Workday Podcast: Slack’s VP of People on the Future of Work

The traditional work environment may never return. In this two-part podcast, Slack’s head of people, Dawn Sharifan, joined us to discuss remote workforce management in a crisis and the new world of work.

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Unless you happen to be a prophet or possess a very accurate Magic 8-Ball, there’s little chance you could have predicted that by the midpoint of 2020, about half of the people who were employed before the pandemic would be working from home. How much of the massive change brought on by COVID-19 will stick for the long term is still up in the air, but for now, change is the only constant. 

In this two-part episode of the Workday Podcast, Dawn Sharifan, vice president of people at Slack, joined us to talk about remote workforce management in a crisis, and the new world of work. 

Listen on SoundCloud

Part 1: Engaging at a Distance: Remote Workforce Management in a Crisis

Part 2: The New World of Work: Looking to the Future

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Part 1: Engaging at a Distance: Remote Workforce Management in a Crisis

Part 2: The New World of Work: Looking to the Future

Below you’ll find a few highlights of our conversations, edited for clarity. You can find our other Workday Podcasts here

Highlights From “Engaging at a Distance: Remote Workforce Management in a Crisis” 

  • “First, your culture must be articulated clearly. Second, it should be restated frequently. Tell your employees what it is, why it matters, and that it’s valued. And third, your culture needs to be enforced. Allowing people to act in ways contrary to your culture creates confusion and dissonance within your company and undermines everything that you just spent all that time creating and communicating.” 

  • “Put on your own oxygen mask first. Model the behaviors you want for the company. Create space for creativity so you can solve these new and unique puzzles, and be kind to yourself.” 

Highlights From “The New World of Work: Looking to the Future” 

  • “We have leapt forward five to 10 years—trends we’ve been hearing about for years are here. The future of work is distributed, transparent, and flexible. There's no going back to what was; there’s only the future and the new normal. And we have this unique opportunity to define that future.”

  • “I think the modern office will hold more intention with its design, purpose, and place in the broader community. I don't think we'll just come into the office every day, because that's what's expected. It will become an intentional gathering center for celebration, joy, connection, milestones, and deep brainstorming.” 

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