Kronsteg.de meets Elsbeth Reinke
Ricardo from Kronsteg.de met Elsbeth from our Organizational Solutions team, to discuss the internal tools that keep trivago ticking.
The original article was published on Kronsteg.de on September 21st, in German.
We translated it into English below, just for you :-).
Ricardo Thiele: We welcome Elsbeth Reinke from trivago. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Elsbeth Reinke: I am Elsbeth Reinke, I am Dutch, from the north-east of Groningen. At trivago, I am a product developer for internal communication and collaboration tools. This means that I deal with internal communication projects and the tools we use to take advantage of them. My goal is that every employee can work as efficiently as possible. Our tools should help us in our daily work.
RT: How does a typical workday look for you?
ER: I usually start between 9 and 10 o’clock. Check my emails, new tasks and slack messages. Then I start working on my to-do list. Often I have 2 – 4 meetings a day. In the time that remains, I work on my projects. I work until about 6, and on Monday and Thursday I do sports at the office from 6pm to 7pm. There are plenty of different sport activities offered by trivago.
RT: What tools do you use for communication and collaboration in the company?
ER: We use many tools actually, we adapt to our needs in-house. But mainly we use Slack, Dropbox, Confluence, Jira & Socialcast. We also use some Office 365 tools, such as Outlook and SharePoint.
RT: Which two tools couldn’t you live without? What are the reasons for that?
ER: Slack and JIRA. Most of the communication between different teams and within teams goes through Slack. JIRA, on the other hand, is a very important tool for our tech teams who, for example, work on the trivago website because they manage their work on JIRA. Because documentation in the fast-paced software development is a real challenge, a tool like JIRA helps us to always have an overview of what is currently being worked on.
RT: Have you tried any other competitor tools? If so, what made you stay with Slack?
ER: We are constantly testing new tools. However, Slack works for example on all operating systems, which is very important to us, and with Slack all the employees can handle it. The techies like the nerdyness of Slack, and constantly build new integrations. The designers like the GIFs and Emoji’s, and Slack is intuitive enough for everybody else.
RT: Slack is a must see for those who haven’t used it. How is it used with you?
ER: As I said, it is the daily communication within the teams. But also between different teams that work together. We use slack for alignment, status updates, team updates and, of course, a bit of fun. ?
RT: Slack offers many possibilities for further applications. What apps do you use most often in connection with Slack?
ER: JIRA, Officevibe, Bitbucket and Jenkins CI.
RT: Do you use the “Slack Enterprise Grid”?
ER: Not as far as I know!
RT: How do you keep track of all the many channels?
ER: We have set up naming conventions. They ensure that team channels have the same prefixes and so on. That’s why everyone knows where you can find any channel. In addition, channels that are frequently used can be fixed. They then appear at the top of the channel list.
RT: trivago is a very international company. What language is spoken in the channels? Are there rules?
ER: Our corporate language is English. If, however, there is a channel in which only German or Spanish-speaking employees communicate, then no one forbids speaking in these languages. There are no strict regulations.
We use slack for alignment, status updates, team updates and, of course, a bit of fun!
RT: Which area of Slack would you like to see improve in the future?
ER: The Analytics Section could be better. And it would be good if some settings in certain channels could be changed, @channel or @here for example.
RT: What do you consider the greatest weakness of Slack?
ER: Most likely the danger of overburdening. With Slack – especially with the mobile app – you can be approachable every minute. So you have to set your own limits. We do not expect our employees to be on Slack at all times. On the contrary, we recommend that you plan your focus time and switch off Slack.
RT: Slack offers few possibilities to present editorial content, such as news, for example? Do you have a solution?
ER: For this we use Socialcast and Confluence.
RT: Microsoft has been contributing a direct competitor to Slack with “Teams”. Do you think MS Teams can be dangerous for Slack?
ER: I can not judge that personally. We are very satisfied with Slack because it fits into our corporate culture.
RT: Finally: Which companies can you recommend Messaging Platforms like Slack or MS Teams?
Elsbeth Reinke: It suits companies with open and flat hierarchies, as it is an intuitive communication tool that enables teams to work efficiently and collaborate across teams.
Thanks for the interview Elsbeth!