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Could Slack, the plucky messaging startup, take the formality out of office communication?

Slack is applying the laid-back Silicon Valley philosophy to the world of work - with some amazing results!

Meet Slack, the fastest-growing B2B business in history. While companies such as Instagram and Tinder continue to generate massive revenues by transforming the way in which we share moments and date, Slack is applying the laid-back Silicon Valley philosophy to the world of work – with some amazing results!

Changing the conversation

With the infamous title ‘email killer’, the first question that springs to mind is what exactly is Slack? Essentially, it is a real-time communication app with archival and search functions, making it a useful tool for both ad-hoc messaging and more sustained conversation concerning long-term projects.

Its flexibility makes it an ideal resource in sectors where a day in the office can be highly varied, requiring spontaneous decision making and fast-tracking priority tasks; indeed, this app could be a real boon to HR, recruitment and marketing departments. It is just such departments, where younger people are likely to take the helm, that Slack seems perfect for.

Doctor Leah Reich, top sociologist and researcher at Slack, holds that email belongs to a previous generation of employees; like them, it will soon be going the way of the dinosaur. With blind copying (BCC) and the fear that your boss could be copied into the email chain without your knowledge, email represents a more Machiavellian way of communicating – suitable for political game-playing, but ultimately static and rigid.

Slack, by comparison, fosters collaboration and openness, as no idea is too small to be shared and no thought too minor to be worthy of notice. Instead of laboriously undertaking the process of getting a design concept to the entire team, Slack can be used to send a quick message to the one person the idea might really benefit. With all this in mind, it is no wonder that Slack is a hit with younger workers who, as Reich points out, already have ample practice in the world of IM.

New voices

With its latest diversity report showing that nearly half its staff are female, including half the senior management team, it is clear the Slack is no Silicon Valley clone – where white men continue to dominate. Add this to the fact that over 10 per cent of staff identify as LGBT, with nearly the same number identifying as black employees, and you have a very interesting company. To put this into perspective, it is nearly tenfold the figure of black engineers working at the big three firms: Facebook, Google and Twitter.

The future is bright, the future is bubbly

It is nothing if not the age of innovation. With users receiving 48.6 per cent less emails than previously, this app is clearly working; however, the question remains – would Slack suit your business? To this question, the answer remains the same: there is only one way to find out.

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