“Are you a Slackr like me? Do you not really care that much about your job? Then pick up your phone and start texting. The dating revolution is on its way and we are here to usher it in with style and grace.” So reads the new website Slackrs.com, from the founders behind Slack. Apparently, they are launching an inter-office dating app called Slackrs and it honestly sounds like a nightmare. HR reps around the country are already condemning this new product, but we want to hear both sides of the story first. So, Slackrs, good or evil?
First, let’s look closer at the website put together by these kings of communication to see what we can learn about the actual product and user experience. As far as we can tell, this all began when two Slack employees decided that they wanted to date. Rather than figure things out with their HR department (they didn’t have one) and then proceed with the relationship, these two little go-getters decided to create an alternate app based on the core Slack code, but only for dating relationships. Specifically, in a professional office environment.
In the beginning, only Julie and Sweta were the ones using it, as they had not told others about it. However, once they had been dating for a couple of months and felt more secure in their relationship, they brought it to friends and then more people within the office. Soon, it was the talk of the Silicon Valley bubble and investors were lining up. Not only did Julie and Sweta then not receive any of the credit for it, but they were soon let go due to restructuring needed to sustain their app. Not exactly a happy ending.
Now let’s look at the other side of the coin. We spoke with multiple HR reps from some of the larger companies that initially ran a Slackrs pilot program. “We thought the whole thing sounded kind of hokey at first,” one former employee told us. “I mean, the more couples we employ, the better the company culture, right? Unfortunately, things quickly became incredibly toxic and problematic, to say the least.”
Problematic indeed. In 4 out of 10 pilot programs, the majority of employees who were using Slackrs soon lost their jobs due to broken company policies and sexual harassment lawsuits. “It was a disaster,” another employee told us. “I accidentally dated the CEO and the CEOs step-son in the same week. I had so much anxiety I didn’t even come into work, I just pretended to be in the bathroom the whole time.”
At this point, I think we should just let this thing loose and see what happens. We already have so much chaos in our lives, what’s a little more?
This was written and hypothesized by Nathan Ellwood, yes, that one. Follow him @NPEllwood. Also, for those who care, this is our 600th story.