A lot has happened since The Verge reported on Away’s toxic work environment. Most notably, its CEO Steph Korey (kind of) stepped down just days after the story was published—and Slack came under fire for enabling her to berate her employees.
Wait, how is Slack to blame for any of this?
In case you haven’t read The Verge’s investigation (and you should), here’s a quick summary. Several leaked screenshots showed that Korey routinely harassed her understaffed customer success agents in public chat rooms. At one point, she lashed out in response to a backlog of tickets by discontinuing requests for paid time off.
After the story broke, the public outcry against Korey wasn’t particularly surprising. Neither was the fact that she “voluntarily” stepped down a few days later. But then, several experts in the tech industry called for Slack to take responsibility for the content shared on the app. Others even argued that it should be held accountable in the same vein as Facebook and Twitter. This isn’t the first time that some have wondered if Slack has negatively impacted the way we all work. In some cases, the always-on nature of the app has made it more difficult for employees at all levels to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
While we aren’t sure that Slack is at fault for Away’s PR mess, we do think this will be a fascinating story to follow in 2020 and beyond. How will CEOs respond to the lessons learned from Korey’s misconduct? Will internal communication policies change across Silicon Valley? Or like many workplace culture stories, will this ultimately be forgotten in a few months when another breaks?
From a product standpoint, the answers to some of these questions have come in the form of some really exciting tech innovations in knowledge management. Click here to learn how companies around the world are tackling the challenge of internal communication.
What I Learned from Being Distributed at Honeycomb
Danyel Fisher is the Principal Design Researcher of Honeycomb, a platform offering full-stack observability for event-driven debugging. Below is his story about lessons from his remote work at Honeycomb.
Recently, Charity put together a fascinating blog post on being distributed at Honeycomb. In it, she lays out the challenges — and some of the opportunities — of leading a distributed company.
I’m in a great position to reflect on this. When I joined Honeycomb, the company was still forming its plan for being distributed. My role was going to be to figure out how to advance Honeycomb’s data analytics to the next level.