You've probably heard the news, Facebook's long awaited work platform is now available to the public, once you're approved of course. Workplace is owned and developed by Facebook but is independently operated in its new London headquarters. It serves to provide companies with an internal communication and sharing platform in the familiar Facebook layout. It speaks volumes of the way the world of work is headed. Facebook understands that more workers are completely mobile, and they're giving them an app to stay in the loop, regardless whether they're in the office or not. Here's everything you should know about Facebook's Workplace.
What is Workplace?
The social media giant defines their private, new application as, "a dedicated and secure space for companies to connect, communicate and collaborate."
What Sparked Facebook to Create Workplace?
For years 14,500 Facebook employees used an internal site to keep track of projects and to talk to one another. It worked so well, they figured the app would serve other companies well too. Over a year ago, Facebook began testing a beta version of the site with a few companies, and recently released their final version to the public after almost 20 months of anticipation. Workplace was also previously known as Facebook for Work.
Why Would Companies Want to Use Workplace?
Workplace is designed to take the place of communication and sharing sites such as Slack, Jammer or even regular email. We see the benefit in Workplace as a way to foster company culture and create a place where collaboration can happen even with remote employees. The way each employee works is different, and this gives them a chance to still stay connected in spite of the changing landscape of their jobs.
Here's how Facebook defines the benefits on their site:
- "Companies find that they can eliminate or drastically reduce their need for internal collaboration tools such as their intranet, telephony systems, video conferencing and distribution lists.
- Many companies find Workplace helps them do more than just simplify communications — it inspires all levels of the company to embrace digital and mobile.
- In addition, Workplace is easy to use because it’s based on familiar Facebook features like News Feed, Groups and Messages. There’s no training required."
We think Workplace is going to be successful even in the fairly saturated market of internal communication mainly because of the scope of its creator. Workplace's parent is the king of social media, and some portion of the largest audience in the world is bound to find it attractive. Facebook is used by over 1.7 billion people worldwide, many of them accessing the site multiple times per day. The transition to using Workplace will be seamless for many teams, especially considering most people already use it daily. People know how to use it, it's familiar to them, and they're comfortable sharing information.
How is it Different From Regular Facebook?
The two sites are completely separate. A Workplace user does not need a personal Facebook account to access the Workplace program. Employers will not have access to an employee's personal Facebook page unless that individual grants it. However, employers will have complete access and ownership of an employee's Workplace page. When an employee leaves the company, they lose access to the Workplace account as well.
Is Workplace Free?
Unfortunately no, Workplace is a paid SaaS platform. However, the site isn't expensive. Here are the pricing options, which are quite affordable based on the number of users a company has. They also offer a 3-month trial period, so your facility can give the site some time to see if it works for you and your team. Workplace is also available on a month-to-month plan, so companies won't need to worry about long-term contracts. There currently is no advertising available on Workplace.
What Does it Look Like?
Strikingly similar to Facebook's flagship site, which is exactly the point, the new app should require little to no training. Workplace has two apps, Chat and Work. Chat is used for chatting between other users, a quick alternative to using your company's message program or email. The chat feature is almost identical to the one on Facebook's regular site. The Work app is used for sharing documents and organizing projects within teams. There's also a News Feed section, which features articles, updates and comments relevant to that user's teams. For more information on Workplace's layout, check out Fortune's article here.
Who is Using Workplace?
So far we know these large corporations are currently using Workplace: Starbucks, Booking.com, Oxfam, Save the Children, RNIB, Fox Fabrics, Campbells, Rodan + Fields, ClubMed, Made.com and Columbia Sportswear. The adoption rate is rapidly increasing as word gets out about the application, and Facebook approves organizations.
How Can I Get Workplace at My Office?
Facebook has an application process where they ask basic questions about your company, why you want to use the platform and what you're currently using to communicate internally. They inform applicants that they will be contacted by a member of their sales team if approved. To apply, visit Workplace's website here.
We're excited to see where Workplace goes, and are considering adopting it here at iOFFICE to connect our Houston headquarters and our remote employees across the country. Do you think Workplace would work for your workforce?