Millions trust Grammarly’s free writing app to make their online writing clear and effective. Getting started is simple — download Grammarly’s extension today. If the app you are looking to use Grammarly with has a web version (e.g. Www.slack.com), then you can try installing the Grammarly browser extension to see if it works there. Additionally, you can always copy your text to the online Grammarly Editor or Grammarly’s desktop app.
Some types of jerk behavior are obvious. Calling names. Laughing at someone’s ideas. Stealing a coworker’s lunch out of the office refrigerator (come on, are you an animal?).
But it’s also possible to be a jerk by accident, especially in writing. Have you ever found yourself worrying that your two-sentence email will sound cold to the person on the other end? Or are you just now realizing that’s something you should worry about? (You should—warmth may be even more important than competence when it comes to establishing business relationships.)
Chat programs like Slack and Hipchat complicate the etiquette of office communication even further. For those of us arriving in a Slack-centric office after a string of email-only jobs, it can seem downright baffling. Here are a few things to watch out for if you want to avoid rubbing your colleagues the wrong way.
Periods often come off as passive-aggressive or even angry. Is it right? Is it fair? Should everyone just get over it and stop reading so much into an innocent punctuation mark? Maybe, but whether you share this perception of periods or not, it exists among at least some of your colleagues. It’s not going to just disappear, either. To them, there’s a real difference between these two conversations:
Colleague:Have you had lunch yet?
Colleague:Have you had lunch yet?
Here’s the translation. “No.” means “No, I haven’t had lunch, but if you were about to invite me, forget it. Also, I want you to leave me alone and I might be mad at you.” “No” (sans period) means “Go on . . . ”
It’s OK to leave out the period at the end of your sentence when you’re texting or using an instant messenger. Even if you think it’s silly, remember that being “right” will only get you so far if everyone thinks you’re a jerk.
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2Too Many Follow-ups
2:05Hey, can you send me that spreadsheet?
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Chat clients make real-time communication easy. You can see when colleagues are online. You can chat back and forth instantly without a bunch of one-line responses clogging up your email inbox. In some programs, you can even see when someone else is typing a response. But sometimes people are just busy with other stuff.
Don’t barrage your colleagues with a flurry of follow-ups because they haven’t gotten back to you even though you can see they’re online. If it’s truly that urgent, get up, walk over, and talk to them with your actual mouth.
3Calling Out Mistakes on Public Channels
Colleague:There’s leftover cake in the kitchen for anyone who want’s some!
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Correcting people in public is tricky. Even if you’re just trying to be helpful, you might seem rude or disrespectful, especially if the other person’s mistake was pretty harmless. Correcting someone in a group chat is even trickier because you have the unspoken rules of written communication to contend with.
When someone makes a mistake that could be costly or dangerous, send the person a direct message and give him the opportunity to correct himself to the group. If time is of the essence and you need to correct him on the public thread, be polite and give your colleague the benefit of the doubt.
Colleague:Heads up, the CEO wants our report on his desk by 5:00
You: Did you mean 3:00? That’s what the email said
Misunderstandings will never completely go away unless humans discover a way to read each other’s minds—but at that point we’ll probably be living in a dystopia anyway, so inadvertently offending your deskmate will be the least of your worries. In the meantime, knowing how to communicate effectively with colleagues will remain an invaluable skill.
What are your rules for staying polite and productive in instant messages?
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Microsoft has reportedly sent a memo to its employees to recommend against using a series of products including rival products from Amazon and Google.
According to a report from GeekWire, Microsoft banned Slack Free, Slack Standard, and Slack Plus, while also discouraging the use of Amazon Web Services and Google Docs.
GitHub should no longer be used for “highly confidential types of information, specs or code,” while Grammarly is completely banned. Grammarly is a grammar and spell checker which analyzes the typed text to determine potential issues.
While at first glance it might seem like Microsoft is acting against rival products to promote its own, the company says banning some solutions and recommending against using others is a security matter.
Microsoft says in the memo that the security issues in these products could expose confidential information, and this is the main reason employees should use Microsoft solutions like Teams and the available alternatives.
“Slack Free, Slack Standard and Slack Plus versions do not provide required controls to properly protect Microsoft Intellectual Property (IP),” the company explains.
“Existing users of these solutions should migrate chat history and files related to Microsoft business to Microsoft Teams, which offers the same features and integrated Office 365 apps, calling and meeting functionality. Learn more about the additional features that Teams can provide your workgroup. Slack Enterprise Grid version complies with Microsoft security requirements; however, we encourage use of Microsoft Teams rather than a competitive software.”
Grammarly, in particular, can access sensitive content that employees could include in their emails and other documents, Microsoft warns in the internal memo.
“The Grammarly Office add-in and browser extensions should not be used on the Microsoft network because they are able to access Information Rights Management (IRM) protected content within emails and documents,” the software giant says.
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No official statement has been provided by any of the involved parties, but this is something to be expected given the aforementioned changes are part of an internal policy.