In today’s connected, mobile world, it’s likely that you or someone you know works remotely. I’d be willing to bet that a good number of people at your company work from somewhere other than the office at least a few times a week. In fact, you may even have coworkers on different continents. This is quickly becoming the norm; the problem is figuring out how to connect with all of these people as needed. Facebook (News - Alert) recognizes this problem, and is addressing it with their new Workplace feature.
Apparently, Workplace has been around for awhile. According to Facebook, they’ve had a version of it for years that they used within the company. After realizing that it could be a valuable asset to other companies as well, Facebook decided to test a version of Facebook for the workplace with a few other organizations. The feature was clearly successful in helping coworkers to stay connected, because now more than 1,000 organizations around the world use Workplace.
Using the feature, workers have created nearly 100,000 groups. The top five countries in which it is currently used are India, the U.S., Norway, U.K. and France. Some users include large multinational companies like Danone, Starbucks and Booking.com, international nonprofits such as Oxfam, and regional leaders such as YES Bank in India and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore. Given its worldwide success, Facebook has decided to make it available to any company or organization that wants to use it.
The concept behind Workplace is actually pretty great. Staying in contact and collaborating with coworkers can be difficult, especially if everyone is spread all over the place. Workplace created a space for employees to share ideas, provide feedback, offer encouragement, and celebrate good news.
According to Facebook, Workplace provides all the essential functions of the main site, but tailored to reflect the needs of the work environment: “We’ve brought the best of Facebook to the workplace — whether it’s basic infrastructure such as News Feed, or the ability to create and share in Groups or via chat, or useful features such as Live, Reactions, Search and Trending posts. This means you can chat with a colleague across the world in real time, host a virtual brainstorm in a Group, or follow along with your CEO’s presentation on Facebook Live.”
In addition to these classic features, the company also created Workplace-only services such as a dashboard with analytics and integrations with single sign-on. There are also identity providers that allow companies to more easily integrate Workplace with their existing IT systems. Finally, one of the most interesting new features is Multi-Company Groups, which are shared spaces that allow employees from different companies to work together and collaborate.
If your company is looking for some help in the collaboration department, Workplace may be a good place to start. Facebook is making it incredibly easy to get involved with the program through their Workplace Partner Program. This Partner service includes organizations such as Deloitte (News - Alert) that will work to bring Workplace to even more businesses. So, if you’re interested, you can access Workplace by going through the Facebook team, or by getting in contact with their trained partners who are already part of the program. This feature is all about easy collaboration, and now getting involved is as easy as ever.