Four years ago, in October 2016, Workplace by Facebook (as it was known then) was made available to the public for the first time.
Facebook created Workplace because we’d seen first-hand what happens when a company becomes a community. We used an early version internally to communicate openly and transparently. We saw increases in productivity and engagement as well as employee sentiment and retention. We realized that when people feel better at work, it’s not just good for culture - it’s a competitive advantage.
We knew then that we wanted to bring the power of community to other organizations so they could experience this advantage for themselves.
Over the last four years, some of the world’s most innovative companies, including Walmart, Starbucks, Spotify and Nestlé, have experienced ‘the Workplace effect’. Today, we’re helping to connect over 5m paying subscribers around the world, and we’re partnering with leading technology companies like Microsoft, DocuSign, Google, PwC and Deloitte.
Of course, the world of work looks very different now than it did four years ago. But if anything, the events of the last few months have made us more determined than ever to help organizations bring their people together. Throughout the recent pandemic, we’ve seen time and again why this matters.
UK restaurant chain Honest Burgers told us they’ve been using Live video to update employees about closures. They also deployed bots on Workplace Chat to help staff understand their furlough pay and prepare for the reopening of their restaurants.
In Japan, senior leaders from LIXIL, a manufacturing conglomerate with 70,000 employees, have hosted virtual town halls on Workplace almost every day to keep people informed and spirits high.
Even the World Health Organization has used Workplace during the current crisis to make sure its staff have a single source of truth for the latest resources and information in the battle to curb the pandemic.
Although we’re four years old we’re still only 1% done. We’ll continue to adapt and innovate to meet the new challenges of working remotely and virtual collaboration. In the last couple of months alone we’ve released major new features like Knowledge Library, Rooms and Live Producer to help people discover information, work together and communicate authentically. These sit alongside other important features like Auto-Translate, Groups, Bots and Chat, giving people the power to tear down barriers, share ideas and make meaningful connections.
We’re excited to work with our customers to see what comes next. We’re already looking at ways to incorporate artificial intelligence and virtual reality technologies into Workplace. Who knows, in four years you might be reading this blog on your augmented reality glasses.
But whatever the future holds, our focus remains the same: To make sure every employee is equally connected, informed, empowered and productive wherever they work and whatever they do.