Last week, WIRED Magazine announced the newest addition to the Facebook platform: Facebook at Work, a separate portal with the same capabilities of Facebook that is designed to facilitate communication, sharing and connections within the workplace and during the workday.
The social media at work debate has been raging since Facebook’s inception, with more and more companies lessening restrictions each year. In 2009, 54% of companies banned Facebook on the job site (WIRED), but as of 2013 that number had dropped to just 1 in 5 Americans who could not access Facebook at work. (Entrepreneur). More regulated industries, banking for example, typically see stricter guidelines when it comes to internet access, but businesses across the country must try to weigh employee productivity with the morale of a new generation of people who see streaming, liking, sharing and posting as second nature.
Facebook at Work could be the solution. Set to launch later this year, Facebook at Work will have the same look and feel as regular Facebook, but with a different color scheme so that it will be immediately clear to any passerby that you are in fact on a company sanctioned social media site. Facebook at Work allows employees to separate their work life from their personal life, in terms of social media. Your newsfeed will populate with posts and comments from your colleagues, instead of your family and friends. In fact, Facebook at Work will be available to those who don’t have a personal Facebook at all. This can also alleviate the guilt of whether or not to accept the friend request from your boss on your personal account.
Why should your company have Facebook at Work? Well, it may be a biased opinion, but Lars Rasmussen, Facebook’s director of engineering, tells WIRED, “You can get more stuff done with Facebook than any other tool that we know of, and we’d like to make that available to the whole world.”
Tell us, do you think your company will give Facebook at Work a try? Do you think social media negatively impacts your efficiency at work or are social media bans in the workplace an outdated regulation?