Slack Seeks Harmony and Community

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Spotlight on Slack

Slack Technologies is thriving, in large part due to the global pandemic. Recent work-from-home trends have brought an influx of users to the business, which, like Zoom, has catapulted the company’s value by $50 billion since coronavirus hit. Their rapid trajectory has been a proving ground, not only for the Slack platform, but also for its mission to help people work together.

The San Francisco-based tech company is lauded for a strong people-first culture.  In fact, it is founded on “being human and recognizing the humanity in others,” which is evident in the operational decisions it implements.  The company has allowed employees to work from home for the duration of the pandemic putting employee health first. It acknowledges the impact of these changes on its network of vendors and contractors—committing to pay the suppliers through the end of the year.

Slack has even taken this further, making permanent structural change. In  a recent announcement from Slack’s SVP of People, Robby Kwok, stated:

“One thing we know. Slack is going to become a much more distributed company. That means most employees will have the option to work remotely on a permanent basis if they choose.”

It may seem like a long overdue move for Slack to go all-remote, however this change brings into focus the brand’s open-mindedness and brand authenticity in response to crises.

Most companies have moved to a remote model, at least temporarily, Slack has become the model for a new normal where the workforce is at home. Remarkably, in less than two weeks Slack transitioned Man Group, a global investment firm founded in 1783, to an all-remote workforce across its 19 office locations.

Likewise, on June 2nd the company made the decision to post an internal note from CEO Stewart Butterfield, responding to the murder of George Floyd, nearly six years after Eric Garner.

“These senseless killings and the dozens between them have highlighted the structural inequities and racism inherent in the institutions that are meant to keep all Americans safe.…the ongoing injustices against people of color have no place here or anywhere. They are contrary to everything we for as a company and a group of human beings working together. Slack was built on shared values like empathy and solidarity—know that we condemn these acts, and stand in solidarity with our Black employees.”

While tech companies remain predominantly White, Asian and male, the industry has a long way to go before becoming truly diverse, and Slack is no exception. However, Stewart is personally invested, pledging to donate, with his partner, Away CEO Jen Rubio,  $700,000, additionally matching up to $3 million—a promising start to living their brand value of “taking the interests of all into account…seeking harmony and community.”

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About Brand Acts of Kindness® 

Brand Acts of Kindness® is a series from Carpenter Group that spotlights companies across industries that are living their brand values in addressing the unprecedented challenges facing the world today.

The series initially headlined companies assisting healthcare workers and first responders, as well as communities, businesses and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also highlight brands taking the lead in supporting social and racial justice, LGBTQ rights, sustainability and the environment. Their stories show how innovation, resolve and action, built on a solid value proposition, can both strengthen a brand and help create a better world.

About Carpenter Group

Carpenter Group is an independent, woman-owned strategic branding, messaging and marketing communications firm that has delivered results-driven solutions to financial, professional services and technology firms for 30+ years.

Our broad cross-discipline experience enables us to craft brand messaging and carry it through to the channels that most effectively connect with our clients’ target audience, from editorial content to advertising to event marketing and more.