Slack vs. Microsoft Teams: Chat-based collaboration software is an essential tool in today's business landscape, and two popular options for enterprises are Slack and Microsoft Teams. The significance of these platforms cannot be overstated, especially considering the impact of the pandemic, which highlighted the future of remote work and collaboration.
Comparing Slack and Teams
To assist you in making an informed decision, we have compared Slack and Teams across 10 categories:
Interface and usability Both the Slack and Teams desktop applications offer user-friendly interfaces, with messaging at the forefront. Although there are some stylistic differences, Slack has a more flexible and casual atmosphere, which some may find slightly chaotic. In contrast, Teams has a more corporate appearance, giving it a streamlined yet generic feel.
Navigation Both platforms feature sidebars on the left-hand side for main navigation. Teams prioritizes team-centric navigation, while Slack emphasizes channels, which are workspaces created by users for projects, topics, or team discussions.
In-app help Teams has a Help icon in the sidebar, providing access to organized content on various topics, training, and updates. Slack, on the other hand, utilizes Slackbot, an in-app chatbot that offers immediate assistance. Users can send a direct message to Slackbot with a keyword or question, and it will promptly provide the information they’re looking for.
Search Both Slack and Teams offer powerful search capabilities. However, Slack's search feels more comprehensive, especially for users familiar with fine-tuning search results in Gmail. Slack allows users to utilize modifiers such as from:@username or before:date for more precise searches.
Messaging and chat Teams and Slack excel in messaging and chat functionality. They offer text formatting options, including emojis. Teams provides a word processing-like experience with advanced formatting features such as font colors, font sizes, tables, and paragraph styles. Slack keeps it simple with clean and minimalist chat interactions. Both platforms allow users to reply to specific messages, mention team members, and use threaded conversations to keep discussions organized.
Notifications On both Teams and Slack, users can customize notification settings. You can choose to receive notifications for all messages, direct mentions, or only when you're mentioned in a specific channel or conversation. Both platforms also have mobile apps that allow you to stay connected and receive push notifications on the go.
File sharing and collaboration Slack and Teams both come with file sharing and collaboration features. Users can easily share files within channels or direct messages, and both platforms offer integration with popular file storage services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. Teams has the advantage of deeper integration with the Microsoft Office suite, allowing for real-time co-authoring and editing of documents within the platform.
Third-party integrations While both platforms can be integrated with a wide range of third-party apps, Slack has a larger ecosystem of integrations, including popular tools such as Trello, Asana, and Zoom. Teams, on the other hand, benefits from being part of the Microsoft ecosystem, and so offers seamless integration with Office 365 apps such as Outlook, SharePoint, and OneNote.
Voice and video calling Like Teams, Slack offers voice and video calling capabilities. But Teams takes it a step further by providing a robust video conferencing solution. With Teams, you can schedule and host online meetings, share your screen, and collaborate in real time with colleagues.
Collaboration features Both Slack and Teams offer a range of collaboration features such as polls, surveys, and the ability to create and manage tasks. Slack has a more playful approach to these features, with options such as custom emoji reactions. Meanwhile, Teams focuses on providing a comprehensive collaboration suite with features such as Planner for task management and Forms for surveys and polls.
What is best for your business? Overall, the choice between Slack and Teams depends on your organization's specific needs and preferences. Slack excels in its simplicity, extensive app integrations, and user-friendly interface. Teams, on the other hand, offer a more robust collaboration suite, especially for organizations already using Microsoft Office 365. Ultimately, trying out both platforms with a small team or through free trials is recommended to determine which one aligns better with your workflow and team dynamics.