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Reinventing work from your “digital HQ”

This “human-first concept” is the next big paradigm shift is to a digital HQ. Don’t be left behind.

Reinventing work from your “digital HQ”

What will the work of the future look like? Will it be smarter, faster, leaner, greener? Will we still work in cities and skyscrapers and office parks? Or will we spread out, work from home, from abroad? It’s hard to know what the future of work will look like, but we do know it will be centered around the digital HQ. Slack’s recent Slack Frontiers 2021 conference offered keynotes and sessions examining these very questions and diving into everything you need to know to help build your digital HQ.

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The digital HQ of today is a human-first concept where teams can come together, ideas can come to life, and everyone can work and communicate in the same virtual space—wherever they are—at a healthier pace. It’s a place for people to align, collaborate with context, move forward, and work in more connected and efficient ways than ever before by breaking down silos and using accessible digital tools.

Creating that alignment, though, is an unlimited challenge. There are misunderstandings and organizational structures, like email, that don’t support the kind of communication that allows people to build common understanding. It’s fragmented, with potential miscommunication leading to different ideas of people’s goals, roles, and responsibilities. That’s where reinventing work within a digital HQ comes in.

Many of the world’s largest, most forward-thinking companies have adopted a digital HQ with Slack at its core, acting as a central place to create alignment, host transparent communication, and offer up apps and tools to accelerate work and create a sense of community. And now that companies have had time to acclimate and dive into new operating models, they’ve figured out how to make their digital HQ work harder for them and their employees.

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Here are some ways that top companies are taking charge of their digital HQ and reinventing work:

AUTOMATE WORKFLOWS

A pillar of a digital HQ is using workflows and automations that free up time, make work easier, and replace traditionally in-person tasks. Canva’s finance team built a workflow that saves them 64 hours a week. Noom’s coaching team built an automated workflow for new hires that resulted in 100% onboarding engagement. And at T-Mobile, customer experience managers transformed communication between the corporate level, field workers, and customers, using workflows within Slack.

“I did not know what a workflow was prior to March 2020. It’s truly been a lifesaver for me—just how much it’s helping me be more efficient and productive (and it makes me look smart).”

-Rasha Alkhatib, customer experience manager on the customer loyalty team, T-Mobile

T-Mobile is uniting its people, partners, and systems across the business with a digital HQ that is always evolving to suit the needs of the team. Part of that nimbleness is empowering employees to build solutions, automate tasks, and change the way they work through workflows, without needing additional software or code.

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Workflows can be used by anyone on the team—not just engineers or IT professionals—leading to a sense of autonomy and efficiency, as well as reducing the burden on tech departments. Various teams at T-Mobile have created specific workflows for reporting metrics, project management, reminders, peer recognition, monthly all-hands meetings, and more.

COLLABORATE EXTERNALLY

To connect flexibly in a distributed digital environment, not just internally but externally, Lockheed Martin has adopted Slack Connect to keep work flowing uninterrupted between more than 30 organizations. Connect channels range from short-term product testing for in-the-moment feedback to longer-term projects with a trusted vendor. While important details get lost in lengthy email chains, and playing telephone tag makes it hard to quickly reach someone outside of your network, Slack Connect breaks down barriers for more seamless, transparent communication.  Slack channels are not hampered by time zones nor work schedules, resulting in instant collaboration, all in one visible place.

“The ability to leverage Slack Connect to integrate with other companies and then have the ability to interact more real-time has, I think, been a huge benefit and of significant value for programs within our corporation.”

-Tim Lewis, director of workplace services, Lockheed Martin

CONNECT ASYNCHRONOUSLY

Amazon Web Services (AWS) serves hundreds of thousands of businesses every day across public and private partnerships and technology categories. Operating at massive scale and speed, AWS does it all within a digital HQ.

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“Because of the variety of the applications, having one tool to rule them all is very difficult at AWS. But Slack really gives us the opportunities to build upon it.”

-Lou Milard, enterprise engineering leader, Amazon Web Services

A digital HQ means connecting all employees, from the fulfillment centers to engineers, whether remote or back in the office, to ensure that customers are successful. Slack helps AWS create one cohesive conversation for all employees.

AWS relies on Slack Huddles for quick conversations, casual follow-ups to meetings, and onboarding, as well as designated channels for asynchronous global communication.

A digital HQ completely changes the way teams do business and achieve their goals. To learn more about the digital HQ and to watch the entire Slack Frontiers keynote on reinventing work, visit https://slack.com/frontiers.

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Matt O’Connor is the senior vice president of Global Customer Success at Slack. 

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