Slack has announced a raft of new updates and features as it tries to help make the shift to remote working less painful for workers across the globe.
The online collaboration giant has unveiled a number of additions and services to make sure companies can keep their employees connected, no matter where they work.
The company also revealed new research which, perhaps unsurprisingly, found that many workers are happier at home than being in the office.
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Slack's new products include several security-focused tools as companies look to ensure their data stays safe in this newly-seperated work environment.
The platform, which typically sets up users to communicated within an organisation, will now offer Slack Connect DMs, which lets you collaborate with people outside of your company. Simply send an invitation to the partner or collaborator via Slack, and when they accept, you can begin direct messaging straight away.
Companies will also be able to demonstrate their trustworthiness thanks to the new Verified Organisations tool, with a checkmark similar to a Twitter Verified tick showing that they are a trusted partner. Lastly, admins can now pre-approve channel requests with trusted organisations, making it quicker to connect to other groups for all users.
Slack has also improved its Workflow Builder service, where users can now build workflows that integrate tools and apps outside of Slack using a visual tool and without using code. A new Socket Mode lets users build secure, interactive apps behind your organization’s firewall, which, once approved, can now be deployed across some or all of your organisation.
All these new features will roll out over the first few months of 2021.
Working from home
Alongside its new products, Slack revealed new research that found many employees across the world are extremely positive towards the new trend of remote working.
The company's Remote Employee Experience Index examined a number of elements that looked at what aspects of working from home were better or worse than being in the office. Overall, happiness in work-life balance and satisfaction with their working arrangements was incredibly high, with less stress or anxiety and higher productivity also reported across the board.
"This data shows that most knowledge workers are happier working remotely than they were in the office. They don’t want to go back to the old way of working," Slack's Brian Elliott, VP of Future Forum, said.
"The pandemic has given us a golden opportunity to redesign the world of work. We have no choice but to work differently. We must establish new organizing principles that enable a wholesale redesign of the places we use for work, the experience of our people, and the processes we use to run efficiently."
The only area where employees were less happy was in a sense of belonging, suggesting organisations need to make sure their teams feel part of a team going forward.
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Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.