The spread of internal communication tools like Slack or Workplace by Facebook is no fad, but instead represent a whole new way to understand the workplace and labor relations, a redefinition of the corporate environment.
Will Workplace for Facebook redefine internal communication?
After more than two years in closed beta, Facebook has finally launched an open version of Workplace for Facebook, and…
Internal communication is more than just the desirable proof of a well-developed corporate culture or a competitive advantage. Instant messaging, groups, news feeds, chats, live video, document sharing or enhanced search engines are absolutely essential tools for our new ways of working: more and more companies are operating independently of traditional workspaces, recognizing that people are often more productive working from home or deciding themselves when to go to the office. In these kinds of companies dispersion does not mean separating or uprooting people: on the contrary, this approach can facilitate tighter relationships and a permanent exchange of information through virtual groups.
This is a new way of working that make those still anchored by the rules of traditional business uncomfortable, seeing it as a threat to the separation between professional and personal life, to contracts that theoretically involve working a specific number of hours in a defined space, to the idea of working to earn the money to do other things. The new forms of work and the companies based on those new forms of work are looking for people who work because they love what they do, because they commit to a set of values or a strategy. And to do that, the more tools for better internal communication, combined with the right infrastructure: flexible workplaces that maximize communication and provide meeting rooms, areas with more privacy and the right space for each function can result in highly productive dynamics and less alienating work conditions.
Good internal communication is not just about the right tools, although tools can be extremely important. What really counts is having a corporate culture and identifying with new ways of working, which for many people means coming to terms with a very different kind of psychological contract between employer and employee. Part of our job is to do certain things, and another part is to help get those things done better. Communication and improving the environment are an integral part of our work, key to maximizing the performance of the worker and the organization as a whole. In some companies I know well, they seem to be on the right track. In others, if you talk about these kinds of thing people look at you like you’re crazy. I wonder which ones will still be around a decade from now…
(En español, aquí)