How Workplace by Facebook is encouraging a company culture of communication
THE launch of Workplace by Facebook last year marked the true integration of social media into the professional setting. The platform is a communication tool for companies of all sizes, allowing issues to be resolved and questions to be answered in seconds, whether you are in the same office or across the globe.
The social media giant has recently introduced new features including a standalone desktop chat app, and more than 30,000 businesses are now using the platform.
The chat app was previously accessible only through the mobile app or a web browser. But the launch of the desktop client – a feature requested by customers due to frustrations of having many tabs open – means employees have easier and faster access to chats.
Social life vs work life
The Workplace chat app is the business equivalent of the platform’s popular consumer Messenger app, which brings in 1.2 billion monthly active users.
But if you are worried that your tagged photos from a boozy weekend may end up in the same group chat as your CEO, then fear not… Workplace is a completely separate product from consumer Facebook.
A consumer Facebook account is not required to sign up for Workplace, and there are separate websites and apps for both. Furthermore, the clear design means you know exactly whether you are in your work account or consumer account.
Features for businesses of all sizes
The communication platform is designed to cater to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Julien Codorniou, the vice president of Workplace by Facebook told Tech Wire Asia: “Any organization in any geography or any industry can use Workplace, as shown by our diverse range of customers including the Singapore Government, Spotify, Reliance Yoma Bank or Starbucks.”
With a breadth of tools available, organizations can use a combination of Workplace features to best fit how they work. Whether it be group chat for teamwork, video for storytelling, or integrations such as Office365 for everyday work, there are a range of features to facilitate communication between workers no matter where they are located.
“Our vision is for Workplace to be an employee’s command center for everything that’s happening with their team, their company and their industry, no matter what type of company or industry that is,” said Codorniou.
Workplace also includes features such as message reactions, @mentions, and gifs that keep the conversation fun but focused.
Where Workplace stands out among its competitors such as Slack, is its familiarity and ease of use.
“If you’re on the internet, you’re probably on Facebook, and if you can use regular Facebook you know how to use it already. So the learning curve isn’t as steep as with entirely new interfaces. It’s designed mobile-first, which makes it a great choice for companies with large proportions of staff not based at a desk,” said digital strategist Sharon O’Dea.
Culture of communication
The adoption of Workplace has the potential to fuel communication in any organization.
“We believe the communities we build at work matter, and because Workplace is mobile and easy to use, it can connect everyone, including ship crews in bunks, baristas in coffee shops, and retail and factory workers,” said Codorniou.
The breadth of features offered by Workplace has assisted a wide variety of customers in getting work done more efficiently. These customer examples include:
- When unprecedented hurricanes struck the US, Delta used Workplace to coordinate their disaster response and real-time communications. Delta also used Safety Officer, a bot by ServiceRocket, to account for Tampa Customer Engagement Center employees.
- At Oxfam International, a staff worker shared a video on Workplace about his work helping bring clean water to a village in Yemen. The video became a key fundraising asset that Oxfam shared with major donors.
- Companies such as Deliveroo are using a chat bot by Envoy that alerts people when a visitor arrives at the office. The Royal Bank of Scotland built a bot on Workplace to handle technology and office questions, freeing up help desk time for more complicated asks.
- Ginger Hotels, a hotel chain in India, executes credit and air travel approvals all from within Workplace. As a result, they’ve seen an increase in productivity of over 50 percent.
According to Codorniou: “Workplace democratizes employee culture, giving everyone a voice, from the CEO to the newest intern, and for both desk-bound and mobile workers.”
While introducing a tool such as Workplace can enable smoother communication in an organization, “Introducing Workplace will not, on its own, solve all communication ills,” said O’Dea.
“It needs to be considered as part of a programme of communication and culture change so that employees believe their voice is truly valued.”
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