All it took was a pandemic, but the maker of a widely used remote-work tool has finally come to the startling conclusion that permanent remote work might actually be possible.
San Francisco-based Slack announced Friday that, contrary to its office-first culture, going forward it will allow employees the option to work remotely forever. That’s right, the company that for many defines modern-day remote work is only catching up to the actual reality of that now.
“Slack is going to become a much more distributed company,” explained Robby Kwok, Slack’s senior vice president of people, in a blog post announcing the change. “That means most employees will have the option to work remotely on a permanent basis if they choose, and we will begin to increasingly hire employees who are permanently remote.”
Slack follows in the footsteps of another San Francisco-based company, Twitter, in using the coronavirus-forced office closures as an opportunity to change the structure of its workforce. In early May, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that being forced to show up, in person, every day for work will soon be a thing of the past for most Twitter employees.
“The past few months have proven we can make that work,” a Twitter spokesperson said at the time. “So if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen.”
Notably, Kwok writes that Slack is aware that this will have an impact on “the network of contractors and vendors whose hard work supported Slack’s food and beverage programs, social gatherings, and more.” As such, Slack will continue to pay its contractors through the end of this year. Presumably, after that those affected by the shift to remote work are on their own.
That Slack took so long to embrace remote work might come as a shock to those who use its product. However, that it is finally and only doing so now that it has been backed into a corner suggests that other remote-work holdouts might soon follow suit.
SEE ALSO: How to keep your Slack status active while *ahem* ‘working’ from home
Fortunately for any company fitting that bill, we hear there’s a great remote-work tool that facilitates distanced collaboration among colleagues. What’s it called again?