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Flexible work is the game-changer for inclusion, notes Slack

Slack Frontiers Asia Pacific media briefing was held recently.

Welcoming the audience, Ms. Revathi Venkatraman, Slack’s Head of APAC Customer Success said economic uncertainty has led to stronger focus on doing more with less. Coming out of the pandemic, the focus was on growth. Customer dynamics are shrinking. Growth is a top priority. We are proud to be in the front. We have teamed up with Salesforce to help our customers evolve. Growth is still on the table. She added that Future Forum talks a lot about the future of work. Cal Henderson, CEO, will talk about digital headquarters.

Brian Elliott, Executive Leader of Future Forum, talked about work. Today, executives are struggling more than ever. Employees are burned out. Flexibility is the solution. Leaders face new challenges caused by shifting workplace expectations and economic stress. There is growing epidemic of burnout in middle managers. Flexibility is key to the battle for talent. Flexible work is the game-changer for inclusion. 84% of working moms require location flexibility. Productivity, connection, and culture are three important parameters.

Working flexibly increases productivity. There is +4% increase in productivity scores for workers. Next, regarding connection, 34% trust company values and 44% are more connected with their managers. Connection and culture remains how you work and what you reward. There is a real divide among digital natives and executives leading organizations. The digital investments yield outsize results says 59% have higher productivity scores. Over 2x have greater sense of belonging. There are 54% percent less burnout than digital laggards. Digital headquarters can be a good place to be in.

Future of work
Cal Henderson, Slack’s co-founder and CTO, said that the current environment we find ourselves is a curious one. We now have an opportunity to think about how work will be done in the future. The question is: why do we need Slack’s HQ? We can make what was hard in the office better. Channels are the best way to organize information. We also have Clips for use. Video clips connect you much more with people. We also have workflows to automate things. Anybody can build them.

We also have Slack Connect. We can also bring what we love from the office. We have created Huddles. The average huddle is less than 10 minutes. We now have the option to turn on video. It is available to all our customers today.

We can also create great value in the HQ. We may have a list of things that can get closed by the end of the day. The board can be visible to everyone, and get updates. Everyone has access to systems and data. We created Canvas with text, images, files, external links, etc. It can also embed channels, messages, user profiles, workflows, etc. We can also have records and embedded data. Everyone can see the board from wherever they are in the world. Every channel can have their own Canvas.

Driving efficiency
Matt Loop, Slack’s Head of APAC, talked about Slack’s Apac highlights. We have more than doubled the teams. We acquired a company called Astro in India. We are also extending data residency across India. Australia now has more confident customers. Certain types of data at rest are also stored. We can offer assurances to customers in India.

Over 200,000 brands have chosen Slack as their digital HQ. Examples are Grab, Zomato, IBM, Telstra, Carsales, etc. Customers are adapting to the new work world focusing on digital HQ. It is driving efficiencies. We have the ability to reach more customers has grown since we became a Salesforce customer 15 months ago. We can see more customer insights. We are building relationships through Slack Connect. We are also seeing customer success with Customer 360. We are driving efficiency with your enterprise ecosystem.

Over half of Apac knowledge workers are considering switching jobs in the next year. Over half are burned out, and that figure is 60% in Australia. Impact of leadership communication is very important. 1 in 4 workers say they have seen collaborative tools introduced, but not widely used in their organizations. Adoption of collaborative technology is key. Over half of respondents in India have said that people are adopting collaborative technology.

Trust and innovation key
In the panel discussion, Dominic Pyn, Co-founder, Up, said we need great people to come in and work. Dominic Price, Work Futurist, Atlassian, said people have a choice today regarding work. We are going through a different economic moment now. We need to ensure money is sufficient for the people. Ms. Mary Lemonis, Chief People and Sustainability Officer, added that the trust point of view is needed to drive innovation. It starts all the way from the hiring process. We have to be really clear about expectations and standards. We want the best leaders, and strive for.

Ms. Anshu Arora, Director of Marketing and Student Acquisition, RMIT Online, talked about work-life balance. We need to be clear about what work-life balance means. We need to look at the benefit that we can get. Dominic Pyn added that we love to drop and pick up children to school. We can have work-life integration. We can create a culture. Everyone can come in and go, as and when they need to, so long as they get their work done.

Dom Price noted that we also need to have role models. Bringing that to life is critical. We also need to look at teams and their social contracts. What is the rhythmic cadence? We need to bring in psychological safety. We need to do things on purpose.

Finally, what does digital HQ mean? Dominic Pyn said that we use digital HQ. We use Slack to record what people are working on, and also look at small wins and failures. We also have a hybrid approach. Everyone has the opportunity to give feedback. Ms. Arora added that we have a social connection case. We are matching people. It is really a nice way to connect.

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