The quick rise

Slack makes it possible for tens of millions of employees to have online conversations, ask questions, share information, make decisions. The platform reproduces the culture of the open-plan office by combining smartphone text messaging with the ability to separate and chronicle streams of workplace communication.

In 2020, there was an increase in number of people working from home and universities canceled in-person classes. Monday, March 9, 2020, Slack’s worldwide connected users hit an all-time high.

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Slack became indispensable

Investors had been wary of Slack since it went public in June 2019 because of its slowing growth, lack of profitability, and competition from Microsoft's competing product called Teams.

But as business swerved to avoid contagion, people were flocking to Slack's product to cope with disaster. Slack became a critical service, like Wi-Fi or electricity.

A lot of people are relying on Slack at this moment. They ensure that offices can keep on functioning.

"There's a feeling inside that the company was made for this crisis," says Slack's CTO, Cal Butterfield.

Although Slack also runs on Slack, the company had a work-at-office culture. As the company closed its offices in March, the executive made a series of decisions to make its mission clearer: Slack would take care of its people first during this crisis. In turn, those employees would take care of their customers.

  • They offered to reimburse each employee up to $500 for whatever equipment they needed to do their jobs at home.
  • When the schools closed, they advised people to work when they could.
  • They encouraged their employees to log out and take care of their kids and families.
  • They offer to pay employees their full salaries.

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Flattening the curve

It means that all the social distancing measures being adopted these days in many countries aren’t so much about preventing illness but rather slowing down the rate at which people get sick with the new disease.
This takes off the pressure of hospitals and it makes it possible to have the space and qualified personnel for treating the real sensitive cases (older people, for example).

How canceled events and self-quarantines save lives, in one chart

vox.com

If and when you return to your office after the pandemic, you'll probably notice some changes.

  • The doors of the building may open automatically, so you don't have to touch the handles.
  • You may tell the elevator where to stop, rather than pressing buttons.
  • You may walk into a room full of dividers and well-spaced desks.
  • Meeting rooms and kitchens may have fewer chairs.
  • There may be more frequent cleaning policies and better ventilation systems.

This is the end of the office as we know it

vox.com

Accept that you have to put in place remote work systems, even if more than half of your employees ultimately revert to office-based work.

  • If done right, a remote-first infrastructure will allow your employees' flexibility to be productive whenever, wherever.
  • It also opens up the ability to hire the best people regardless of locale.
  • It gives your organization a high degree of resilience.

CEOs and Leaders: Here's how to prepare for an extended period of remote work

medium.com

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