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Communications platform Slack on Thursday revealed a string of upcoming features aimed at improving communication in the workplace.
The updates will attempt to bridge the gap between “fragmented” and “mundane” conversations that often take place over multiple channels in a work environment, such as emails and messaging services.
Shared Channels beta
Shared Channels, a feature that allows separate companies to communicate with each other on their own Slack network, will soon be expanding to Enterprise Grid members.
“This allows agencies, customers, vendors and many others to collaborate with you using all the same benefits and functionality that channels bring to your internal teams,” the company explained.
Shared Channels will reach Enterprise Grid customers in beta towards the end of 2019.
This feature allows companies to automate administrative tasks such as “handling budget approvals or setting up new hires”.
The Workflow Builder can fill out forms, send automated messages and even conduct surveys for a company.
The feature is also expected to roll out in 2019.
According to Slack, the search bar will transform into a navigation hub in a few weeks.
Users will be able to sift through channels, files, frequent contacts, unread messages and archives.
Integrated emails and calendars
New ad-ins for Outlook and Gmail have already rolled out, allowing emails from the platform to appear in relevant channels on Slack.
This means that if your Slack and emails are connected, email conversation will show up in Slack.
The company will also be rolling out a reverse feature, which will send Slack conversations as emails to members who are not on the former platform.
“In the future, we’ll be adding the ability for people to reply right from their email inbox, with their response posting back to Slack,” the company said.
Finally, similarly to email ad-ins, Slack will be launching calendar ad-ins.
These ad-ins will send users calendar invites and notifications within Slack, users will also be able to respond from the platform.
“In the future, when someone says something like, ‘Let’s meet tomorrow and discuss,’ Slack will chime in and recommend setting up that meeting right away,” the company also noted.
This will then prompt users to create calendar events through Slack as well.
Calendar ad-ins will also roll out in late 2019.
Feature image: Slack