At this point in the pandemic, my colleagues have seen my laughing, crying, and smiling emojis more than my actual face. And based on a new release of Slack emojis, the messaging platform is banking on the fact that that probably won’t change too much.
Today, Slack is releasing a set of emojis to capture the changing work landscape, and a shift from largely in-office workplaces to remote or hybrid schedules. The emojis, designed with &Walsh founder Jessica Walsh, are cheeky and personable, and reveal just how little modern work actually has to do with sitting at a desk. The 12 new emojis feature icons like bunny slippers, a to-go coffee cup, and a Dali-esque melting clock—all reflecting the new reality of our day-to-day.
It’s no secret that COVID-19 changed the nature of work. As offices around the world closed, workers hunkered down behind their laptops at home. Some even moved. A slew of companies, including Twitter and Facebook, announced that they’d let employees work from home forever. And while others, like Google, are planning to reopen their offices, it’s clear the landscape has shifted. So it makes sense that Slack, with 12 million daily active users and 156,000 subscribed organizations, is following the trend in its own way—with emojis that reflect that times.
Most of the emojis don’t depict things in an actual office. There’s an emoji face slathered with a green mask and cucumbers over the eyes, a backpack with toys inside, and an office building that indicates remote, WFH, and in-office days. Walsh’s personal favorite is the “me time” face mask emoji. She says having this option as a baked-in Slack status encourages people to take a break, rather than spending eight hours hunched over their desks.
Walsh says her team constantly uses emojis to communicate, and the ones in this pack were emojis they wished existed. “We thought [they] would make remote communication easier,” says Walsh. “We wanted to include fun ways for team members to feel more connected to their work and each other, even while working from home.” They also offer a sense of tonality and make messages feel less formal, according to Walsh, giving a little bit of that water cooler talk feeling, even at home.
The &Walsh hybrid work emojis are available to all Slack workspaces beginning today at 8 a.m. PT. Owners, admins, and members with permission can add the emoji pack using the steps in the “emoji packs” section on this page. (You can download even saltier versions, care of &Walsh, here.) Now your Slack workspace can be a little more reflective of your real life workspace, too.