Companies around the world have turned to digital solutions to navigate seismic change in the past few years. We’re living and innovating in an era where digital infrastructure has taken priority ahead of the physical headquarters. It’s this digital infrastructure that has allowed us to stay flexible, productive and collaborative in the wake of the pandemic and other sweeping global shifts.
Now many modern workplaces are not just virtual or physical but a hybrid of both, with 66% of knowledge workers in flexible work arrangements. As we continue to face constant change, from office re-openings to talent retention and the need to be as efficient and productive as possible, Slack – in partnership with Salesforce – is providing our customers with a digital HQ to connect everyone across teams, time zones, physical spaces and companies to stay agile and aligned.
At Slack Frontiers, our annual conference on the future of work, we’re announcing a new co-working space in Slack huddles to power spontaneous discussions and live working sessions in your digital HQ. We’re also sharing that we’re launching GovSlack, the secure digital HQ for government agencies. Keep reading to see what’s in store for our customers.
‘As companies have navigated this uncharted world of flexible work, Slack has been rethinking what new tools are needed for the digital HQ. The new co-working capabilities in huddles provide teams with deeper ways to collaborate and quickly make decisions without leaving Slack – or adding to our overscheduled calendars’.
Even more ways to collaborate with Slack huddles
In the early days of the pandemic, our customers told us they needed a digital-first way to help re-create the informal discussions that took place in office cafés and hallways. We heard them loud and clear and developed Slack huddles. Thanks to its simplicity and ease of use, huddles has become the fastest-adopted feature in Slack’s history, with millions of people using it every week at companies like Intuit, Wayfair, Dell, Kiva and Expedia Group.
While our customers love huddles – which have a 95% customer satisfaction rating – the most frequent feedback we’ve heard is that they’re looking for even deeper ways to collaborate. That’s why we’re building new capabilities to help teams tackle the new realities of work while reproducing the energy and camaraderie that often take place in physical headquarters.
Today, we’re unveiling these new ways to work together in Slack huddles, keeping all your teamwork in one place – Slack, your digital HQ:
- 📹 Lightweight video with one click
- 📺 Multi-person screen sharing, drawing and cursors
- 🥳 Fun, relaxed atmosphere filled with your favourite emoji, reactions and ‘stickers’
- 💬 Message thread that automatically saves to channel
A casual space for co-working
Here at Slack, we realise that whether you’re remote, hybrid or in the office, you need a better way of working alongside colleagues in your digital HQ. That’s why we’re launching a completely new co-working space in huddles, to allow distributed teams to quickly connect, problem solve and co-create in real time – right in Slack. No need to coordinate calendars, schedule time or spin up a meeting in another app, because you and your teammates can hop into a huddle on the fly to immediately start brainstorming ideas, resolving priority incidents or reviewing the latest designs.
The soon-to-be released co-working tools in huddles will give you a flexible space to tackle everyday projects alongside colleagues, tapping into talent across your organisation to keep work moving forward – no matter where teams are based.
Turn on video for deeper connections
When you’re collaborating and giving feedback in a digital-first setting, seeing teammates can help you feel more connected. That’s why we’re introducing the option to turn on lightweight video in huddles.
By default, all huddles will start as audio-only conversations in a simple, minimised screen – we heard from our customers that they loved the fast, minimal and audio-first experience, so we’re keeping that intact. But soon you’ll have the option to turn on video when you want to fully express yourself and see the real-time reaction of your colleagues. Working from a dining room or just need more privacy? Blur your video background so you and your teammates can stay focused on the task at hand.
For side-by-side teamwork from anywhere
Sharing your screen with teammates gives them a shared view of projects, reducing miscommunication and making sure everyone is on the same page. But most traditional screen sharing offers presentation-mode only, for one person at a time.
In huddles, multiple people will soon be able to screen-share simultaneously, making it easier for you and others to pull up presentation decks and documents to work on together in real time.
For example, you’re collaborating with several designers on your new web project, and they each pull up different design directions so you can decide on which visual aspects you like best. You can also draw or use live cursors on your teammates’ shared screens to emphasise certain points or visuals, such as highlighting design inconsistencies and fixing them in the moment, together.
Join with context, leave aligned
How many times have you asked a colleague to re-share a link after a meeting?
In the new co-working space in Slack huddles, your conversations and files will flow in an organised and searchable way, the same way they do in channels. This is all made possible through a message thread where everything you share in the huddle – links, notes, chats and more –will get automatically saved in the channel or DM where it was launched, for easy reference.
Teammates in a channel or DM who aren’t in the huddle will be able to reference live messaging threads, allowing them to see the conversation update in real time and decide whether they want to join. Or they can also read the thread later, catch up asynchronously and chime in at a time that works best for them. You can even give your huddle a name to provide added context to participants and pin the message thread to the top of a channel or DM for ready access.
With message threads in huddles, your conversation history and resources are at your fingertips. So instead of asking a teammate for that link again, you and others can search for it – saving everyone time and making knowledge sharing simple.
Express yourself while having fun
There are a broad range of reaction emoji in Slack that let our customers express themselves while helping them to work smarter and more efficiently and create a sense of belonging (while having fun too). We’re bringing some of that reaction emoji magic into huddles with emoji, effects and ‘stickers’ – including every custom emoji your team has created. During a huddle, you’ll have the ability to co-sign a great idea, celebrate a colleague’s win or share a well-timed joke with emoji and effects.
Say you want to raise your hand to speak next or you’re stepping away to refill your coffee. Now you’ll be able to quickly and efficiently share this and other actions with stickers. Stickers stay up on the screen until you remove them.
Whether you’re using emoji, effects or stickers, you can contribute without interrupting the flow of the conversation.
‘We’ve been loving huddles for quick, ad hoc conversations at Intuit. And we’re very excited about the new co-working capabilities, especially the ability to share screens simultaneously. I think this new experience in huddles will re-create the feeling of working alongside a teammate in person’.
Do great work with teammates in one place
By bringing these new features into huddles, teams can unlock new ways of working and do incredible things:
- 💡 Brainstorming and feedback: Start a huddle in a channel with your team so you can talk through your campaign ideas and get feedback. Your team shares feedback and new ideas in the thread for reference post-huddle. They’re impressed with your thoughts, and your manager shares the ‘fire’ emoji 🔥to convey a job well done.
- 🚀 Building and creating: Your creative agency wants to share a concept with you to make sure they are on the right track. In your Slack Connect channel, they start a huddle and share their screen to show the latest design mock-ups. At the same time, you also screen-share a presentation to compare ideas.
- ✅ Resolving issues You’re out in the field and unable to fix a customer issue on-site, so you pull out your phone to start a huddle in a channel of remote experts. Within seconds, you have three remote experts in the huddle who are guiding you through resolving the issue as you broadcast the situation at hand with video.
The co-working space in Slack huddles will be available to all teams in autumn 2022.
Want to learn more? Slack and Salesforce are here. Tune in to Frontiers 2022 to find solutions to today’s toughest workplace challenges and help your team get the most out of your digital HQ.
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