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Email has been the standard way for communications in the workspace for ages and it has been dominant. No company had ever been ambitious enough to try to turn this landscape around as it seems totally impossible until Slack decided to step in. Slack, a technology company founded in 2009 in San Francisco thinks that Email is outdated and inefficient for the current working environment, it thinks that there are better ways for workers to communicate in the workspace and decided to take on email by launching its own communication platform.
The Slack platform is totally different from what we have seen from the classic email layout. The layout for email is really simple and convenient for users, however, when you’re in a workspace dealing with a ton of emails every day from different people inside the company, it can get really chaotic quickly. This is why Slack decided to make its platform more community-based. The layout is a bit complex at first sight as it has a lot more features than email but once you started using it for a while you will get used to it quickly.
The main three spaces in Slack’s communication platform include Workspaces, Channels, and Direct messages. Each workspace consists of different channels and teammates where you can direct message them, you can create different workspaces for different departments or projects, each employee can be engaged in multiple workspaces for different needs. Channels are essentially like a group chat where you can create a topic and teammates inside the workspace can discuss about it. For example, you can have a channel for announcements and another one for technical support. Direct messages are basically just a space where you can message other people. For each people you message you will automatically create a thread at the sidebar, therefore it is very easy to visualize who you are talking to and what you have sent out before.
The reason why Slack is so successful is because it presents an efficient multi-channel communication platform. It separated group-based communication from direct messages which resulted in easier and simpler communication. You can send an email to four people at one time but you will end up receiving four replies from them. Whereas on Slack you can create a Workspace for the five people to communicate easily. The better categorization and detailed layout can also enhance engagement as it is much easier for workers to connect with one another. One of the largest tech company Salesforce bought out Slack for a whopping 25 billion which proves its attractiveness. I believe email will still have its edge for external and formal communication but when it comes to less formal communication within the company, I believe Slack is the way to go.
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