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Slack just made it much easier to automate channel workflows

Businesses will be able to use tools such as conditional formatting and share workflows in links, to improve productivity

Slack has announced an update to its Workflow Builder that adds new tools for automating tasks within channels and improvements to workflow visibility.

Chief among the additions to workflows is the ability to use conditional logic within the Workflow Builder. If-then statements, a stalwart of simple coding, will allow workflow creators to send users down paths depending on the answers they provide, streamlining workflows that can produce different results based on input conditions, such as holiday request forms. Slack expects this to be available in early 2023.

A gif showing a user sharing an automated workflow in Slack, that allows users to book time off work

Other new features include tools for automatic channel creation and alerts to the operator of a workflow when it has received a request, as well as the expansion of steps that feed into Slack-integrated apps.

Users will now also be able to easily copy-and-paste workflow links into channels and direct messages. Once sent, the link will expand into a full workflow preview, which can be run directly and pinned in the channel for ease of access.

Workflow Builder is a tool within Slack, that allows users to create and customise a series of automated steps within their business’ Slack channels. For example, a workflow could be set up to send an automatic welcome message the first time a user is added to a channel, and provide useful onboarding links.

Since Slack introduced Workflow Builder in 2019, over 540 million workflows have been launched, and this has grown by more than 230% in just the last year. In a blog post announcing the update, the company stated that 10.5 million users run workflows in Slack each week.

Slack has taken a number of steps in the past few years to improve its productivity functions, and allow business users to do as much of their work as possible within the app, to reach their aim of being a ‘digital HQ’ for companies. This has included the introduction of Slack Connect for external business communication, or the upcoming release of multi-person screen sharing within huddles.

“This is part of our goal to make automation accessible for all users, period,” stated Steve Wood, the senior vice president of product, platform at Slack.

“These updates are happening at a critical time when businesses are watching their bottom line. When every minute counts, it’s important to bring the automation creation process closer to the people who are actually going to use it. That’s the measure of a successful digital HQ and where the magic happens.”

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