Slack’s CEO and cofounder Stewart Butterfield is taking one distinct approach to the future of work: do not ask workers to come back into the office.
“When I see headlines about CEOs trying to lure employees back to the office, I feel like it’s probably a doomed approach,” said Butterfield in an interview with The Washington Post. “Work is no longer a place you go. It’s something you do.”
Butterfield said it didn’t take long for him to realize that workers can be just as productive and creative working from home as they are in-person.
Although he admitted that the idea of a remote workforce seemed impossible pre-pandemic, the realization that it was viable has opened a world of new possibilities.
For Slack in particular, Butterfield says that his company will continue to maintain their real estate, but will utilize some of the space for different purposes.
Additionally, the company will not require those who have moved away during the pandemic to return to cities where Slack has existing offices, but it may adjust employees’ pay based on their location.
“We’re still really early in our own experimentation internally in how we work and also on the product side in thinking of new tools that we can give people that will make this time more effective,” said Butterfield. “The single biggest area is supporting asynchronous work (or helping people work together on projects without having to work simultaneously).”