Workplace by Facebook seeks work life balance

Workplace by Facebook officially launched six weeks ago and director Julien Codorniou came onstage at Disrupt London today to talk about how the platform is responding to and building features to reduce interruption at work.

Workplace is both a desktop and mobile app much like Facebook, but for your colleagues to socialize and communicate. The platform sports the same features as its friends and family network counterpart such as News Feed, Groups, direct messaging, Live video, Reactions, translation features, and video and audio calling.

“You just want to have the spin of information,” Codorniou said.

The platform is different from Facebook’s newly announced enterprise collaboration app platform, which Codorniou also announced on the Disrupt stage and allows clients to customize Workplace and integrate apps for CRM, file sharing, email, calendars and is built by IT teams within companies using the platform.

[gallery ids="1424860,1424853,1424854,1424855,1424856,1424862,1424861,1424859,1424858,1424857"]

But Workplace may have a dark side, as many of these always-on enterprise communication platforms. Slack has actually encountered the Slacklash phenomenon and TechCrunch editor-at-large Josh Constine mentioned Uber dropping Slack as it was too disruptive for workers.

Codorniou acknowledged these apps could get in the way of productivity but mentioned that with Workplace you set the rules for yourself, “You can define your work-life balance. It’s up to the users to do that. We have notification settings you can work with,” he said.

Codorniou also said he was open to making changes in the future to improve on those features and admitted, just by the sheer nature of his work, he is almost always online himself.

Fake news has also been an issue Facebook has been in hot water for and something Constine brought up with Codorniou on stage. But don’t expect Facebook’s Workplace platform to censor content for workers. Codorniou said that was something the worker was responsible for filtering on their own.

Is this the future killer app for work? It’s early days for Workplace, which has approximately 1,000 companies on board at the moment (compared to Slack’s 2.7 million daily active users), but with all these new enterprise apps meant to keep us in touch with colleagues and possible business connections, it’s certainly an improvement to the trash fire that is LinkedIn.