Two years ago, many organizations were forced to adopt remote working models overnight. We saw an acceleration toward a digital-first era no one — not even those of us trying to predict the future of work — saw coming.
Suddenly, those unpredictable changes became standard work realities. Teams expect to work when, where and how it suits them. The flexibility so many of us experienced during the pandemic transformed how we work and what we need to be productive.
To make this kind of flexibility sustainable, we must reimagine every aspect of work. This means bringing all the things we love about the physical office into a digital space, while improving existing systems and workflows. And, when necessary, we need to leave behind what’s broken, using tech to create new opportunities to collaborate in ways you just can’t in an office.
This is possible with a digital HQ: the hub at the center of the virtual wheel.
The building blocks of a digital HQ
The simple truth is that there’s a lot about the old way of work that wasn’t, well, working for employees. Until the global pandemic prematurely catapulted us into the future, we were operating within the structures of an office environment created for the 20th century. For many desk workers, that outdated design had become complicated, inefficient and, quite frankly, unpleasant.
The wonderful thing about a digital HQ is it’s significantly easier to “renovate” than a physical office. That comes in handy when your goal is continuous improvement. It’s high time we stopped trying to map every piece of analog infrastructure; instead, we have the opportunity to take a few bold risks and try something new.
For the past decade, we at Slack have been hard at work doing just that. What started as a platform for messaging has evolved into something far more sophisticated. Channels help us organize our communication by topic or project. To recreate the spontaneity of office conversations, we use huddles for an audio-first conversation that you can enter or exit at any time. Our video-focused clips help folks express themselves visually and asynchronously. Both of these features aid natural, quick communication — so you don’t have to search calendars to find an open slot for a half-hour call next Wednesday. And through Slack Connect, employees can work seamlessly and securely with external collaborators in the same way they do with internal colleagues.
Reimagining work like this — instead of digitally mimicking the old ways — means that teammates can align themselves around shared context and flexibility, empowering them to do their best work together. This is the thrilling opportunity in front of us — to forever transform how modern teams achieve their goals.
Streamlining what’s ahead
If the future we were waiting for has already arrived, then what comes next?
We’ve seen how the software-as-a-service model has remodeled the way people get things done. But many enterprises now run on more than a thousand different services. There are so many individual tools that the average employee’s day-to-day experience has become complex and bloated.
The true measure of a digital HQ is its ability to transcend product status and serve as a platform for users to build — and automate — powerful, bespoke solutions to their own unique challenges. After all, the people who are closest to the task usually have the clearest ideas about how to accomplish it.
That’s why we’ve reimagined Slack as a central nervous system for work. Collaboration isn’t just about communicating efficiently; it’s also about the kinetic ability to reach for the right tool at the right time. The changes we’re making will turn your apps into building blocks — remixable and reusable in service of your professional goals.
Best of all, you don’t have to be a developer to make this happen. Slack is democratizing automation by helping everyone —regardless of their coding proficiency — scale the unscalable. You’ll be able to design flexible workflows that can automate your most repetitive tasks, from filing expense reports to invoicing customers; and from onboarding new teammates to sharing weekly status updates.
This is our chance to redesign a human-centric work experience from the ground up. We aim to deliver on that promise — by making automation accessible and harnessing technology to make all of our working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive.
Learn how to connect your people, tools, customers and partners together with Slack, your digital HQ, by visiting https://slack.com/digital-hq