Slack was meant to make working life easier, but its ‘always-on’ demands are piling on the stress

Slack, the instant messaging platform that has become a part of everyday office life for many of us, was born by chance. It was bought by Salesforce last December for a shame $28 billion, but it shouldn’t exist.

Five years ago, co-founder Cal Henderson told reporters the software was just a by-product of his team, which was split into two offices, trying to communicate while developing games. Glitch While Slack has 10 million users a day, subscribers in 150 countries and sales will grow to $630 million (£458 million) by 2020.

Slack has long been marketed as a way to communicate more effectively. Internal reports highlight customers who say reduced emails (43%) and appointments (21%). And with the advent of Covid, Slack seems the perfect antidote in itself. Tim is locked in the house.

But with many employees reverting to a hybrid model of remote and in-person work, does Slack help reduce or increase modern stress?

Digital detox expert Tanya Goodin, My Brain Has Too Many Tabs Open She says many companies are launching Slack to combat email burnout. “We were all so tired of emails and thought, ‘We have to do better,'” he said.

“We thought great, it didn’t clog servers, it felt like social media, not email.” But soon people started to get annoyed about it. “We just can’t afford to do the job.”

Alex, 35, who works as a freelance journalist in the US only started using Slack last year, but now allows senior management to “supervise” employees and spend more time at work. When he was released, he thought it was a “trash can full”. Instead of talking about it.

He needs a digital appearance and can’t “take a coffee break, eat lunch, or go to the bathroom instead of focusing”. Although Slack describes it as “a place where work gets done”, the nature of Slack’s live streaming is unproductive for Alex and the others.

“It’s like a child patting you on the shoulder for an hour and wondering why you haven’t finished,” he says. “Even though I’ve been sitting at my desk for five hours without a break, my productivity has dropped significantly. I spend a lot of time just replying to silly messages. ”

Anyone who uses Slack will be familiar with the new chat ping sound, or red dot, indicating someone is seeking your attention. Even the smallest interrupt (or expected interrupt) can break the flow, regardless of whether it responds immediately or not.

According to a study by the University of California, distracted workers often learn to make up for lost time by working faster, but getting paid. This increases stress levels and makes you more frustrated.

According to Goodin, the best way for people to work is not to have multiple tasks, but to open up time and space to be creative and thoughtful. However, this is the exact opposite of the environment in which such 21st century platforms proliferate.

“[It’s] We push ourselves to embrace this belief that we can open sections and watch as we try to get the job done,” he said. “But it’s like spending all day processing what’s in my inbox and reporting, and the time we spent doing it is almost over.”