In a Salary.com survey from 2012, 64% of respondents said they visit non-work related sites every day while they’re at work. Of those, 41% said they visit Facebook. Add two years and allowing for people who lied about it – I’d guess that an even larger percentage of workers are logging on to check their Facebook feed either through work computers or their own mobile phone.
So, in the spirit of, ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em’, Facebook is rolling out Facebook for Work; a private platform that lets companies create their own social network inside a very familiar framework.
According to TechCrunch (and everyone else who picked up the story), it’s still very much a closed beta but at least now it’s official. There’s even an app in the app store but you can’t use it unless you’re one of the chosen few.
When a company signs on to take the ride, they can create Facebook at Work logins for their employees or just let everyone sign in with their personal Facebook credentials. The first option is more secure but sort of defeats the whole purpose of using Facebook as your social network provider. There are other companies in this space but only Facebook has a built-in user base.
The hope is that by connecting through Facebook, employees will be more apt to participate in group discussions and communicate with each other on a regular basis. Both are good for morale and, ironically, could make employees more productive. It might also make employees more likely to deal with work issues when they’re not at work. How many people will be able to resist clicking on a company update when it’s in line with a cute baby video and photos from your sister’s vacation in Hawaii?
LinkedIn Links Up
LinkedIn, the social network you’re supposed to visit while you’re at work, is also working on extending its company boundaries.
Rec/Code says LinkedIn is slowing rolling out tools that will encourage employees to use the social network for internal communication with co-workers. It seems like a good idea, since LinkedIn is all business, all the time but wouldn’t it be easier to just use your company email when you want to reach a co-worker?
If they go ahead with the idea, it will require a mind shift since most people think of LinkedIn as a site for networking with people you don’t already know. Then again, it’s better than hitching your work life to your personal life on Facebook.