For many employers, Facebook in the workplace is seen as a hindrance, distracting employees from their daily duties but could it soon become an integral part of everyday office life?
Facebook recently announced that it is launching a new app aimed at rivalling traditional e-mail and other intranet services. Effectively Facebook at work will make it possible for businesses to create their own social network amongst their employees, allowing them to communicate and share content amongst themselves.
The social network giant already has over one billion users on its platform but is keen to move into the workplace with similar tools to their current offering, such as news feed, groups, messages and events. With company e-mails now subject to a deluge of irrelevant messages, could Facebook be a new alternative to communicate easily with colleagues at work?
The California based company believes it has an edge over similar products, such as Microsoft’s Yammer, Slack, Convo and many others, which attempt to integrate social networking into the office life. People are already familiar with the workings of Facebook, so very little training would be needed to implement the system. As with many things, changes to software within offices can be met with resistance but because of the familiarity of Facebook, this may not be such an issue.
Although tests have been carried out with external businesses there are still a number of questions that must be answered about Facebook at work. There are still questions over how the app will be priced, whether the service will be monetised through ads and how third-party apps might work. Questions would need to be answered regarding security, with extremely sensitive material being circulated within businesses.
Despite these questions, on the face of it, Facebook at work would seem to provide a modern, more interactive way of communicating for businesses.