Facebook just made it a lot more difficult to avoid annoying coworkers. With the launch of Facebook at Work, the company has created a networking platform for employees to collaborate on group projects, stay in touch during the workday, and make fast decisions. Imagine Facebook notifications on your phone... except they're about looming deadlines. The application has its own chatting software, so you can use voice or video calling on the go, as well as instant messaging.
The new platform, which is still in its "early adopter" phase, actually runs a lot like the regular social networking site. You can create a Facebook account (that is separate from your personal account), join groups, message coworkers, create events, and scroll through a News Feed for important updates. But instead of cute puppy videos to balance out world news or friends' updates, everything is career focused. You can create closed groups with coworkers to chat about a certain project, and post updates to the group for everyone to offer instant feedback. If your company uses Slack, another group messaging and collaboration platform, you'll find Facebook at work is very similar in the way it encourages coworkers to be in constant contact. According to the platform's FAQ section, with Facebook at Work, "companies find that they can eliminate or drastically reduce their need for internal collaboration tools such as their intranet, telephony systems, video conferencing and distribution lists." But could it mean fewer in-person conversations?
Research continues to emphasize that social media is a double-edged sword. It may harm your sleep patterns, alter relationships, and be detrimental to your mental health. Given that we all try to reduce our screen time, is it wise to spend extra time immersed in social media—even if it is work-related? The jury is still out, as not all companies have began using the platform. In the meantime, watch the video below for a fuller picture of Facebook at Work, and judge for yourself.