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How Slack’s new features aim to improve hybrid working

30 Jun 2021

The messaging app’s new features aim to facilitate better communication between businesses and employees.

Productivity tool and messaging app Slack will release three additional features as part of its efforts to corner the ‘digital-first’ and hybrid working markets.

The new features announced today (30 June) will enable users working remotely to communicate with their colleagues in a more seamless and natural manner.

Stewart Butterfield, CEO and co-founder of Slack, said that digital tools could potentially supplement traditional in-person collaboration.

Slack Huddles is a live conversation tool that aims to replicate the spontaneous discussions people have in the office. With one click, a huddle can be started with anyone inside or outside their company. The idea is for users to be able to drop in and out of these virtual conversations or ‘huddles’ and collaborate or contribute as needed.

It builds on Slack Connect, a direct messaging tool that allows users to message those outside their company, which was released in March.

Voice, video and screen recordings will also soon be rolled out as part of huddles. These features will enable people on different schedules to work together on projects as if in real time. Instead of having meetings, users could schedule recorded messages to go out whenever they are needed.

Huddles and recordings will offer live-captioning and can be archived with searchable transcriptions, meaning they can be viewed again.

Another new feature, Slack Atlas is designed to help new hires joining teams of people they may never have met.

Slack Atlas acts as an indexing device to allow employees to familiarise themselves with aspects of their new company. It provides detailed information—including the company’s organisational structure, employee start dates and custom fields. It also integrates with popular tools such as Workday, meaning profile data automatically populates and is always up to date.

The new tools will be made available to all users depending on their subscription plans shortly. Huddles is available for paid teams, and voice, video and screen recordings will be rolled out to paid teams in the coming months, while the scheduled send feature will be free for all users.

There will be a wait for Irish people to use Slack Atlas, which is still only available in the US and Canada as the company irons out the last few details.

Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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