How to Share Your Location on Slack: A Step-by-Step Guide

Slack is a workplace communications tool popular among distributed and hybrid teams. It’s an excellent app for sharing your current status and collaborating on projects, but did you know that you can also share your location on Slack? You can even set up automatic Slack location updates.

Why Slack Location Updates Are Helpful

For hybrid and distributed teams or those that just work from multiple locations, sharing your location provides a way to create empathy. Often remote employees do not know who is at the office on any given day or if you’re working at a coffee shop where it might not be privacy friendly. Displaying your work location on your Slack status automatically is a game changer for the future of work.

Setting Location Automatically in Slack Status with Pulse

If you’re looking for a tool to add to Slack that allows you to automatically share your work location, check out Pulse. One of dozens of Pulse features, users can predefine working locations addresses (proximity-based and non-public) like their home, company office, favorite coffee shop, or even more granular locations should they choose specific conference rooms in larger offices or campuses. Once you have enabled location services on your device and granted Pulse access, the app will automatically update your Slack status with the location name you choose and the emoji you’d like to display. You can set radius sensitivity for location from as little as 300 ft up to 5 miles. 

Pulse can also help you sync your calendar and share your location on Slack. Here’s how you can set that up:

• In your Pulse app, go to Settings.
• Click on Location, then click on Places.
• You’ll need to define the Places that you want to use. For instance, you can set a location as Home, another one as Office, or say Gym, etc. For each Place, you can add an emoji shown and a radius that should be checked.
• Once complete, Pulse will automatically update your Slack status with the Place when you are in that Place. Image of remote workers sharing automatically updated Slack status.

Using Zapier and IFTTT to Set Your Location in Slack Status

While Pulse is one of the best Slack apps for remote teams, Zapier is another good alternative. It’s an app that lets you build custom rules between multiple apps. 

To create automatic location updates into your Slack status, you’ll need to create accounts with Zapier and another app called If This Then That (IFTTT). Here are the steps to make it all work. It’s a bit complicated but it is an alternative way to make this work.

• Create an IFTTT account.
• Log in to your account.
• Click on New Applet on your dashboard.
• Choose IF, then search for Location and select it.
• Choose your trigger to be based on you entering or exiting a particular location.
• Select your Geofence to set the trigger area.
• Click on Create Trigger.
• Go to the IFTTT page in Slack’s app directory.
• Click on Add to Slack.
• Click on Connect.
• Select your Slack workspace.
• Click on Authorize.
• Return to your IFTTT dashboard and open your existing Applet.
• Choose THEN, search for Slack and select it.
• When prompted to Select Channel, choose Private Groups
• It’s a good idea to first create a private channel in Slack to show your location. Then select this channel.
• Change your message to something that you’ll remember because you’ll need to find it later. For example, something like “I’m at the office” or “I’m at home.”
• Delete the title, URL, and thumbnail.
• Click on Create Action.
• Click on Finish.

Once that is done, you’ll need to go to Zapier to complete the integration. Here are the steps:

• Log in to Zapier.
• Click on Make a Zap! from your dashboard.
• Choose Slack as your trigger. You’ll need to authorize Zapier to connect to Slack if you haven’t already done it.
• Click on Show Less Common Options.
• Set the trigger as New Message Posted to Private Channel.
• Click on Save.
• Select the private channel you created for your IFTTT Applet.
• When prompted to choose Trigger for Bot Messages, choose Yes.
• Choose a sample message and click on Continue.
• Click on the Options (+) button on your left sidebar in Zapier.
• Choose Filter.
• Create filter rules for the trigger words you created in IFTTT. You’ll need to create a filter for each word that will be sent to your private Slack channel.
• Choose Text in the first drop-down menu.
• Choose Text Contains in the second drop-down menu.
• Enter the phrase you chose in IFTTT precisely as you wrote it. For example, “I’m at home.”
• Click on Or and repeat this process for every trigger word.
• Click on Continue.

Finally, you’ll need to use a Zapier action that will change your Slack status based on the text that IFTTT sends to your channel. Zapier has an existing Zap for this, so you can save time by using this Zap to complete the action.

As you can see, the process appears a little complicated, involving many steps. While it lets you change your status to reflect your Slack location, it can’t intelligently update your status the way Pulse does. 

Setting Your Location on Google Calendar

Google Calendar recently introduced a feature that allows you to share your work location on certain paid tiers and above. If you’re already using Calendar, this can be a quick and simple way to let coworkers know where you are. Unfortunately, there is no way currently to share this data into your Slack status. Have a look at the following steps:

• In Google Calendar, click on the Settings icon in the top right-hand corner.
• Under General, click on Main work location.
• If you have the option to share your location, you’ll be invited to create a default location. You can also add new locations.
• Your Calendar will show a location on each day underneath the day’s date.
• Click on the location to change it to one of the other locations you created. You can also choose Somewhere Else and type in a location.

This helpful feature lets people who have access to your Google Calendar know where you are. However, you will need to update your location manually every time you want to change it.

Screenshot showing Working Location on Google Calendar.