Slack offering three new features: Scheduled Send, Video Messages and Huddles Audio Chat to offer quick, informal conversations

Slack Huddles
Informal office chats with remotely working colleagues are now possible through Slack. Pic credit: Giorgio Minguzzi/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

The hybrid working environment involving remotely working employees and limited in-office staff could get a lot better with new features that Slack has introduced. Scheduled Send, Video Messages, and Huddles Audio Chat is set to simplify and improve informal communication that was all but lost during the pandemic.

Productivity and collaboration platform Slack will release three new features. The company claims these are part of the “digital-first” work approach and would benefit and hybrid working markets.

Slack confirms three new features available immediately for paying subscribers:

Slack claims the new features will enable users working remotely to communicate with their colleagues in a more seamless and natural manner. The company has clearly modeled these features on the typical in-office, informal communications that often happen at the water cooler.

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

Slack is also rolling out Slack Atlas. The feature should help new hires joining teams of people they may never have met.

Slack Atlas acts as an indexing device to allow employees to familiarize themselves with multiple aspects of their new employer. The feature provides organizational structure, employee start dates, and custom fields.

Slack Atlas also integrates with tools such as Workday. This ensures profile data automatically populates, is always relevant, and up to date.

Slack Huddles aims to address hurdles faced during the transition to a Hybrid Workplace:

Slack Huddles is essentially “lightweight audio calls that you and your colleagues can jump in and out of while working,” explained Butterfield. The feature could work as a stand-in for the informal conversations colleagues used to have across desks before ‘Work from Home’ happened.

Slack is focusing on audio with Huddles rather than video. However, the platform will offer a screen-sharing feature in the near future, promised Slack’s CEO.

“It allows for two- or three-minute conversations. If you have to schedule a call… you talk for the full 30 minutes instead of the two or three minutes you needed right at that moment.”

Slack users can quickly create an informal channel or DM, and Huddles offers shared communications across companies. The whole experience is deliberately casual which attempts to mimic colleagues having a quick chat.

Slach Huddles also includes live captioning through Amazon Web Services (AWS). Needless to mention, Slack relies on Amazon’s cloud infrastructure.

Apart from Huddles, Slack is offering voice, video, and screen recordings. The simple idea behind this feature is to enable users to record their ideas on their own time and send them to a channel.

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