Messaging platform Slack is expanding its Workflow Builder tool by adding new automation features that aim to make workflows more efficient.
Originally launched in November 2021, Workflow builder is used to automate “routine processes” on Slack without having to write any kind of code. It is an easy to use toolkit.
For example, a user could automate time off requests on a Slack channel without having to push others through multiple pages or apps. However, the tool is quite limited with what it can do, but it will change quickly with this update (opens in new tab).
In the coming months, workflows will be made more shareable as you can send them as links in Slack channels or in direct messages, according to the announcement.
It’s a simple copy and paste procedure that results in an interactive preview instead of a regular hyperlink. The receiving person can approve or deny a request with one click. These links can be pinned to a Slack channel or tucked away in the saved items.
The update doesn’t end there early next year, Workflow Builder is getting several new features, including a branching tool.
This branching tool works on “if-then” statements that can affect how a workflow functions. For example, let’s say you send a request to your manager through this branching tool requesting a week off from work. Your manager will then have the option to approve or deny the request.
if your manager approves, then you will receive a message stating that you have a week off. if your manager refuses the request, then you will receive a message stating that you do not have the week off and explaining why.
At first glance, this seems like a very minuscule change, but apparently it’s one of Slack’s most in-demand tools. The company explains that managers currently have to create whole new workflows for requests per person. Slack can get bogged down by annoying processes, so the branching tools are there to alleviate that.
The other features have less impact, but are still welcome. Workflow Builder allows people to automatically create channels by inviting others and pin important documents. The tool will also support more of Slack’s integrated apps, but the announcement won’t say which ones. And new notifications appear to notify people if they have pending requests.
Although it consists of minor changes, the update seems to be more about the sum of its parts than one great feature. Slack claims that users have been able to achieve a lot with the current version of Workflow Builder, as workflows have grown by more than 160 percent in 2022 compared to last year. The hope is that this number will continue to grow as more people use Workflow Builder.
We asked Slack if it could give us a more concrete launch date for everything in the Workflow Builder update. A representative of the company contacted us, only to repeat the rather vague launch window of the update. So expect the workflow link feature to come out at the end of this year.
If you’re interested in making yourself more productive at work, check out our list of the best productivity apps; both free and paid.