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Dec 19, 2016

Facebook Plans to Reconnect the Work Environment

The launch of Facebook for everyone over the age of 13 in September of 2006 was a turning point in internet history. Facebook launched as a place for friends and family to connect. Facebook soon evolved into an elaborate business and advertising platform and has since completely reinvented marketing. As of July 2016, there are over 1 billion daily active users on Facebook, with a whopping 38.6% of the online population utilizing the social media platform.

Its popularity is astronomical. Facebook is the top performing social media platform, with over 50 million active small business pages! It seems like nearly everyone uses Facebook, or is at least aware of its existence.

Facebook recently announced that the official launch of Workplace would happen in October, which will reimagine how businesses and their employees communicate. The switch for businesses to utilize Workplace should be fairly straightforward, considering the vast majority of the population is already comfortable with the standard platform. Their campaign boasts that “being a connected workplace, makes us a productive workplace.”

When utilizing Workplace, you’ll be creating a separate work account, which you can then link to your personal account, allowing you to be logged in to both accounts at the same time. Now, this does not mean that the posts from your private account and your work account will overlap – the content will stay entirely separate. With features for video chat and voice chats built directly into the messaging centre, you’ll be able to enable these features quickly, and efficiently, which is touted to make your team stronger and more communicative.

Workplace by Facebook features the familiar News Feed, only here it’s specific to your company, including what’s new and relevant. You’ll be able to maintain private chats with co-workers, group chats, and you will have the capability to invite the entire company to events. The advantage to Workplace will be its ability to filter communications so rather than seeing lots of useless chatter; you will see the most relevant information. It will display content from the colleagues you interact with most, and posts that are endorsed by other teammates will be more widely seen on the company page.

The popularity of Facebook itself could be one of the biggest assets for their newly launched platform. “Facebook at Work’s strength is that we’ve spent ten years and incorporated feedback from 1 billion active users,” says Lars Rasmuseen, the engineering director at Facebook. Great connections are the foundation of great companies. Facebook At Work understands that your job becomes easier when sharing ideas in one place, and you can keep the entire team informed quickly.

Workplace is relatively cost effective, charging $3 per month for the first 1,000 active users, $2 per month for the next 9,000 active users, and $1 per month for each additional active user that surpasses 10,000. Workplace is available for all companies and businesses, no matter the size of the company. Workplace is used by retail, technology, telecommunications, financial services, media, entertainment, food & beverage, transportation, real estate, utilities, shipping and government. To sign up for a free trial, you can apply through their website.

Workplace is competing against many other integrated communication systems used by businesses, including Glip and Slack. Glip offers team collaboration, built around real-time messaging, integrated task management, video conferences and a shared calendar. Glip offers free usage which includes unlimited posts & storage, 500 minutes of video chat, and unlimited people. The Basic account is $5 per user per month and includes unlimited posts & storage, 1000 minutes of video chat per person per month and 24/7 premium support. Upgrading to a Pro account for $10 per user per month gets you everything the basic account includes, with an additional 2000 minutes of video chat, totally 3000 minutes of video chat per person, per month!

Slack allows you to organize your team conversations in open channels. You can make a channel for a product, a topic, a team, or anything else you can think of so that everyone has a complete view of what’s going on. You can also create private channels and invite a few team members so that projects and conversations stay private and only involve those that are required. Slack allows you to drag and drop all files necessary (images, documents, PDF files, etc.) and share with any team member you’d like. Slack also has an option that is free to use and includes 10 apps or service integrations, apps for iOS, Android, Mac & Windows desktop, two-person calls and 5GB total file storage for the team. Their standard account for $6.67 per user per month includes unlimited apps and service integrations, custom retention policies for messages and files, guest access, custom user groups, group calls and 10GB of file storage per team member. For $12.50 per user per month, you receive everything included in the standard account plus compliance exports of all messages, 24/7 support with 4-hour response time, user provisioning and de-provisioning, real-time active directory sync with OneLogin, Okta & Ping as well as 20GB of file storage per team member.

You should navigate through the various options and find the workplace communication that works best for you and your crew.

We have to wonder: Is email the next thing to go the way of the dinosaur?

With so many active users already on Facebook, implementing a structure to utilize the social media platform for companies could open a variety of doors. Employees will be able to communicate with co-workers that they would not typically have a chance to connect with. It will also help build a strong foundation for companies to stand on within the employees. By opening the doors of communication and encouraging interaction, companies will strengthen employee loyalty. Having all information related to each project in one location will be more efficient and time saving than other options.

Consider the following statistics from Vitru:

• 20% of work time is spent looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues for help

• Average time spent in the office trying to contact customers or colleagues is 74 minutes

• Poorly managed work groups are on average 50% less productive and 44% less profitable than well-managed groups

• 96% of executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communications for workplace failures.

Communication is key to maintaining a creative, productive, and thriving business and the possibility that implementing Workplace by Facebook could throw all the above statistics overboard, is nothing short of inspiring.

If you’re interested more in what social media can do for your business, contact Octopus Creative today!