How to make your Slack status show active all the time?

For many Slack users, keeping your Slack status active is unfortunately an important part of your job!  Check out this quick guide to learn how to stay active on Slack – all the time! Slack is a phenomenal workplace communications tool. But for those who use Slack regularly, the program can become a major distraction. And Slack’s tendency to automatically change your status to show you as inactive can become a real problem if you have a boss breathing over your shoulder.

But it is possible to keep Slack active, no matter what you’re doing.

Slack availability – the basics

You can update your Slack status to let your coworkers know what you’re doing during the day. It can tell team members whether you’re in a meeting, on a call, available to chat, or on vacation. You can even customize your Slack status to share a joke.

On the other hand, your Slack availability or presence, is a far more rigid thing. Your Slack availability is a dot located next to your name. When you’re active, the dot will show as green. When you’re inactive, the dot becomes an empty ring.

Screenshot of availability on Slack
And it’s Slack, not you, who gets to decide when you’re active and when you’re not.

How long can you be active on Slack?

Slack automatically determines when you are active based on your activity. If you have the app open on your desktop or mobile device, you will be shown as active. However, if you don’t use the program for 10 minutes, you will be shown as Away.

You can manually change your activity by clicking on your picture in the right corner of the app near the top. You’ll be given the option to Set yourself as away or Set yourself as active, whichever is the opposite of your current status.

But whatever you set your status as, Slack will change it to Away if it doesn’t detect activity from you after 10 minutes.

How to keep Slack permanently active in your browser? 

When using Slack in your browser, the program will set you as Away after 10 minutes without activity. You could easily be working on other projects outside the browser so this seems far from fair. You may still be using your computer to make a spreadsheet or document, do some programming, or edit a video, but if you’re doing it outside the browser, Slack won’t have it.

To keep Slack active in your browser, you need to keep the browser tab open and keep your computer active. 

That can be as simple as moving your mouse around, and plenty of people have come up with ingenious — if slightly unethical — ideas for simple devices that can move your mouse at regular intervals.

Photo of pens stuck to an oscillating fan to move the computer mouse and make Slack think the user is active.

But there are more alternative tools you can use to keep your Slack status active. Apps like Pulse that you can add to Slack or Zapier can’t manipulate the green dot but can set your status automatically based on rules and other criteria depending on your work style. 

Using your cell phone to keep Slack status active

When using the Slack app on your phone, you are only shown as being Active while you have the Slack app open. You could leave the app open, set your phone to never go to sleep (and make sure to plug it in to keep it charged) and appear active on Slack.

Another option is to instead use your cell phone with your desktop to keep your Slack status active. If you use an optical mouse, you can open the Slack app on your desktop or access it through the browser. You then play a looped video on your phone and place the optical mouse on your phone screen. The video will trick the mouse into thinking it’s moving and keep your Slack status as active.

We’re not saying this is something you should do, by the way, just that it’s something you could do.

How to set your Slack status as permanently active?

According to Slack, there’s no way to set yourself as permanently active. But that’s not completely true. With a little bit of technical skill, you can keep your Slack status active, permanently.

• Download Firefox if you’re not already using it.
• Sign in to Slack from your browser, NOT the desktop app.
• Then, install an add-on like Tab Reloader to Firefox. This app will auto-refresh your page at intervals you set. If you like, you can also set the program to scroll to the bottom of the page to ensure that Slack registers you as active.
• Enable the plug-in on the top right of your screen.

Benefits of keeping your Slack status as active

Keeping your Slack status as active lets your coworkers know that you’re available. It can also help avoid awkward situations with your boss, especially in big brother organizations where they measure output by being online all the time. After all, just because you’re not actively using Slack doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not working.

Slack doesn’t know when you’re taking a phone call or working offline. But that incriminating red ring can make it look like you’re not doing anything, especially when you’re working from home.

Being always active in Slack shows that you are available at any time. It also avoids misunderstandings between employees and supervisors at some companies.

Conclusion 

The rapid increase in people working from home has led to the use of many technologies to enhance workplace communication and collaboration. But sometimes, those technologies can become more of a curse than a blessing.

While there are many solutions to the problem of how to stay active on Slack, the best answer always comes down to better workplace culture and communication.

That’s where Pulse can help. Pulse automatically updates your Slack status based on how you configure it. Pulse can give you more control while also letting your team know when you are available and when is a good time to interrupt. Even if your availability or presence shows as inactive, your status can be customized to let everyone know what you’re really doing. No additional software or sneaky workarounds are needed!