Inside Workplace by Facebook: A review

October 10, 2016

We are all familiar with Facebook in our private lives. What if you could leverage the features of social Facebook in your work environment to improve collaboration and communication? With Workplace by Facebook, you can! In this blogpost we’ll cover the most important need-to-knows about this collaboration platform, Workplace by Facebook, for organisations.

 

Is social technology for work new?

No, it is not new to have a social platform in your organisation. It is actually very common to use some form of internal communications tool, ranging from an ‘one-way’ intranet to tools like Yammer, Jive or Slack. However, how you can communicate and collaborate on the different tools is very divers. Every tools meets different requirements and it’s always good to do a thorough review before deciding on which platform suits your company best. (Need help with your platform selection? Contact us) Now back to Workplace by Facebook and the features that make the tool a great collaboration and communications tool.

 

Do you know how to use it right away?

Unfortunately not, although it looks a lot like your social Facebook, Workplace introduces opportunities to change the way people work, but people often struggle to find a valuable way to use it. People need guidance to develop new skills to leverage this tool and use it to create business value. Without the proper introduction, the tool will most likely be used as people use their private Facebook: for holiday pictures and to share what they are currently eating. Not really productive, right?

 

 

 
Connect your organisation

 Workplace creates the opportunity to connect people in your organisation. To facilitate interactions between people, using each other’s knowledge and resources in the most effective way to reach valuable business goals. Online collaboration can increase the speed of finding the right resources, connecting experts and solving business problems. This is a great benefit for companies nowadays, where competitive advantage comes from agility, faster innovation and quicker responses to threats in the market.

 

How does it work?

Workplace is completely separate from the personal social Facebook profiles and is only accessible for employees of your organisation through their work-email. All employees can find each other’s profiles and chat with each other in groups or private chats. The main building blocks in this platform are ‘groups’. You create different groups for different target audiences, purposes or projects. This group is the central place to capture and share information and knowledge with the target audience on that specific topic. It allows you to create communities with your direct colleagues, like minded people or experts on specific topics.

 

 

 

Most important functionality

 

Newsfeed

After logging in to Workplace you will land on the home page. This page shows an overview of content of people and groups you follow, very similar to your personal Facebook newsfeed.

 

  1. Quick access to groups in your organisation, you’re a member or owner of (you can pin your most-used groups to the top).

  2. An overview of activities from people you follow or groups you’re a member of; this stream does not show everything but Facebook’s famous algorithm chooses the posts ‘most relevant for you’. You can help this algorithm become more accurate by hiding certain posts you don’t like to see anymore.

  3. Trending posts in the organisations network, so you won’t miss what all the fuss is about.

  4. You can find here the notifications of groups, people and messages. This is how you stay up to date with the content and interactions relevant for you.

 

 

Groups

You are able to create and join groups on the platform. Use these groups to create a select audience for specific purposes and topics. For example a project group for you and your project team members, a group around a specific product in your organisation or a group to ask the IT service questions. Additionally, join groups that share relevant information for you, the facility management group of the office you are in or a company wide communications group to receive company news and read what the CEO is working on.

 

 

  1. Stream in your group; you use this to communicate with the other group members, ask questions, share images and videos, create a poll or add a file.

  2. You can manage the members and admins of the group, so everyone has the correct access.

  3. Search for previous shared information. Using this group to capture answers, decisions and information will increase the overall knowledge of your employees.

  4. Start a group chat to ask quick and small questions without polluting the home stream.

  5. You can decide whether your group is open, closed or secret. And how the moderation of posts is set up.

 

Events

Creating events on Workplace allows you to share information in a central place, giving all invitees access to this. It makes it easy to communicate to your audience and have an overview of the participants and absentees. Have people start conversations before, during and after the event. Using the discussion stream during the event, will allow you to connect to more people in your organisation that are not able to physically attend the event.

 

  1. Create event pages for group events, use the stream to share additional information and answer questions.

  2. Send a quick message to all participants in the event page or via email.

  3. Export the event to your mail-calendar to have an easy integration of both tools.

 

Messaging

Besides the communication in your groups, Workplace has a rich content messenger application. Chat one-on-one with your colleagues or create a group chat to have quick conversations with a group of people. Use the video call functionality to have an online meeting with a colleague.

 

  1. Have chat sessions with one or multiple colleagues. You can create group chats and name them to keep an overview of the multiple chats you are in.

  2. The chat allows you to use all kinds of rich content: share files, photo’s or GIFs in your chat.

  3. Or use the video chat function to have a quick live conversation with a colleague.

 

Profiles

In comparison to the personal social Facebook profiles, the information available in the Workplace profiles is more limited. It allows your organisation to connect it to an active directory to share people’s position, manager and location. You can add files and reports you’ve been working on. Make sure you think carefully about who you’re following, because this will fill your home stream. On your profile stream you can share information that represents your interests, expertise and events.

 

  1. Create a professional profile page with a representative picture to make connections more personal.

  2. The about page will show your basic information, location, contact information, manager and job description.

  3. Different from the normal Facebook, you will not create friends on this platform, but you can follow colleagues and they can choose to follow you back.

  4. Use your personal stream to show what you are working on, your achievements and business events.

Tip! For your OOO messages, change your profile pictures temporarily with an edited picture:

 

 

Files and documents

It’s not the objective of Workplace to replace any document repository or office tools, however they do offer a solution to share files, create notes in documents and upload revisioned versions.

 

  1. Create files online, co-create the content with other group members.

  2. Or upload documents and every new version easily.

 

Mobile app

Workplace has free Android and iOS apps for mobile and tablet devices. Allowing people to be connected wherever they are. This can solve communication and engagement issues for the deskless workers in your company, like operational employees in factories, logistics employees on the road and your sales representatives in the field.

 

 

  1. Easy access to all the groups, conversations and files.

  2. Make sure you download the Work chat app as well (like Facebook messenger, this is only available in a separate app).

  3. Livestream your videos to the company, interesting when you’re at an event and want to give an impression to your colleagues.

Multi-company groups 

Workplace supports multi-company groups. This creates the possibility to set up groups with employees of any company using Workplace. This offers a great opportunity to connect with your (B2B) clients, suppliers or partner organisations.

 

Who can see the content?

According to Facebook: “Your Workplace data is contained within a boundary that is associated with a unique Enterprise ID. These boundaries restrict the ability to access and view your company’s information to only those enterprise users who have authorized access.

The Workplace hosting practices are regularly audited by independent third-party auditors. An industry standard SOC3 report is available below, with a more detailed SOC2 report available upon request.” Find more information in their FB-security at work white paper.

Meaning, your company’s Workplace is only accessible for your employees. As said before, this is in no way linked to the external personal Facebook. Content posted on your Workplace domain can not be shared with private Facebook accounts, making it secure and only accessible for people you want to have access. Additionally, your Workplace is not used for advertising.

Within your Workplace domain you can also choose to create groups that are only visible to certain employees. These closed team groups can facilitate a secure place where you share project information, without the whole company being able to view or comment to this information.

 

Find more information about Workplace, by Facebook on their website.

Interested in our services to help the adoption of Workplace in your organisation? Read all about our offerings here or contact us directly.

 

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