For more than a year, companies worldwide have had to rapidly reinvent themselves. They’ve temporarily closed offices, updated their policies and adopted new technologies to stay productive and competitive in the face of unprecedented challenges.
As our customers look to the new normal of work, each organisation must decide for itself what mix of in-person, remote and hybrid work best suits its needs – there is no one-size-fits-all answer. However, what is clear in this work-from-anywhere world is that businesses will need to adopt a digital-first approach to work in order to maintain the flexibility, inclusivity and connection that they need to be successful.
Digital-first means encouraging people to work when and where is best for them. It doesn’t mean just taking the old ways of working – rigid nine-to-five workdays packed with countless meetings – and recreating them online. It requires a digital headquarters that supports all ways of working: synchronous and asynchronous, in-person and remote, structured and informal.
We’ve reimagined how Slack can improve collaboration for anyone – no matter where or when they work. Here are just a few ways that we’re helping teams to do their best work, digital-first.
1. Recreate the spontaneous and informal discussions that you miss from the office
Before, you might have dropped by a colleague’s desk to hash out an idea, or caught up with a colleague in the hallway to debrief after a big meeting. Those casual conversations, which aren’t burdened by formality or time-boxed to 30-minute increments, not only build team camaraderie, but often evolve into an idea of something greater. To help recreate those spontaneous moments wherever teams work, we’re introducing Slack huddles, a lightweight audio-first way to start live conversations.
In just one click, a huddle can be started in any channel or DM, including those that you share with people outside your company. Everyone in that channel is free to come in and out as they please, as if to ‘walk by’ your desk. Slack huddles are particularly useful when you want to discuss a complex topic on the fly without having to negotiate busy calendars, and want a break from being on camera. You can even share your screen within a huddle for those moments when it’s easier to work through a design, deck or proposal together.
Slack huddles: Rolling out to paid teams
2. Embrace flexible alternatives to the endless stream of meetings
When large or distributed teams need to schedule a meeting, it can be hard – if not impossible – to find a time that works for everyone. It would be far simpler to share ideas asynchronously, at a time that works best for each person. That’s why we’re introducing a new way to easily create and share video, voice and screen recordings in Slack.
Instead of having daily huddle meetings at 09:00, or scheduling a full meeting just to pitch a set of slides, imagine everyone being able to record their ideas and contribute to the conversation – on their own time.
When a recording is shared in Slack, anyone can watch whenever and in whatever way works best for them. A new and improved playback experience – which also works with third-party videos – allows you to speed up or slow down the content, read through the transcript or watch on the go from your phone. Recordings made in Slack are also archived with searchable transcriptions, adding to your organisation’s wealth of knowledge.
Designed to be inclusive from the start, both huddles and recordings will offer live captioning, helping to bring everyone into the conversation.
Video, voice and screen recordings: Coming to paid teams over the coming months
And now, whether it’s sending a recording or a traditional message in Slack, you can schedule it to go out when it’s convenient for your audience. For example, if you want to send a teammate a note, but know that they’ve signed off for the evening, you can now draft a message in Slack and set it to publish in the morning when they’re back online.Scheduling a message to send later in Slack
Scheduled send: Rolling out to all teams
With greater flexibility to send messages and new audio and video capabilities, workers will have more tools than ever to stay aligned, engaged and productive, so they can do their best work – wherever that might be.
Embracing this shift to digital-first won’t happen overnight, and it’s going to look different globally and across teams. To help inform your digital-first transformation, we’ve curated a handful of helpful tips from nine Slack customers, including The New York Times, Zillow, 1-800-Flowers and more.