By Joyce Reyes-Aguila
In 2016, social media giant Facebook started to draw a line between the professional and personal lives of people when it introduced Workplace. The California-based company wanted to change the way many worked by connecting an organization “with familiar tools” that will hopefully help “turn ideas into action.” Within an exclusive and secure platform, professionals in one company can ask questions, share updates, collaborate, and even cheer on co-workers virtually.
Since its launch, noted global name shave subscribed to the paid service. Music streaming company Spotify, coffeehouse chain Starbucks, Delta Airlines, and international daily Financial Times are just some Workspace clients who connect their employees through the app. On its official webpage, Starbucks reveals that 80 percent of its store managers connect weekly through the platform to share ideas and best practices to improve client experience. Over 30,000 business are using Workplace, according to Rayna Hollander of businessinsider.com, indicating a 100-percent increase from April this year. “The platform’s strong growth indicated that Facebook’s recent efforts to improve it (by introducing Workplace Chat desktop app, among others) have paid off, and suggests that the company will continue to invest in Workplace’s development in the quarters to come,” she writes.
How different is Workplace from Facebook? And just what makes Workplace the preferred platform for companies operating in different industries? Here are the basic things to know about why Workplace works.
1. It centers your team.
Within your company’s Workplace, you get to be updated and interact in realtime. Imagine having an idea for a poster and getting instant feedback from teams around the world without having to send an e-mail. Progress reports, meeting invites, announcements can be accessed by your target population quicker. A premium plan allows companies to store and organize files for easy access as well. And like any personal Facebook profile, a user can set preferences for his or her newsfeed and alerts.
2. It is a separate app from Facebook.
This means you can keep your personal Facebook page activities separate from your Workplace activities. Being active in either requires clicking on separate apps. Whatever you post on your Facebook page will not appear on your Workplace profile. Many companies are very strict with sharing updates and ideas. At the same time, many employees cannot help but share excitement over work developments online. Workplace aims to allow users to share about work to people who can know about certain things or updates. By choosing what Facebook app you are entering, you also get to be more conscious of how you should interact in any of the respective platforms.
3. It is your key to communication.
Workplace lets you go live and stream meetings, town halls, and other celebrations to everyone in group. And in case anyone has a question, a simple post will enable a member to get instant answers without having to set up a meeting or make a phone call. The recently launched desktop app called Workplace Chat, according to an article written by Julien Codomiu on workplaceblog.fb.com, is the company’s response to customers relying “on messaging for real-time, reliable communication.” The new offering allows users to access features like screen sharing and file sharing of the mobile app from their desktop. Codomiu says it “includes features like message reactions, @mentions, and gifs that keep the conversation fun but focused.” The video chat feature will soon be made available as well.
4. It is a paid service.
While the Standard option is free, the features are limited to communication features and some productivity features. After a 90-day trial, companies can subscribe to Workplace’s Premium service. A fee of $3 per user is charged for the first 1,000 active users. If a company has over 9,000 active members, the fee is lowered to $2 per person. And if a group goes beyond 10,000 active members, it is charged only $1 each for every new user. Facebook offers Workplace for free to non-profit organizations and some educational institutions.Aside from the communication and productivity features, Workplace’s Premium service provides an organization admin support and enterprise features (monitoring tools, admin controls to manage a community, integrations with e-discovery and compliance providers, single sign-on [SSO] and active directory support, among others). By the way, companies are charged monthly, depending on the number of active users.
5. It is secure.
Facebook says Workplace is ISO 27001 certified, with “hosting practices (that) are regularly audited by independent third-party auditors.” A Workforce Premium client has full control of data and can even request reports of audits or evaluations done on their page from Facebook, if so wished.
6. It allows professionals from different companies to collaborate.
Since Facebook is already a company of integrated apps such as Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network, it is no surprise that multi-company groups is a feature available on Workplace. Two settings are available: secret multi-company groups where activities are “visible to company admins, group members and people who have been invited to the group” and closed multi-company groups where activities are visible to “company admins, group members, people who have been invited to the group and anybody who’s a member of a company in the group.”
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