- To adapt to remote work long term, Expedia Group worked to make its team efficient regardless of location, "We're not making [these changes] for the short term," said Tom Bennett, director of technology at Expedia Group, speaking at the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo Americas Tuesday.
- Expedia support teams spun up dedicated channels to provide in-the-moment updates, which saw "increased engagement and feedback compared to more standard communication channels such as email," Bennett said.
- As the company's workforce shifted to remote, messaging volumes on Slack jumped 61% compared to the previous four week average, according to Bennett. Videoconference attendance spiked by 66%.
Following a quick sprint to remote work, businesses now grapple with sustaining work operations permanently while maintaining efficiency under a flexible model.
"We want people to be able to be as effective whether they're at home, in the office, on the train or in a coffee shop. I think what the last six months have done is raise the priority of that," Bennett said.
Organizations don't have much of a choice, as remote work strategies — alongside the tools that support it — became a must for employees, particularly in the talent-constrained tech labor market. Half of workers say they won't return to jobs that don't allow them to work remotely after COVID-19, according to data from Owl Labs' annual State of Remote Work Report.
"I definitely can't see us reverting any of those changes as things potentially return to normal over however many months it might be," Bennett said.
Remote work infrastructure comes under different pressure with organizations the size of Expedia, as tools must support more than 20,000 employees operating across 57 different countries.
In the collaboration vendor market, Slack sees itself as a digital manifestation of the company headquarters. It's "the place where your teams come together, your information comes together," said Brian Elliott, VP, Future Forum, Slack, speaking on the panel.
As companies cobble together permanent collaboration strategies, businesses are consolidating their stack in an effort to reduce app sprawl, making their workforce coalesce around a single platform. It's a battle Slack wages with Microsoft Teams, a platform that can leverage its bundle-ability with the rest of Microsoft's efficiency tools.