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