Ask a hundred employees ‘what is your biggest distraction at work’ and you’ll get dozens of answers. They will range from social media, boredom, the internet, gossip, smoke breaks, snack breaks or the cute guy or girl in marketing.
It will come as no surprise that distractions at work effect productivity and while 10 minutes here and there flicking through #foodporn on Instagram may not seem like a big deal, it adds up to many hours a month.
Now, if you ask the same question to IT teams, you’ll likely get a different answer.
They’re Employees Too, Won’t They Have The Same Distractions?
Well yes, but they now have another more significant distraction. One of the primary functions of the forward-thinking businesses we speak to is the improvement and simplification of communication and collaboration amongst employees and to house a centralised repository of company information (directories, guides, staff handbooks, strategy documents, wikis, on-boarding etc).
In theory at least, it seems relatively straightforward. Virtually every office in the world has Microsoft Office 365 licenses and so the go-to tech is Microsoft’s own offering, Teams, Yammer and SharePoint, because they are bundled in and most importantly, free.
But is this the biggest red herring in IT?
Teams is described as a unified communications platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration. Yammer is an enterprise social networking service used for private communication within organisations and SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform that integrates with Microsoft Office.
All are included within the O365 licence (so therefore effectively free) but in order to customise the abovementioned software, businesses typically need 10+ days of consultancy and that doesn’t include the hours and days required to get an office full of people to upskill and populate the services. Yet even when everyone has their heads around it, adoption is limited within the user base.
Plenty of businesses have tried this approach and many feel like they’ve wasted precious time, money and resources with no real improvements and very little adoption to show for it.
In a blog on Microsoft’s own techcommunity site, Office 365 MVP Steve Goodman says that ‘like any tool used for the wrong purpose, if you try and make it act like one, the people in your organisation won’t find it as useful.’
So What Is The Right Tool For Collaboration?
For regular readers of this blog, it won’t come as a huge surprise because we’ve written about it before but if you’re new, it’s Workplace by Facebook. At least we think it is.
Before you ask the same question everyone does, it’s not Facebook for work. We have enough of Facebook at work and they’ve been careful not to overlap the two.
First and most importantly, it doesn’t link with your personal Facebook account, it’s totally separate and in their own words, it is a ‘collaboration and communication tool that connects employees to one another via an internal social network.’
There is a catch though, but not, it seems, one that’s putting people off.
While O365 and it’s friends are free, the premium version of Workplace by Facebook costs $3 per active user per month, or £2.31.
That’s half the price of a bucket of latte from Starbucks.
But, the workplace-efficiency positives dramatically outweigh the money-based negatives and the hard up-front costs are offset by a number of factors, including:
- The rapid speed of deployment (we all know what Facebook looks like and how to use it)
- There’s little to no training or upskilling requirement (for the reason stated above)
- The average adoption rate is upwards of 70%
In their Value Differentiation Kit, Workplace by Facebook say this:
‘With the right partner or IT resources, organizations can leverage their business-critical investments with a more connected and appealing front-end experience. With various applications and artificially intelligent Bots integrated into the Workplace platform, users can take advantage of the best of breed cloud services.’
WbF and O365 are ‘better together’ in that business will still use the suite of Microsoft services such as Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint for email and productivity but we’re seeing more and more clients adopting Workplace as the de facto tool for internal communication and collaboration by integrating O365 within its framework.
All you need to do is to give staff access to Workplace. It’s likely they already know how it works and we think it’s fair to say that getting employees to use an interface they’re already familiar with is far easier than teaching them how to use something they’ve no real or lasting interest in becoming familiar with.
Have a read of the blog post we wrote about it back in December and then contact us so we can tell you all about it and how easy it is to get your staff to adopt it.
For all things cloud-related, email us today on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7078 0789.