The life of a remote worker can be tough. How can you get to know everyone on your team and stay in touch when you don't see them every day? Loneliness is one of the biggest struggles for remote workers. Widespread loneliness is a killer for team morale, and difficult to fix. Classic tools like email and video conferencing can help, but don't always cut it for remote workers.

Services like Slack are becoming the preferred tool to communicate with teams that are in the office together, as well as remote. Basic Slack channels can only do so much, but there are ways to enhance your Slack experience. Here are some of the best Slack bots for remote workers.

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What Is a Slack Bot?

Developers at Slack and other tech companies like Trello, Zapier, and Zoom, have created Slack bots. Bots are programmable from Slack's API's, and can be coded to automate tasks and interact with users and channels. The Slack bots can be downloaded from the Slack app directory and accomplish a variety of functions. There are Slack bots that send GIFs to your team for a job well done and others that automatically display graphs of data. Here are our top Slack bots to help remote workers excel.

How to Add a Bot to Slack.

Once you have a bot in mind, adding it to Slack is a breeze! Bots can either be added via the App Directory in the bottom left corner of your workspace, or through a bot's "Add to Slack" button on their own webpage.

To add a Slack bot via the App Directory, navigate to the bottom left of your workspace and click the plus sign next to "Apps". This will pull up the App Directory, which allows you to search for the bot you have in mind.  

You can also choose to search for the bot online and add from the bot-maker's respective webpage. Clicking on the "Add to Slack" button will automatically add it to your workspace with no additional hassle. Once it's installed, you're off to the races. 

Onboarding and Team Culture Slack Bots

1. Donut

Joining a new team can be tough, especially if you're remote. If you want to get to know your coworkers, you have to schedule a time to meet, then hop on a video call and have a personal conversation without the comfort of a coffee or lunch in front of you.

Donut takes the awkward scheduling out of the conversation. It selects two random coworkers to meet up with each other a week for coffee or a video chat. Develop a team culture by taking advantage of its onboarding process as well. You'll feel closer to your new coworkers in no time!

2. Disco

If you're working remotely, it's harder to see which members of your team are exemplifying your company values. The Disco bot solves this problem. When you see a coworker or employee demonstrate the values, you can call out their actions with Disco.

Points are awarded to that person, and the Slack bot keeps track of who accumulates the most points and displays it in a leaderboard. Create some healthy competition for your team to do their best, while making sure remote members value your mission.

3. Aloha

Onboarding usually occurs in a big conference room with a stack of documents for all the new hires to read over. Then new hires will meet with their team members and get to know other coworkers. When you're remote, all you might get is an email with instructions on what to sign and download. Talk about a let-down.

The Aloha Slack bot sends out instructions on a pre-set basis. Remote employees will appreciate the instructions that aren't in a bulleted document and occur as their experience develops. Human resource teams can also set it up and then relax, without having to check-in for updates.

Knowledge and Question Slack Bots

4. Polly

Sometimes you need some quick data to support a point or set up a time for your team to meet. Polly eliminates the back-and-forth messaging by allowing you to make a poll or survey. Use built out templates or design your own and get all your questions answered in seconds.

Polly can be set up to produce recurring surveys from recurring meetings and other situations. You'll be able to take a poll of your office without asking the room what they think. Incorporate Polly into your HR onboarding process and discover how your new employees are feeling about it. The results can help you change the process to keep things running smoothly for new hires.

5. Spoke

When you're a remote worker, it can be daunting to ask simple questions of your coworkers. Do they think I'm annoying? Is this a dumb question? To avoid these feelings and endless hours of searching for an answer, use a Slack bot like Spoke.

Spoke allows employees to ask questions and receive an automated answer from the system using AI technology. If you have a question that can't be answered by the bot, Spoke automatically logs the request into a ticket format for someone on your team to answer. Spoke gets smarter as you continue to use it, so you won't have to keep asking where to find specific documents. You'll save your coworker's inboxes from overflowing.

Project Management Slack Bots

6. Trello

Trello is already a great project management tool for your company to use, so take advantage of its Slack bot! The Trello bot can update boards in certain Slack channels, and receive comments and due date changes. You won't have to leave your channel to know where everything stands for your project.

7. Task Reminder

Tasks and deadlines are easy to overlook or miss if you don't have something to remind you. That's where Task Reminder excels. It follows up on certain assigned tasks, so you won't have to go back-and-forth with your coworkers about certain projects. You'll accomplish more without missing deadlines and bugging teammates.

Meeting Slack Bots

8. Spacetime

Videoconferencing can be difficult to organize and use effectively as a remote worker. Even though it's your primary way to interact with coworkers, connecting across different time zones can throw a wrench into plans. Spacetime solves this by visualizing coworkers' time zones and suggests the best time to meet for everyone. In addition to Spacetime, you can follow this guide to connect with teams across time zones.

9. Zoom

Zoom is one of our favorite tools for remote workers. It's already easy to start a video meeting, and the Zoom bot makes it even easier. Type /zoom into your channel and you'll start a video call for your teammates to join. Now there's no excuse to avoid setting up a video meeting!

Work and Productivity Slack Bots

10. Zapier

Zapier is a useful tool to automate your email sends and other projects and this functionality is now integrated into a Slack bot. You'll be updated into a custom Slack channel as your Zaps fire off. It also integrates with over 1,000 more apps so anything you automate can be put into your Slack channels.

11. AttendanceBot

We're all guilty of leaving our Slack on to show that we're working when we might be busy with laundry or grabbing a coffee. When you're remote, your teammates have no indication of what you're up to - AttendanceBot solves this challenge.

You can plan out shifts, let coworkers know when you punch in and out, and request time off. Message the bot when you clock in, and the system logs the time you start working. This expands out to the team level so you know who's in and out. You can also view people's attendance schedules ahead of time without having to search through a coworker's calendar.

12. GrowthBot

Growth is essential for all teams. For example, marketing can ask the bot how many site views you had today, and the bot will automatically pull data and display it. Integrate data from HubSpot, Google Analytics, MailChimp, and others for seamless analysis.

The bot answers questions you ask it directly, so you don't have to type up a full report. Give your teammates answers without having to jump on a video call to discuss. You'll be able to pull data easily, without having to leave Slack.

13. Monkey Test It

For web developers, testing is often the worst part of building a new site or feature. It's time-consuming, tedious, and complicated. Monkey Test It takes the trouble out of testing by dispatching "monkeys" to test your website and alert you to any problems they find. Message the bot in Slack to get it started, and it'll alert you to a report of what it found when it's done running. Save your time to work on other projects, or catch up with a coworker (preferably using Donut)!

Fun Slack Bots

14. Giphy

Who doesn't love a good GIF? Brighten up your team's channel by dropping a fun GIF to celebrate a big win or to let others know there are bagels in the kitchen.

Message the bot with the topic of the GIF you'd like to send, and it'll handle the rest. Seamlessly show off your sense of humor and connect with your team in a new way with Giphy.

15. Birthday Bot

When you're not in an office, it's easy to miss team celebrations (and free cake.) Birthday Bot notifies you of coworkers' birthdays, so you can wish them a great day! Ask it to give you a list of birthdays this week or month, and you'll get a list of them as well. You can start planning out your gifts ahead of time so they can be mailed to the office on time. You'll be everyone's favorite remote member in no time.


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