Work + Facebook = Productivity?

Would using Facebook at work make you more productive? I'll take a wild guess that your answer is the same as mine, a resounding no. But just a few weeks ago Wal-Mart, one of the largest private employers in the US, announced that its’ employees are now going to be using this social media platform at work.

Facebooking During Work hours?! 

The catch is, it’s not exactly Facebook as we know it that Wal-Mart employees will be using, but an equivalent called Workplace by Facebook.  Workplace, unlike the classic Facebook, is paid for by the employer on a monthly basis and is strictly for people working at the particular company that has purchased the software.

Main features of Workplace by Facebook include:

  • A search feature allowing employees to “find people, group posts, and files to get the answers they need”
  • “Reporting and admin controls” to “make it easy to set-up and manage your community”
  • Bots that “help with automating alerts and taking care of repetitive tasks”
  • Instant messaging and video calling

The idea behind the software does make sense. Most of us are very well acquainted with Facebook as an interface. We use it to keep track of events, share photos, send instant messages, video call and more. Even though we have separate apps that do all these things, Facebook does do a good job at integrating them.

The whole issue of distraction does not seem too worrisome, since you could only be distracted with work-related manners. But could incorporating this software at work come with its own drawbacks?

The Potential Costs of Bringing Social Media to the Workplace

If you visit the Workplace by Facebook website you can read several success stories about companies who implemented this software. However, I can’t help but think about how the drawbacks of general social media use might be similar with Workplace. I’m thinking about things such as: our self-confidence plummeting due to constantly being fed images of others' achievements, productivity decreasing due to increased multi-tasking, less in-person interaction, and other impacts that we also mentioned in our post about mental health and social media.

What are your thoughts on Workplace by Facebook? Would you find it useful? What types of workplaces would it work or not work well with? Does it have the potential to negatively or positively impact workplace mental wellness? Share your ideas with us in the comments below!

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