Earlier this week, Workplace by Facebook held their second annual global leadership summit called 'Flow' in sunny Menlo Park. Flow is an exclusive gathering of inspirational leaders, innovators and C-level executives where breakthrough ideas are shared on culture, technology and people. This years theme was Why the Future Belongs to Connected Organizations. I attended the event and had the opportunity to meet with lots of Workplace clients. I learnt lots about the huge value that leaders and organisations are getting from the platform and got an update on the future strategy of this disruptive business tool that is being used by over 3m paying customers and some of the worlds largest brands.
"Some of the new Workplace features leverage the Facebook software engineering ‘Super Powers’ and moves the company closer towards Enterprise IT with exciting announcements on Portal and Oculus for Business" Graham Mackay, Managing Partner, Generation Digital.
Workplace by Facebook announced some big product announcements and impressive feature updates to connect distributed workforces, provide cutting-edge mobile technology, and offer integrated communications products and services for companies and their employees around the world, whether in the C-suite or on the front lines.
From frontline access to video and analytics, Workplace announces 11 new tools to bring the power of community to work.
The Enterprise SaaS company owned by Facebook announced new ways to connect and empower people on Workplace, as well as new tools to help you measure the impact.
Some of the latest Workplace features
Connecting the Frontline & Mobile Workers
Eighty percent of the global workforce doesn’t sit behind a desk. And yet 54% of these frontline employees feel like they don't have a voice in their business. Workplace continues to be the leader in building features for frontline employees via solutions that encourage teamwork, collaboration, and recognition; including:
- Access codes – a new way to connect frontline employees using a unique code instead of email
- Access controls – a customizable pop up to make sure hourly employees aren’t logging in to Workplace outside of their shift
- Learning – Workplace admins can now create, label and curate learning content, including best practices and useful posts for employee onboarding or learning and development opportunities
- Surveys - Send brief surveys to your organization via Workplace Chat. Select your audience, time frame and type of survey
- Goals - a new unit within Workplace groups that allows admins to set targets for their teams, while each member can share their progress
Empowering people with new video tools
When people are connected across a business, it’s easier to empower them with the information they need to understand their role and get the job done. One of the most effective ways to do this is through video.
Workplace announced new capabilities for video on Workplace (leveraging some 'Super Powers' from the Facebook engineering team) that are unique in the market and give Workplace clear market leadership in this area. I have have seen the 'consumerisation' of Enterprise IT throughout my career and so it's great to see Facebook entering this market with low-cost but world-class hardware that will enable the Enterprise to roll out video to users where it was previously cost-prohibitive.
- Workplace on Portal – Workplace users will be able to make video calls through Portal from Facebook. Portal’s AI-powered Smart Camera pans and zooms to stay with the action so you can move and talk freely while always staying in frame. Smart Sound enhances the voice of whomever is speaking while minimizing unwanted background noise
- Automatic video captioning – this new feature uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to automatically add captions to videos posted to Workplace. This will help hearing-impaired or frontline workers who may not have sound turned on while watching in the app
- Faster video - Enterprise Live is a new peer-to-peer broadcasting video solution that makes it possible to deliver high-quality live and on-demand video with significant bandwidth savings in an organization's network
Using Workplace on Portal Mini
Changing culture through belonging and wellbeing
Workplace is also adding new features that will allow companies to foster relationships, celebrate successes and share resources more easily than ever.
- Thanks – colleagues can now recognize each other’s contributions and notify the recipient’s manager about great teamwork with a new native experience in Workplace
- Badges – Workplace profiles will now show visual identifiers based on useful employee information and achievements. Badges can be awarded by a Workplace admin or automatically granted once an employee meets certain criteria, such as employment anniversaries or sales goals
Measuring the impact
How do we measure the relationship between a connected culture and company performance? It starts with the right data. Workplace already allows admins to track adoption and retention, but we want it to do more.
- Insights – Workplace are introducing new filters and metrics to Workplace insights, including consumption metrics and comment sentiment analysis, so you can assess how key messages are resonating with your people
Learn how key message are resonating with Workplace insights
“Over the past year we’ve been working on ways to serve people across the enterprise, including frontline workers, which make up 80 percent of the world’s workforce,” said Karandeep Anand, Vice President and Head of Workplace.
“The features we’re announcing today build on this momentum, and we’re making it easier for these employees to do great work by helping them to connect to their organizations through mobile in a secure way. We’re also excited to offer rich video features that enable all employees to be more connected and collaborative.”
Schedule a Demo of the new Workplace by Facebook features:
Explore the new features announced at Flow 2019 by scheduling a demo with one of our consultants and learn more about how each feature works, when you'll be able to access them, and how you can deploy them all in creative ways. In the meantime here is a more detailed view on the new: features.