&Walsh Designs a Set of Emoji Celebrating Our New Hybrid Work Lifestyle For Slack

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You know, some of us were already working from home long before the rest of you, and it shows. That is my way of saying I bought Number 1 Record, Operation: Doomsday, and Robyn is Here before you did (I didn’t).

Anywho, you don’t need me to tell you that the office landscape has been forever changed by a pandemic and the way we create and communicate with our co-workers along with it. Sure, plenty of us are now working from home or only going to the office a few days a week. But we’re all intimately familiar now with Slack and its various in and outs, and I have probably used the neutral and crying face more times than I care to admit this past year (also, shout out to anyone who physically went to work this past year).

Well, it turns out that, starting today, we’re going to have a few more emoji options on our hands. Jessica Walsh, the founder of creative agency &Walsh, recently partnered with Slack and created a new set of emoji for the workplace hub. The exclusive emoji pack found inspiration in the relatively new manner in which we work, aka, the hybrid work lifestyle. Whether it’s from the comfort of our living room cubicle or those few days we bother to show up around the watercooler, the design's intention is to foster more connection with everyone in your office, no matter where you are. They also paint a frighteningly accurate—and necessary—picture of how we’ll work from now on.

You’ll find emoji that indicate whether you’re working from home or in the office, a child’s backpack with a stuffed animal to symbolize you’re dropping the kids off at school or daycare, a person in a face scrub with cucumber-eye slices, bunny slippers, a burning iMac, and a Dali-inspired melting clock, which is perhaps a little too on the nose. I’m also a little disappointed that they didn’t think to include an emoji of a preschooler with an iPad because Mom and Dad are a teensy bit overextended these days, and that’s how we’re rolling until Kindergarten. And, yes, I can feel you judging me right this second.

“I love Slack and am eternally grateful for everything it has done for our studio, so it’s always a joy to partner with companies I already use and love,” said Jessica Walsh in an interview with Slack about the project. “Second, emoji are such an essential part of digital communication and can really enhance conversations. We know we’re creating something that might improve communication on Slack or make someone smile—this to me is a dream job.”

“Emoji have always been an integral part of my digital communication style," she added. "With the pandemic and remote work, we were all going through new emotions, experiences, and challenges, which required new language to communicate—which inspired these emojis. I’ve often found that struggles and frustrations are a great source for innovation.”

Anyway, heads up to my internal folks. You’re about to see “AFK” a bit more these days, which really means that I'm working via cellphone.