Shopify is aiming to disrupt the workplace with a new initiative called “Chaos Monkey 2023,” one that limits meetings and Slack usage.
Like many companies, Shopify is working to adjust to a post-pandemic economy, one that may be on the verge of a recession. The company is hoping “chaos engineering” will help it be more nimble and better able to move forward.
“Chaos engineering is the practice of experimenting with a system to build confidence in that system’s ability to withstand turbulent conditions in production,” the company said in internal documents viewed by Business Insider. “It’s also known as chaos monkey, and at Shopify, we apply this practice not just in building great products for our merchants – but in everything we do.”
As part of its new strategy, the company has ended meetings involving more than two people, and all meetings on Wednesday. Large meetings, of 50 or more staff, will be restricted to a specific time-frame on Thursdays.
In addition, the company de-populated all of its public Slack channels, removing all employees from them, deleting chat history, and lowering their limits to 150 people per channel. The company is evidently moving the bulk of its communication to Workspace by Meta, with Slack only serving as a direct message platform.
“We’ve forced our async work into Slack – it’s bloated, noisy, and distracting,” said COO and Vice President of Product Kaz Nejatian. “We have endless channel updates mixed with broad announcements and pineapple on pizza debates.”
The company acknowledges the plan is disruptive, which is exactly what executives are hoping for.
“All of this feels chaotic, which is kind of the point,” Nejatian said.
After laying off 1,000 employees in July, only time will tell if Chaos Monkey 2023 helps the company achieve its goals.