Async, not avatars: Slack’s Stewart Butterfield on the future of work
Stewart Butterfield has a lot of thoughts about how work should work. Which is not exactly surprising, given that he’s the CEO of Slack, and now works for Salesforce, two companies that are at the center of the digital workplace for businesses around the world. He’s seen what the shift to remote-first work has done to many companies, and how digital transformation has changed business’ conception of what “work” even looks like. It all sounds a little philosophical — and maybe it is — but it’s also the stuff companies everywhere are grappling with right now.
But 2021 was hardly an ordinary year. The way we worked and lived will (hopefully!) not be the way we work and live forever. So what trends should we leave behind, and which should we embrace? And maybe just as important, which are going to stick around no matter how we feel? The future of work doesn’t have to look like the present, but it doesn’t have to look like the past either.
For our last Source Code interview of the year, we asked Butterfield to look back at 2021 and ahead to 2022, to try and figure out what the future of work might look like. Will asynchronous work become the norm? Will companies and employees gain a better work-life balance? Will all our meetings move to the metaverse? How should we set up notifications, build culture, and create inclusive companies when everyone’s a rectangle on a laptop screen? Butterfield has thoughts and ideas on all of it, and lessons for everyone heading into another, hopefully much less chaotic year.
For more on the topics discussed in this episode:
- Lizzy Lawrence on Twitter
- Cron calendar
- Stewart Butterfield on Twitter
- Slack’s Digital HQ explainer
- Slack’s Frontiers news
- Async vs. sync work: How to re-evaluate meetings
- WhatsApp for work: Slack is turning into a full-on messaging app
- Slack’s Platform plan: To be ‘the central nervous system’ of businesses everywhere
- Why Slack’s CEO says he's not worried about Microsoft
For all the links and stories, head to Source Code’s homepage.