We’re more than seven months into the global shift to remote work, and it’s clear that there is much more that we can do to improve the way we work together in this new world. For starters, we know that there are better ways to collaborate than simply falling into the copy-paste trap of moving physical behaviours to the digital world – back-to-back video conferences all day, every day are a uniquely exhausting way to work. On the other hand, people miss the unplanned, spontaneous interactions in the office that helped us stay aligned, make quick decisions and spark new ideas.
We pioneered channel-based messaging to improve the way we work together, and we are always exploring new ways to reimagine work and management. We want to free people from processes that don’t make much sense anymore and help us all to form deeper connections while working remotely. One way to do that is to bring voice and video into channels, where all the right people are already working together.
This desire for more support in maintaining relationships, connection and team culture during remote work is well reflected in the data. In a new global Slack survey, four out of the five most frequently cited challenges with remote work relate to building and maintaining strong work ties. In fact, the only thing workers say that they need above this is a decent Internet connection.
We’re looking for ideas we can take that are familiar to you from regular life in the consumer world and bring that to the enterprise. Here’s a glimpse into two early Slack prototypes that we’re exploring:
Asynchronous video to help people collaborate on their own time instead of at the same time
Let’s take what we love about video – seeing faces and places – and separate it from the constant pressure of video conferences and packed meeting schedules to help us stay aligned with teammates.
Imagine the daily huddle meeting that happens from 9 to 9:15 every morning. What if you could record your update at 8:53 and watch the others at 10:51 when it’s more convenient for you? This gives people the information and updates that they need, with a measure of flexibility that is usually missing in today’s setup.
Lightweight, always-available audio that allows for ad-hoc connections when you need a quick answer or more eyes on a problem
As you’ve probably already experienced, channels are the perfect place to kick off a conversation with the right people because everyone is already there – sharing updates, files and starting workflows.
Imagine if you could talk live with whoever is available on your team – not scheduled, but totally spontaneous, like sticking your head into an office to get an answer, or starting a hallway conversation that turns into a brainstorm. An audio option in channels is another way we’re thinking that we can bring back that all-important creative flow, no matter where you work.Animation of a Slack exploration into new remote work tools
These ideas come alongside the new product capabilities set to be announced Wednesday at Frontiers. They, too, are designed to bring remote teams closer together.
The above information is intended for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY and not as a binding commitment. Please do not rely on this information when making your purchasing decisions. The development, release and timing of any products, features or functionality remain at the sole discretion of Slack and are subject to change.