As hopes for a quick recovery from the coronavirus pandemic have faded, it’s time to think more broadly about how we work. After all, successfully adapting to remote work depends on much more than replicating at home the same processes we once carried out in a physical office.
In order to rethink how Slack works in a remote-first world, and to give our employees the clarity they need to make long-term plans for themselves and their families, we’re announcing that employees will be able to work from home through June 2021. Slack’s offices will remain closed until June 2021 at the earliest, unless there’s a dramatic shift in safety conditions.
We’ve already taken steps to change the way Slack works. For example, our hiring policies have changed dramatically and permanently—most new roles are open to remote candidates, and most Slack employees have the option to work remotely on a permanent basis.
The far bigger challenge is figuring out how to work successfully within this distributed framework. Getting it right is about more than tools and technology to work on; it’s really about the culture and norms our employees work within.
One area where we’re making early progress is moving to a more asynchronous work cadence, removing the expectation that work happens primarily from 9 to 5, and encouraging employees to work the hours that make sense for them.
Over the longer term, we’re rethinking what it means to deliver a culture of belonging and inclusion in a remote-first world. How do we onboard and mentor the new employees who join us every week? How do we create the conditions for individuals and teams to trust each other so they can collaborate and innovate at the highest level, even if they’ve never met in person?
These are big, important questions, and we’re the first to acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers. We are, however, confident that we have the right team, with the right priorities and the right mindset to get through this pandemic stronger than ever.