A Chat-Based Workplace

  • Aug 20,2018
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Chat apps, like Slack and Facebook Messenger, have taken the workplace by storm. They’re a popular way to communicate: collaborate with teammates and get answers to questions in real time. Yet this may be just the beginning. In a recent Forbes article, twelve experts—including BigTime’s CEO, Brian Saunders—weigh in on the future of chat app technology. “Chat is essentially human-driven workflow”, explains Saunders. Find out where a meeting is taking place or who’s available to help with a problem. He sees a chat-based workplace in the future: “as more apps like Slack make their way into the workforce, along with the millennials who use them, all of our web-based workflow systems will eventually move to chat.” He’s got a point. More people are using chat apps like Slack. Fewer than 1,000 people used Slack daily in April 2015, according to Statista, whereas more than eight million people used it in May 2018. Plus, as Saunders suggests, millennials and the technologies they use are influencing the workplace. Millennials are the largest generation in the United States’ workforce. And they’ve “often led older Americans in their adoption and use of technology,” explains Pew Research Center, though older generations have recently grown in their adoption of technology. That said, “[chat] will become a platform for quick-decisions on simple queries—some from co-workers, many from bots,” predicts Saunders. Several other executives quoted in the article speculate on the capability of chatbots. “The real goal is to communicate the emotion of the sender,” says Bottle Rocket’s Luke Wallace. “The more a technology allows the feelings of the people to shine through, the more successful it will be.” Others see chatbots doing more than just communicate, and anticipating users’ wants and needs. By using artificial intelligence, it’s conceivable that the next generation of chat apps will be increasingly sophisticated: being able to handle more complex requests and provide detailed solutions.