14 Reasons Why Businesses Should Consider Workplace by Facebook
Workplace by Facebook isn’t new. It was first announced way back in 2015, with a wider rollout in 2016, but recent months have seen Facebook up the ante in terms of marketing the platform. Chances are, if you are a business owner, HR manager or company director, you will have seen an ad or two promoting the Workplace offering of late.
Workplace by Facebook is just that – Facebook for work! In more technical terms, according to Wikipedia, Workplace is an enterprise connectivity platform developed by Facebook, Inc. and featuring tools like groups, messaging and news feed.
We first started using the platform back in 2016, rolling it out fully in 2017, and can honestly say it has transformed our internal comms.
From a team perspective, we can connect with colleagues using instant messaging, make groups with people who share the same interests as us and interact with news the agency is putting out.
From a business perspective, there are heaps of reasons we would recommend Workplace to companies large and small. These are our top 14:
1. Workplace by Facebook Is Easy to Use
With more than 30 million regular users in the UK, Facebook remains the country’s biggest social media network. Thus, because it looks and feels like regular Facebook, Workplace is familiar to most people. The features are the same – even the buttons are in the same places – so for the vast majority, zero training is required, reducing set-up costs.
2. It’s Relevant
For us, Workplace is the most up-to-date way of communicating with our team. No one wants a printed publication these days – if nothing else, it’s bad for the environment – and fewer and fewer people will settle down to read long-form content on screen, so that’s not a great option either.
Facebook says that Workplace was designed to focus on individuals rather than organisations, and that’s true. For us, Workplace sends out a strong signal that we understand how people want to communicate, and that we want to respond to that as a business.
3. It’s Interactive
Unlike most collaboration tools, Workplace actually gets better with increased use.
The chief benefit for us is that people can engage with the content the business is putting out as well as sharing their own updates – liking posts about their colleague’s achievements, commenting on company news and reacting in real time. It gives everyone a voice, not just the management team.
Managers can interact with the content their team is posting too, showing they are listening.
4. It’s Not Top Down
You get the most out of Workplace when everyone can share news, thoughts and ideas – within sensible parameters, of course. We have groups the management team owns, where agency news, contract wins and success stories are shared, but also others where the team provides the majority of content – social events being a prime example.
5. It’s Instant
Tying into the earlier point about Workplace’s relevance, much of that is because it functions in real time. News can be shared as it happens rather than at the end of the month or quarter.
In an era of instant gratification, and with millennials set to make up the majority of the UK workforce by 2020, this matters.
6. It’s Informative
As with normal Facebook, you can run polls to obtain quick answers on company issues. We’ve used Workplace for everything from ensuring we get the drinks order for a company party right to checking we are considering the right mobile phone providers.
7. It’s Flexible
If you have a message you want as many people as possible to see, you can place that post at the top of the news feed, ensuring it doesn’t get lost in a sea of other messages.
You can also set up as many groups as you wish, so if not everyone needs to hear about the new finance system being rolled out by IT, you don’t add them to that particular stream.
8. It’s Business Friendly
Workplace integrates with a long list of third-party applications including Microsoft Office, BlueJeans, Dropbox, Google Docs, Salesforce and OneDrive, to name a few.
9. It’s Easy to Administer
When someone new joins your organisation, you add their email address to Workplace. If they leave, they can’t access Workplace once their email address is disabled (you can remove them in their notice period instead, if you prefer, which is handy).
10. It Has a Lot of Helpful Features
- live video streaming
- voice and video calls (desktop and mobile)
- Workplace and Work Chat apps (iOS/Android)
- unlimited file, photo and video storage
- unlimited team and project groups
- integration with file storage providers
- Desktop Notifier for Windows
- secure collaboration between companies
- administrative controls
- monitoring tools
- APIs for custom integrations
- single sign-on (SSO)
11. It Works for Big Business
We are a relatively small company of 40 or so colleagues working out of one building, but that doesn’t mean the platform doesn’t work for big business too. Far from it.
Bigger companies can use:
- Workplace Chatbots to make payroll, benefits or onboarding processes quicker and easier
- live videos, webinars and articles for more efficient training
- live video to share major company announcements
- auto-translate for global comms
12. It Has Business Benefits
If you’re still not convinced, Facebook has plenty of case studies showing the business benefits of Workplace.
For us, we have one particular group on Workplace, “Inspiration”, where we share brilliant PR stunts, great social content and the latest in SEO tactics and trends. This group has, without doubt, provided the spark for some of our most successful work to date, even helping us to win awards and grow our client base.
13. It’s (Relatively) Affordable
Workplace is charged at $4 per user, per month, less for organisations with thousands of users. You can trial it for free too.
14. It Does Some Good
Workplace Advanced is free for registered not-for-profit organisations and educational institutions.
As you can probably tell, we are big fans of Workplace for internal comms. And no, we are not on commission! Is it perfect? No (but then what is?). There is an annoying algorithm which prevents posts appearing in chronological order, so it’s easy to miss updates if you go a day or two without logging on. Other people have also suggested there needs to be significant improvements in the app integrations, although this isn’t something we have personally experienced.
If you have any questions about Workplace by Facebook, please get in touch. We’d be happy to help.
The author: Jane Ainsworth is managing director of WPR. She has over 20 years’ experience in developing and delivering communications strategies for consumer brands including Dunelm, Tesco, Mothercare, Greene King, John Lewis, Bullring, Beaverbrooks and Westfield.