Over the past few months we've seen announcements from a number of large, global organisations like AstraZeneca, Chevron, Danone, Heineken, Nestle, Vodafone, Zurich and of course Walmart about their decision to deploy Workplace by Facebook as their communications and collaboration platform of choice.
This week the trend continued with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), A UK-based multinational pharmaceuticals company announcing they're shutting down Yammer to make way for Workplace by Facebook - their new primary communications channel for employees.
GSK ran one of the largest, most active Yammer networks in the world and was considered a flagship customer for the enterprise social networking service. Following a pilot of Workplace earlier this year, in which 3,000 employees got involved, GSK completed a full launch of the platform to 120,000 employees and contract workers worldwide in July.
So, why are big companies falling in love with Workplace by Facebook?
We believe that these large organisations recognise that the Future of Work requires them to change the way they work and the tools they use. Last year, Deloitte conducted a survey which asked C-suite executives for their perspectives on the Future of Work. Their responses revealed six themes about the future workplace—and six lessons to help leaders ease the transition.
- Culture is Critical; help to ensure leaders are actively participating in its development.
More than 69% of those surveyed believe that company culture, especially transparency in internal communications, will have a crucially important impact on their staff's ability to understand the company's mission and values.
- Open Communications.
A cultural transformation will be needed over the next five years, as only 14% of leaders are completely satisfied with their organisation's current ability to collaborate and communicate. However, leaders are actively monitoring their progress - a sign of culture’s strategic importance.
- Changing Employee Priorities.
Not surprisingly, there has been a lot of focus on the influence of Millennials on the way talent is recruited and developed, given that by 2020 they will constitute 50% of the workforce. However, it's important to recognise that people are working for longer.
- Define Clear Outcomes.
When asked to identify the most important benefits from greater levels of collaboration, 57% of executives cited identifying and exploiting new business opportunities, while 48% cited increasing rates of innovation. These were closely followed by accelerating time to market (42%) and improving customer loyalty (41%).
- Invest in New Tools & Ways of Working.
The future working environment will require a shift in how we communicate and collaborate, with 76% of executives surveyed predicting a move away from email and toward more sophisticated digital tools.
- Leaders Need Help too.
Our sample of C-suite executives showed that just over 40% of respondents expect they will increasingly place more focus on facilitating the flow and exchange of ideas and providing greater autonomy at team and individual levels. This shift from “top-down” to what we might see as “alongside” is a crucial component of the equation.
This survey suggests that at the top of companies, executives, particularly in larger companies, recognise both that the future of work will be very different from the way things have happened in the past and that their roles need to adapt to the new environments they will be leading.
How we work in future will be more networked, more devolved, more mobile, more team-based, more project-based and more collaborative. Done well, the future of work offers the opportunity to provide the most engaging and motivating environment we have yet experienced.