Slack vs. Teams: Which Is the Best Digital Workspace for Your Team in 2024?

Slack vs. Teams: Which Is the Best Digital Workspace for Your Team in 2024?

Portrait of Jess Cheung Lark's Author
Portrait of Jess Cheung Lark's Author

Jess Cheung

February 5, 2024


Feb 5, 2024


15 min read

A comparison between Slack and Teams
A comparison between Slack and Teams
A comparison between Slack and Teams
A comparison between Slack and Teams

If you’re looking for a new digital home for your company, you’ve got plenty of options in 2024. Hundreds of SaaS tools brand themselves as collaboration, team communication, or productivity software.

In the end, familiarity often leads the way. Many companies choose Slack or Microsoft Teams because of their established brands.

But how do these industry leaders really compare in terms of features, ease of use, value, and support?

That’s what we’re here to find out. In this Slack vs. Teams comparison, we’ll dive deep into each platform and see how they compare against each other, as well as other options on the market.

Slack vs. Teams in a nutshell

After having used both Slack and Teams in a professional setting and carefully evaluating their strengths and weaknesses, here’s our general impression:

  • Slack was born as a productivity chat app, and that’s what it does best. As a unified digital workspace, it’s still immature and lacking in features. It’s also relatively overpriced compared to alternatives.

  • Slack’s free plan is great for hybrid teams that prefer to collaborate through text, like writers and coders.

  • Teams no longer offers free plans for business users.

  • Teams’ $4/user plan includes video conferencing and a work calendar, making it a better tool for teams that value live collaboration.

  • Microsoft Teams is a meeting and collaboration app within the larger Microsoft 365 suite of tools. With significantly more features for a lower price, Microsoft is a better digital workspace tool.

Slack vs. Teams: Which has the best features?

Let’s do a quick feature overview across categories and see who comes out on top:

A feature comparison table between Slack, Teams, and Lark

Overall, Teams is a more feature-rich platform when considered as part of the Microsoft 365 suite (even the free plan). That makes sense, as Microsoft has a long history of developing and acquiring business tools.

Slack has fewer features, which is not very surprising. Comparatively, Slack is a new player in the game and started as a single-feature app (chat only).

But this also means Slack’s functionality is smoother and more cleanly integrated than with Teams. Every feature is built as a part of the main product — team chat — not retroactively integrated.

Team communication features: real-time chat, video conferencing, and more

When done right, real-time chatting tools empower collaboration for remote and hybrid teams across physical offices.

Team chat is Slack’s biggest strength, and 10 years ago, it was miles ahead of the competition. But in 2024, both Slack and Teams offer comparable features for messaging:

  • Teams and channels — to help smaller teams within your company collaborate effectively

  • @Mentions

  • Notifications — including mobile and desktop app notifications

  • OOF (out of office) and other status settings

  • Emojis

  • Chat message formatting, including bulleted lists, numbered lists, bold, italics, and more

  • Image and file sharing — including live editing options through integrations (or Microsoft 365 tools for Teams)

  • Video clip and audio clip messages

If you’re in a family or friend group chat, you know how overwhelming it can be to keep track of every conversation. Dividing the conversation into smaller teams and specific channels helps you avoid this issue. (While Slack pioneered this feature, Teams also had it from day one — a classic example of the second-mover advantage.)

In terms of video conferencing, Slack offers huddles — specific team meetings through live chat or video chat. But in free plans, you can only do one-on-one huddles (AKA a personal video call). The Pro plan allows group huddles with up to 50 participants.

Teams’ free personal plan allows group calls with up to 50 participants for up to 60 minutes. The Essentials plan — the cheapest business option — allows 300 participants.

Workspace and collaboration tools

For live collaboration, Slack released the Canvas feature in 2023. It’s essentially a collaborative text and media editor — letting you do live planning and collaboration.

Screenshot of a channel Canvas in Slack

In free plans, you only have a single canvas per channel or direct message conversation. (With all paid plans, you can create unlimited canvases. That makes it possible to create a unique canvas for each minor project or deliverable.)

Through integrations, you can also live-edit documents and brainstorm with virtual whiteboards.

Microsoft Teams offers comprehensive collaborative tools with the strength of the Office 365 suite. Your team can edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations live while on a call. Microsoft Whiteboard is also a useful tool for live brainstorming and discussions across locations. You can share this within the call, but that means you have to leave the Teams tab to only look at the whiteboard.

Brainstorming in Microsoft Whiteboard in Microsoft Teams

While the basic templates aren’t always inspiring, your team can easily create new ones that suit your needs.

As you might have noticed, Teams is the clear winner in terms of native collaboration tools. But thanks to Slack’s popularity, 1000s of collaboration tools have created Slack apps for integration.

The only problem is that using third-party tools for collaboration will split your communication and data across platforms. If you want to avoid communication and data silos — reducing issues like duplicate tasks — a single cohesive platform is better.

While Microsoft technically lets you do this, they’re mostly separate tools that have been integrated retroactively. And you feel that when you use Microsoft 365. To collaborate live, you need to have a bunch of tabs or application windows open.

That’s what makes Lark different. Lark was designed to be a single cohesive productivity platform:

  • Our whiteboard feature is directly embedded into our video conferencing software.

  • Email is natively integrated with messages into a single communication dashboard.

  • Assign tasks and track projects and OKRs within the same platform. (You can track individual employee performance against their OKRs over time.)

  • Use Lark’s Magic Share to collaborate on documents within video calls (or group chats).

Lark Project Kickoff

Read our comparisons on Lark vs. Slack and Lark vs. Microsoft Teams for a more detailed overview of how our features compare.

If you’re interested in how Slack and Teams compare to other platforms in this area, check out our comparative articles on:

File sharing and management

Both Slack and Teams offer cloud storage, but Teams offers a much larger storage volume, as well as better file management and sharing options.

  • Slack’s free plan includes 5GB of total cloud storage per workspace.

  • Slack’s Pro plan offers 10GB per person, and the Business+ plan 20GB per person.

  • The free Teams plan includes 5GB of storage per person.

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic includes 1TB of storage per organization and 10GB extra per person.

  • Teams gives you file management through OneDrive and advanced file sharing with access controls through SharePoint. (Included in the Microsoft 365 Business plan.)

Workflow management and automations

Up to 67% of office workers waste time on repetitive tasks. Both Slack and Teams offer workflow automation features that can help you minimize wasted time.

In premium plans, Slack offers the Workflow Builder — a no-code tool that lets you create automated workflows. You can use pre-built templates, or create your own workflows from scratch.

Building a workflow in Slack

Image Source

For example, you can create a workflow that allows HR to collect time-off requests in a spreadsheet without leaving the platform.

Slack also offers Slackbot, a smart chatbot that can deliver reminders in channels and answer any questions related to the platform.

Teams doesn’t offer a built-in workflow builder like Slack does. However, it does integrate with Power Automate — a paid solution that lets teams add workflows to their workspaces.

With Power Automate, you can run a workflow directly from a message. For example, you can start a workflow to follow up on a message at a later time.

Running a workflow from a message in Teams

Image Source

Power Automate is only available to users on a paid plan. Teams also offers a built-in chatbot where you can ask about the platform and troubleshoot common issues. Those with development experience can create their own custom bots using JavaScript.

With Lark, you get access to powerful workflow automation tools in all our plans. (Even the free plan comes with 5,000 actions per month.) Automated workflows in Lark Base can be a game-changer for enhancing efficiency in various business processes. For example, after setting up triggering conditions and actions, Lark Base can automatically execute these actions based on the changes in data, such as notifying specific people on data change, update records, and more.

Lark Automated workflow

This makes the automated workflows in Lark Base particularly useful in tasks like inventory tracking, repair requests, sales reporting, ticket management, project management, etc. In addition, businesses can also leverage Lark Approval to build customized workflows for various situations that need approvals, such as leave requests, budget application, and more, without writing a single line of code.

Slack vs. Teams: Which has the best integrations?

Any collaboration tool you decide to invest in should integrate with the rest of your tech stack. You don’t want to rely on manual data entry (copy and paste) between platforms. You also don’t want to develop custom integrations from scratch using APIs.

Slack integrations

The Slack App Directory offers over 2,600 native and pre-built integrations.

List of integrations in the Slack App Directory

But Slack’s free plan has a limit of 10 different integrations. As a general rule, most integrations are free. However, you may need a paid plan with the third-party app you’re integrating. Paid plans include unlimited integrations and a smart workflow builder.

Microsoft Teams integrations

Through AppSource, Teams offers over 2,100 native and pre-built integrations with third-party tools.

List of integrations in Microsoft AppSource

Which platform has better integrations?

While Slack has more apps and third-party integrations, numbers alone aren’t really a reliable factor here. Here’s why:

  • Necessary integrations depend on each company’s unique tech stack.

  • The robustness and flexibility of each integration matters more than the total number. (Unfortunately, we couldn’t manually review the 4,800+ integrations across the platforms. Nobody has the time for that.)

  • Most collaboration and productivity tools already integrate with both platforms.

In the end, both tools have more integrations than you could ever need. And most integration apps have fairly healthy reputations — with some exceptions.

The real differentiator is that Teams integrates with the rest of the Microsoft 365 suite. If your company already has an Office 365 subscription, using Teams is probably the better choice.

However, you shouldn’t need to integrate dozens of tools just to collaborate with your team. That doesn’t exactly seem like the “digital workplace of the future” to us.

Having to rely on multiple tools creates fragmented workflows and can lead to data silos. That’s why we’ve dedicated ourselves to creating a true all-in-one productivity platform with Lark. Here’s a short list of what’s entailed in Lark:

  • Real-time chat

  • Video calling

  • Collaboration

  • Project management

  • OKR and employee performance tracking

All of that and more in a single platform.

Slack vs. Teams: Which has the best pricing?

Price is a factor when making any purchase. But it’s an especially big factor for SaaS, where the cost usually scales with the number of users. (For teams with 1,000s of employees, even a small cost increase = a lot of money.)

Slack plans and pricing

Slack offers a freemium plan and three premium plans:

  • Free: unlimited messages (90-day history), 1:1 audio and video calls, video clips, canvases in channels and direct messages, and a max of 10 integrations.

  • Pro ($7.25/user/month): unlimited canvases, group video (up to 50 participants) and audio calls, unlimited integrations, workflow builder, and guest accounts.

  • Business+ ($12.50/user/month): SAML-based single sign-on, unlimited data exports, 99.99% uptime service-level agreement (SLA), and more.

  • Enterprise Grid (custom pricing): centralized user access controls, HIPAA compliance, and more.

Slack pricing plans

Teams plans and pricing

Microsoft Teams offers a free plan for personal use and three standard premium plans. It also has several enterprise plans:

  • Free (personal): unlimited messages, group meetings (100 participants), and audio calls. (This plan is limited to personal use.)

  • Microsoft Teams Essentials ($4/user/month): 300-participant video conferences, Microsoft Whiteboard, and more.

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic ($6/user/month): live captions for meetings, web and mobile versions of Microsoft 365 apps like Excel, Doc, and PowerPoint.

  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard ($12.50/user/month): webinars, desktop versions of Microsoft 365 Apps, and more.

  • Microsoft 365 E3 ($36/user/month): includes access to Power Automate, virtual customer service chatbots, a low-code platform, and more.

Teams pricing plans

Which platform has the best value plans?

While the free Teams plan is better for video meetings, it’s technically not allowed for business use. To ensure this policy, the personal plan comes with many limitations. For example, you can’t join a work meeting with a personal account.

Slack’s free plan does allow business use but doesn’t support video conferencing. It’s the better option for companies that are only looking for a free (or cost-effective) chatting tool.

So neither platform offers satisfactory freemium plans for the average business.

In terms of paid plans, the $4/user Teams Essentials plan is a good value option for smaller companies. For security-conscious larger companies, Teams again comes out on top. The $6/user Business Basic plan comes with SSO, user access controls, and auditing tools.

With Slack, you’d need to invest in the Business+ plan to get comparable features.

If you’re looking to try a freemium option that allows video meetings and business use, try Lark’s free plan. It includes video calls for up to 50 participants and chatting, email, and document collaboration tools. The free plan even includes access to project management tools.

Slack vs. Teams: Which has the best customer support?

Slack offers solid self-service support options. It has a searchable help center with in-depth tutorials and quick FAQs. Slack also has a community forum to connect with other users and post questions.

Screenshot of Slack's help center

If you need personal assistance, you can submit a support ticket. Those on the free plan get standard support during regular business hours. The Pro plan offers 24/7 support, and the Business plan offers 24/7 support with a four-hour response time.

Teams also offers a self-service help center with a mix of text and video tutorials.

Screenshot of Teams' help center

You can also visit the Microsoft Support Community page, where you can search for answers or connect with other users. Paid business members get access to around-the-clock support.

If you want enterprise-level service without breaking the bank, Lark’s a great option. We offer 24/7 online customer support to all plans (including free). Users can reach out to our team via email or the in-app chat support option at any time.

Plus, if you sign up with 100+ users, paid customers will further gain access to customer success support, with an opportunity to get personalized walk-throughs of our products and customized solutions to help you get the most out of Lark.

Slack vs. Teams: Which is the easiest to use?

Usability is crucial if you want new software to stick. Software adoption rates won’t approach 100% unless the tool is easy to use.

So which platform has a more intuitive interface, Slack or Teams?

Slack’s interface is fairly straightforward. In the menu bar on the left, you can navigate to relevant channels, threads, or mentions. You can also use the search bar for this or to find a coworker and send private messages.

Search for coworker in Slack

If you’re completely new to Slack, the interface may be a little overwhelming. However, the learning curve for Slack is relatively short — in part, thanks to its limited features. Sometimes, less is more.

Teams has a fairly clean interface with a collapsible side panel for navigation. It has tabs for chats, teams, calls, files, calendars, and apps. Again, at the top, you can use a search bar to find chats and files instantly.

Managing messages with Teams' interface

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Teams has a slightly steeper learning curve than Slack, largely because it offers more features. However, new users can become comfortable with the platform within a few days.

Overall, ease of use depends on your team’s needs and preferences. Some users may find Slack’s simplicity more appealing, while others may prefer Teams’ extensive integration with Office 365.

Are you looking for a complete digital workspace? If you’re not happy with the disjointed experience of Microsoft 365, Lark Base may be right for you.

Slack vs. Teams: Which is the most secure and compliant?

Both Teams and Slack offer standard security features:

  • 2FA (two-factor authentication) is included in all plans.

  • Single sign-on is included in Slack Business+ plans and above and in all paid Teams plans.

  • User access administration tools are included in Microsoft 365 Business Basic plans and in Slack’s Business+ plans and above.

Collaboration platforms handle a lot of sensitive data — need-to-know company information, personal information, and more.

On paper, both Slack and Teams have strong data security and privacy practices, reflected in certifications like:

  • SOC 2 (Type II)

  • SOC 3

  • ISO 27001

  • ISO 27017

  • ISO 27018

  • ISO 27701

But there have been some issues over the years.

Despite its qualifications, Slack has unfortunately experienced a few data leaks. First, there was a minor customer data leak in 2015. Seven years later, they revealed a similar issue with leaks of hashed passwords between 2017-2022.

Teams also had an unfortunate incident in 2022, where they accidentally leaked 38 terabytes of internal data.

At Lark, we understand the security risks of the digital world. That’s why we’ve baked data compliance standards into our software from day one:

  • General Data Protection Regulation (EU)

  • California Consumer Privacy Act and California Privacy Rights Act (US)

  • Act on the Protection of Personal Information (Japan)

  • Personal Data Protection Commission (Singapore)

Lark has also secured the following data security certifications:

Data security certifications of Lark

  • ISO 27001

  • ISO 27701

  • ISO 27018

  • ISO 27017

  • APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR)

  • APEC Privacy Recognition for Processors (PRP)

  • Data Protection Trustmark (DPTM)

  • SOC 2 (Type II) and SOC 3

By choosing Lark, you can rest assured that your data is protected to the highest standards.

Slack vs. Teams: What are other users saying?

Slack has a solid customer reputation with a 4.5/5 rating on G2 and similar scores on other sites. Users praise the platform’s ease of use and communication features for remote teams.

However, some common complaints include:

  • Distracting and overwhelming notifications

  • Lack of a built-in file management system

  • Slow loading times for some integrations

Teams has 4.3/5 stars on G2, which is also respectable. Users are generally positive about Teams, citing its ability to facilitate communication and file sharing in one place. However, some complaints include:

  • Initial learning curve to become familiar with the platform

  • Guest access limitations, which can make external collaboration difficult

  • Occasional synchronization issues with the mobile app

In comparison, Lark has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 on G2. Users love our cohesive user experience across messages, video calls, and real-time collaboration tools.

Plus, users actually enjoy the user experience of our mobile apps, leading to a 4.9/5 rating in the Apple Store. (This is not the norm in the industry.)

Slack vs. Teams: Which is right for you?

Slack is well-suited for companies that prioritize real-time communication — especially chat. It’s popular among startups, creative agencies, and remote teams.

Teams is ideal for companies that use other Microsoft products like Office 365. Collaboration features like video conferencing and co-authoring make it a solid option for large organizations and businesses with a Microsoft-centric environment. Although, as mentioned, it’s not the smoothest experience.

Slack and Teams are excellent communication tools that facilitate collaboration. However, if you’re looking for a more complete platform than Slack and a more cohesive experience than Teams’, try Lark.

Experience the digital workspace with everything in one place

Our customers love that Lark “has it all in one place.” You don’t need to jump between apps to check emails, messages, or daily tasks. Everything’s there in a single platform.

If you’re already a Slack user looking for a more complete platform, you can use our Slack migration tool to migrate your messages and data.

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