Workplace by Facebook — an introduction

Facebook’s new platform Workplace wasn’t launched with a bang but the platform has quickly gained popularity by signing up big names such as Starbucks, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Booking.com. Glass intern Irina Meier gained an interesting insight into the platform when she attended simply-communicate’s workshop.

workplace_share

Prejudices and how they were disarmed

Facebook in the workplace has always been a controversial issue — many workplaces ban employees use of Facebook in the office so this could be one of the biggest issues for Workplace. Another concern is about the security and integrity of sensitive data shared while communicating internally, are communications shared on the new platform safe from being leaked or misused? Your work profile and platform is completely separate to your social profile. The two platforms are not connected and any data shared stays on your own server. This feature highlights that Workplace by Facebook is an autonomous comms program that can be trusted.

What makes Workplace by FB different?

Everyone who uses Zuckerberg’s flagship will be aware of Facebook’s extensive features such as favorites, pages etc. For Workplace the appearance of Facebook has been stripped down and simplified leaving only groups sorted by types, features and suggested people to follow.

Workplace by Facebook focuses on the community and therefore its groups element is the strongest.

“No company is an island, everyone has a partner, vendor, agencies to work with,”
- Julien Codorniou, director of Workplace by Facebook

The best way to bring your message across (besides interesting and motivating content) is to create a group. It’s important to put some thought into the choosing the group type — you can choose between announcement, open discussion and a variety of other options depending on the type of content you are sharing.

Each group can be open, closed or secret, and can even include colleagues or business partners that aren’t official. The Facebook Live function opens up lots of opportunities, for example, a CEO presentation could be broadcast to employees in real time.

Why use this platform above others?

The big plus of the workplace platform is its easy and intuitive adaptation through the user, with around 60% of the UK population already using Facebook’s flagship platform, most will have little trouble understanding how to use the functions.

Another positive factor is the appearance of the platform with its clear structure of a centrally placed feed surrounded by navigation options left and right.

fb demo

The true potential though opens for the internal communications team by setting up the groups, choosing which type of group is appropriate and using the right tool such as Live video. And using the report function is a crucial aspect to identify which processes might need to be tweaked or completely changed.

Finally

Workplace by Facebook is a strong contender in the enterprise social market space — with more organisations realising the importance of employee platforms for communication and collaboration. Workplace really stands out due to the flexibility of different types of communication. Facebook has a vast network of developers and engineers constantly tweaking improving the service, this is what will give Workplace the edge. As Workplace themselves put it:

“from a shipping company that can now connect with their ship crews using Live video, to a bank that now uses Workplace instead of fax machines and newsletters to share updates with its distributed bank branches”

I guess the time will tell, if Facebook listened long and close enough to provide a user and business focused tool that will be more than just easy to learn.