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Managing multiple Slack workspaces, accounts, and notifications in 2019

Blog How We Chat April 10, 2019
Switching between Slack workspaces
Joe Beutler

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Managing multiple Slack workspaces, accounts, and notifications in 2019

Switching between Slack workspaces

On a scale of 1-10, how hard is it to handle multiple Slack workspaces at once? If you said more than 1, this article should help.

Tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Webex Teams have changed the way professionals operate. Instead of clunky emails, we can connect with people in real-time through direct messages. Instead of calling people and hoping that they pick up, we can check a coworker’s presence and set up a video call.

However, there are still a few issues that workplaces need to overcome with their collaboration apps. For instance, what happens if you have multiple Slack workspaces and accounts to manage at once?

Can you still have a simple, single-pane-of-glass Slack experience?

Signing into multiple Slack workspaces

The good news?

Signing into multiple workspaces is easy.

If you’re a freelancer, a contractor, or you just have more than one group to manage, you shouldn’t have a problem. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Log into the Slack web portal, or sign in with your desktop app
  • Click on the tab named “Your Workspaces”
  • Select “Create Workspace”
  • Enter the URL of the team you want to join
  • Enter your email and password

Eventually, you’ll end up with a list of workspaces you can use to connect with other coworkers and clients. Unfortunately, each of those workspaces remains separate from the others. That means that you’ll need multiple tabs open to speak to everyone at once if you use a browser.

TIP If you are using the Slack desktop app, you can use the CTRL + 2 shortcut for Windows and cmd + 2 for Mac to flick tab between workspaces.

TIP So you don’t have to remember the index of the workspace, you can navigate back and forth using [CMD | ⊞CTRL] + [:arrow_up:SHIFT] + [ | ]

Check the left-hand pane where your workspaces are displayed to see which number each Slack workspace assigned. The more workspaces, the more shortcuts will be displayed.

Slack workspaces
Slack workspaces

Handling your teams

Let’s say you’re invited to join a Slack team as a single channel guest.

Guests in Slack can either be multi-channel or single-channel guests. To join a team as a guest, you’ll need to accept the email invitation you’re given, then create a separate account.

Your account can share the same profile elements as your original Slack account, and link to the same email. However, for each account, you’ll have a limited group of people that you can message and connect with.

On the one hand, having separate accounts for each team or channel you use is handy. It means you can adjust your preferences and notifications for every group. For instance, if you were a freelancer that worked specific hours with one business, and different hours with another, you can turn off your notifications outside of those hours.

On the other hand, you’re going to need to switch back and forwards between channels regularly to make sure that you’re up-to-date with the latest information. It’s that or turn email notifications on and hope for the best. Since the whole point of an app like Slack is to eliminate your reliance on email, you might be reluctant to turn back to your inbox for help.

Slack guest accounts
Slack guest accounts contribute to multiple Slack workspaces

What about Slack Shared Channels?

You’re not the only person who’s ever worried about handling multiple workspaces on Slack.

As more companies continue to collaborate with external, as well as internal people, Slack has begun working on new solutions. For instance, the Shared Channels feature on Slack makes it possible to share specific channels in your workspace with another company’s slack account.

Imagine you had decided to work on your marketing campaign with the help of a marketing agency. You could link your marketing team’s Slack channel to the other company to allow for easier collaboration. The result is that company Slack users can talk to multiple teams on their app, without having to switch to a new account or add guest profiles.

As your marketing project progresses, the agency could add new people to the shared Slack channel to help you, such as video or audio specialists.

The only problem? If you’re working with multiple companies, not all of them will be happy to invest in a paid Slack service so that they can interact with you.

Shared Channels is a premium feature.

This means that you’d once again have to add people as a single channel guest to your team or join their team as a single channel guest, giving you multiple accounts to manage.

Slack Shared Channels; photo from ZDnet
Slack Shared Channels; photo from ZDnet

Options for switching between Slack Workspaces

Currently, if you want to switch between workspaces on your Slack account, you’ll need to:

  • Create Slack accounts with the same email address for every business you want to collaborate with
  • Click on the top left-hand side of your Slack application where you see your profile preferences
  • Click on “Switch to…” then the name of the workspace you want to visit (or use the shortcut CTRL+ 2 or cmd +2)

Unfortunately, once you’ve entered a specific Slack workspace, you won’t receive desktop or smartphone notifications from the other channels. You may still receive email notifications when someone sends you a direct message or @mentions you. However, there’s also a good chance you could lose track of certain parts of a conversation too.

Ideally, you’d be able to manage all of channels within the same window, simply clicking between the people you want to communicate with, regardless of which company they’re affiliated with. Unfortunately, such a cohesive, collaborative experience isn’t available yet.

The good news is that your Slack workspace will show you all the channels you have access to in a specific workspace on the left-hand side of your application. That way, you can switch between channels and personal messages at the click of a button. However, you will need separate tabs for every workplace you join.

If you don’t mind leaving your email inbox to collect the messages you miss from one workspace, you can also switch between companies with a couple of clicks too.

Slack Shared Channels
Slack multiple workspaces

Making the most of your Slack Workspaces

Slack makes many aspects of a collaborative experience easier to manage.

You can switch between workspaces quickly – even if it means you’ll still be reliant on your email inbox to remain up-to-date. You can also open multiple workspaces in different tabs and track them all at once. What’s more, seeing all the channels you have access to in the same app is easy.

Unfortunately, you can’t combine multiple workspaces into a single pane of glass. However, at least you’re still using the same app to manage your interactions with various correspondents.

That is, of course, unless some of your contacts prefer to use an app other than Slack.

The last thing you want when you’re trying to streamline your workflow is the headache of switching between channels, workspaces, and then other app like Microsoft Teams or Cisco Webex Teams come and mess up your flow.

Fortunately, there is a way to keep your stress to a minimum.

Mio makes handling multiple Slack workspaces as easy as possible, and allows users that prefer Microsoft Teams or Cisco Webex Teams to join in the conversation with ease.

Multi-vendor environments often include Slack and Cisco Webex Teams
Multi-vendor environments often include Slack and Cisco Webex Teams

Creating a cohesive Slack experience with Mio

When your colleagues use Microsoft Teams, or Cisco Webex Teams, Mio ensures that you don’t have to switch apps to interact.

Rather than adding yet another app to your toolkit, Mio lets you unlock true messaging interoperability instead. All you need to do is sign up, sync all the chat apps that your team uses in your personal Mio hub, and start messaging across platform.

This way, you can communicate easily with people on Microsoft Teams and Webex Teams without having to leave Slack. At the same time, your coworkers, clients, and contractors can continue to use the tools that they prefer.

What sounds incredibly difficult to achieve becomes simple with Mio.

Want to find out how Mio can improve your ability to handle multiple Slack workspaces? Check out this video of how Mio works then click choose the combination of your choice below.

Improve multiple Slack workspaces management with Mio
Get Started Slack Webex
Get started with Slack and Teams
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2 Comments
  1. Avatar

    HoffAppFarm

    Hello! We are looking to implement Slack as a replacement for Teams and Skype for Business. However many of our users work on shared workstations with a common login account on our Macs. We do this as they all do the same function (forecasting) and need continuity from one shift to the next, so they aren't switching to an invidiual account on the machine, they all use one called Forecaster. I'm not finding how we can allow them to switch from one user account in Slack to another. It's caching their user information either within Slack itself and/or the browser that it uses to handoff. Even if I close the browser tabs, and then close the browser itself, log out of Slack and my workspace...next time I launch Slack, it's lauching by default into my account...I can't change it. Know of a relatively simple way to do this? Thanks - Joshua

    • Dominic Kent

      Dominic Kent

      Hey Joshua, I'd suggest joining the dev4slack​.slack​.com workspace. They'll be sure to help you out there - or try tweeting @SlackHQ on Twitter - they're really responsive. As for the Slack replacing Teams and Skype for Business, our solution means you don't need to fully replace Teams just because you have Slack users. You can choose who uses Slack/ Teams and keep chatting across platforms. Take a read of this video for more on the topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_RIzBclo1c&t=2s