives a list of all commands available
- /getword channel: sends the current word of the hour to the entire channel
- /getword <your language>: displays the list of words in the specified language
The Reddit community supports the app, and any user can join to contribute to clarifications and translations.
Where to get WordofTheHour: Install from the Slack app directory or directly from the WordofTheHour website.
Never played Chess and want to learn?
Chess is one of the oldest games in the world and is probably one of the most widespread.
With the ChessBot, you can challenge a Slack team member to a game of Chess.
What’s interesting with this app is that you don’t have to play a game all the way through, just make a move when you have a quick break.
Where to get ChessBot: Install from the Slack app directory or directly from the ChessBot website.
6 Slack Apps To Break Monotony At Work
Now, let’s take a look at some Slack games and apps you can add to your team’s Slack workspace to break the monotony of your daily routine:
Trying to express yourself with something more than an emoji?
A picture can speak a thousand words, and Giphy will help you find that picture perfect GIF to express yourself to team members and add a bit of humor to things.
This Slack integration is easy to use once you install it. Just type “/giphy <subject>” and you’ll get a GIF of that subject. For example, “/giphy cats” will display a cat GIF in your channel. If you’re not happy with the GIF that you got, you can shuffle or cancel it.
Where to get Giphy: Install from the Slack app directory.
2. Simple Poll
Need to get a quick opinion from your team?
With Simple Poll, you can create native polls right within Slack.
But how is this fun?
It isn’t, but you could make fun by giving your team a break with fun, non-work-related polls.
On a more serious note, you can even use anonymous polls to get your team’s thoughts on company issues they may not be willing to answer directly.
Where to get Simple Poll: Install from the Slack app directory or directly from the Simple Poll website.
Search isn’t a game, but it’s a fun way to do quick searches within Slack, instead of opening Google search on your browser. This gives your teams a nice break from all the work-related communications they’re used to seeing!
You can use the Search tool when you want to do a little shopping or check out the latest tweets while on break.
How does Search work?
Once installed, you can use this tool to search Amazon, Twitter, DuckDuckGo and Urban Dictionary directly from your Slack chat window. All you have to do is use the slash command “/<site> <search item>.”
Here’s an example of the slash command for looking up the word “Echo Dot” in Amazon: /amazon echo dot. And it’ll return the “Echo Dot” results for you in Slack.
Where to get Search: Install from the Slack app directory or directly from the Search website.
Enjoy listening to music from Spotify when you work?
Music helps break the monotony when you get too focused on your job. You can also play white noise in the background to help you focus.
So why not control Spotify directly from Slack without switching apps?
With the Spotify integration and slash command /spotify, you can:
- Play music
- View track information.
- Share music with your team.
Remember, you’ll need Spotify Premium to access the Premium feature library.
Where to get Spotify: Install from the Slack app directory.
Feeling the need to stay up-to-date with Twitter, but don’t want to launch Twitter in your workspace?
Getting some social media activity is a great way to break the monotony of work.
You can post tweets to a channel, expand shared Twitter URLs, and display the full tweet and any attached media. You can use this integration to keep tabs of tweets from team members in company-owned accounts.
You can use this Twitter integration to display selected tweets on a public channel or keep it reserved for a particular company team on a private channel. This is a good way to share information with team members, like update-tweets from services that a team relies on.
Where to get Twitter: Install from the Slack app directory.
6. Meme Bot
Looking to share some memes with your remote team?
This is an app to spice up a chat on a channel full of team members. Use Meme Bot to get instant memes from Slack using slash commands “/meme-list” and “/meme.”
Where to get Meme Bot: Install from the Slack app directory or directly from the Meme Bot website.
Working remotely can be challenging, and everyone needs a break to casually interact with team members now and then. Playing games is one of the easiest ways to help your team de-stress from hours of concentrated work.
Adding a little fun into the Slack workspace can also help teams relax, improve team relationships and communication. You could also have a dedicated channel for games and another channel for social interactions.
Whichever way you chose to implement a non-work channel, your remote team will appreciate the opportunity for a bit of distraction. Additionally, it’ll be a great way to reinvent your company culture!
Liam Martin is the co-founder of Time Doctor—one of the world’s leading time tracking software for remote teams. He is also the co-organizer of Running Remote, the world’s largest remote work conference.