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In order to meet the evolving needs of an increasingly digital-first, work-from-anywhere world, communication platform Slack is introducing newly developed features that bring its users different ways of communicating and interacting across its platform. A new audio tool, Slack Huddles, lets users “huddle” with one or more colleagues in a voice chat. Hoping to mimic the flexibility and connection of in-person conversations and interactions, Huddle takes a Clubhouse-style approach to audio, meaning that users can drop in to conversations that are happening as well as leave when they want, rather than conversations on the audio interface coming with their own set parameters. The company is hoping this model encourages the intra-team spontaneity and serendipity missing from more staid remote work solutions. Recognizing that not everyone is able to hear, the new tool also includes real-time transcriptions of the real-time conversations. Slack Huddles can be started in any channel or direct message on the platform, and are able to host up to 50 participants. Anyone invited to a Huddle can join and leave at any point during the audio call.
Another feature geared toward enhancing the future of work, Slack recently introduced a video, voice, and screen recording feature to its paid teams. The new feature enables Slack users to play back video, voice and screen recordings natively in Slack, as well as record and upload short clips into a channel or DM. When a recording is shared in Slack, anyone can watch whenever and in whatever way works best for them, and recordings can also be scheduled to be delivered at certain times. The idea behind the feature’s built-in customizability is to give remote teams more flexibility, so that rather than scheduling a daily meeting just to review a set of slides, the presenter can pre-record the presentation and share it with their colleagues who are able to view and respond to the conversation on their own time. The improved playback experience of the video and voice recording feature allows users to speed up or slow down the content, read through the real-time transcripts, or watch and listen from the Slack mobile app. Recordings are archived and searchable, creating a deep and actionable library of content for organizations.
These collaboration solutions are part of larger trends surrounding the future of work and flexibility solutions for remote collaboration that the PSFK research team has been diligently following. Voice and audio-based platforms that offer hands-free convenience, and supercharged collaboration platforms for video and text are a core component of the next wave of toolkits powering organizational productivity, providing increasingly important interfaces for interpersonal interactions and professional communication.
This article originally appeared in PSFK’s research paper, Emerging Interface Experiences