Facebook Workplace is a somewhat forgotten team collaboration service somewhat similar to Microsoft Teams or Slack, but using the familiar Facebook user interface to organize work activities and communicate in teams.
The requirement to work from home has made such collaboration tools much more important, and to support this Facebook has unveiled a number of new tools to support their corporate customers.
They note that they have identified two needs:
- Communicating critical information with their entire business in real-time, and making sure this content, both dynamic and static, is now easily accessible to everyone
- Ensuring employees across the organization feel supported and listened to as they grapple with the impact of the virus on their work and personal lives
The tools they announced support these goals and include:
Better information sharing
One of, if not the, biggest challenges for organizations in a remote working world is being able to effectively share accurate, real-time information with employees.
Employers have a huge responsibility to keep employees up to date to ensure they’re supported, safe and know what procedures to follow. Simultaneously, company leaders want to make sure their updates are helpful to employees, and that people are feeling heard and supported.
Knowledge Library: A home for static content on Workplace
Facebook notes the average employee wastes over 9 hours a week searching for critical company information like health and safety guidance or benefits information.
To address this issue they are launching Knowledge Library, the new home for key company resources on Workplace. Knowledge Library is a single place to create, store and share static content like working from home advice or HR and expenses policies, so employees can discover and easily access the information they need at home or on the go.
Virgin Atlantic has also begun trialing Knowledge Library a few weeks ago, with Steve Clarke, Senior Manager, Communication Channels, at Virgin Atlantic saying:
“We were able to deploy Knowledge Library in under a day to make sure our employees could stay informed about COVID-19. We use it to provide details on government regulations, as well as specific policies and FAQs related to Virgin Atlantic.
“We also provide support resources for employees. Knowledge Library helps us keep formal information centralized, while Groups are for sharing real-time news and keeping employee spirits high.”
Draft for is a feature that allows individuals to draft posts on behalf of executives who can subsequently review, approve and publish. This will help streamline accurate information sharing, while bringing together voices across the organization.
Campaigns is a new feature which allow for tracking audience reach and engagement across a group of posts. This includes sentiment metrics, which can help you identify the content that’s most helpful to people so you can create more of it.
For instance, with Campaigns you can publish multiple posts on COVID-19 or ‘working from home’ then look at the impact on employee morale to ensure you’re providing the most relevant information. Campaigns will be available in May.
Supporting employee wellbeing
Facebok’s second priority is making it easier for distributed companies to listen to their people, provide feedback opportunities and focus on wellbeing.
To this end they are providing the following new tools:
Facebook has expanded Safety Check on Workplace by introducing Safety Alerts. This enables organizations to send standalone alerts providing updates or context on an incident without requiring a response. Safety Alerts can be used for any important safety updates, not just drills or crises.
Facebook has created new type of post – Q&A posts. These are designed to help organizations understand what’s important to employees, and to enable quick feedback.
People will be able to add and upvote questions, ensuring the top concerns across the organization get the attention they deserve.
Care Reaction and Profile Frames
Finally, Facebook has introduced a new Care Reaction and Profile Frames in order to help those separated by the pandemic feel closer to their colleagues.
The new Facebook Care Reaction – an emoji hugging a heart – is coming to Workplace to help colleagues show care and support when responding to a post, message, photo or video. Profile Frames are a new set of work-from-home-themed frames that can be overlayed on your existing profile picture to help people be apart together.
Showcase your support with an ‘Apart Together’ frame, or signal the balance you need to strike with a ‘Work from Home Parent’ frame. Each is aimed at creating a greater understanding amongst colleagues.
Q&A posts are available right now, Care Reaction and Profile Frames will be available to Workplace customers in May and Safety Alerts will be rolling out in June, with more features to come in the future.