Why a Slack Backlash Is Inevitable

Big Technology, 2020-08-20

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Problem statement

  • By attempting to replace email, Slack is changing companies’ cultures, including bullying and unprofessional behaviour.

  • Companies nonetheless are still responsible for this.

  • Workplace chats can amplify infighting, help divide companies and facilitate employee organising.

  • Private channels with their exclusion and saying nasty things are a real problem.

  • Organising to advance group interests on Slack is very easy.

Reaction and overreaction

  • Google: listened to the protests and then shut down the communication tools and supposedly retaliated against the organisers.

  • Still killing the tool may be a real overkill and a brake slam on productivity.

  • It’s the CEO and top management’s job to instil the company culture, which should trickle down to private channels.

  • UPD: interesting comment: make all private chats public after a certain period of time. Don’t think it will work well with HR type issues.

  • [MK: in Aviasales we’re channelling some of the communications by having specially-made channels for venting out – still with boundaries, just more relaxed rules that anyone joining agrees to abide by.]