Home Development Facebook's Workplace for Good goes free to non-profits and educational staff

Non-profit organisations and staff at educational institutions can now access Facebook's Workplace Premium edition free of charge to "work better, smarter and faster".

While some might argue that Facebook in the workplace mightn't be as good as Facebook suggests, the reality is that more than 30,000 global organisations, large and small, connect their teams with Workplace, so clearly, it's a popular product.

The company says that Workplace offers "work tools that change everything", allow users to "communicate, collaborate and connect across desktop and mobile, using familiar features like groups, chat and video calls", and this is good "because anything is possible when people work together".

Now comes the news of Workplace for Good, in a blog post by the group's head, Annette Gevaert, entitled "Building meaningful communities with Workplace for Good".

Gevaert starts off by noting that Facebook built "Workplace to give the world a place to work together", with organisations of all shapes, sizes, and industries already using the service.

She then states that "over the last 18 months, we’ve seen thousands of nonprofits and educational institutions transform the way they work on our platform", so Facebook has decided to "match their commitment to doing good with our own", and thus Workplace for Good was born.

Naturally, there's a video, and you can see it here

Gevaert's good intentions mean that "Workplace Premium free" is being given free to "nonprofits and staff at educational institutions globally, so they can build meaningful communities and create change around the world".

But that's not all, with Gevaert stating that "we’re also investing in a dedicated team to grow our efforts in this space, alongside a new online resource centre that brings together product information, success stories, and videos to help organisations take the first step".

At this point we see a quote from Tuva Raanes Bogsnes, director of Media and Public Affairs, Norwegian Refugee Council, who said: "“Workplace has allowed us to share knowledge and opened up professional discussions that enable us to give better aid to the people we are here to serve.”

As you can expect, Gevaert says Facebook is "proud to donate these work tools free of charge to organisations like the World Wildlife Fund, Comic Relief, Unicef, Save the Children, RNIB, NRC, It Gets Better, Australian Catholic University and the Miami Dade School District. All of these organisations are using Workplace to connect their people, communicate and take action more effectively than ever before".

"The ability to work together quickly and effectively isn’t a nice-to-have for these organisations. For some of them, it can mean the difference between life and death. With Workplace, they’ve found mobile, video, communication, and collaboration tools to give them the edge."

Ric Sheldon, chief information officer, Unicef UK, said: "Workplace has made a huge difference in the way our staff communicates with each other. Ultimately this makes even more of a difference for children in danger who are in desperate need of Unicef’s help."

So, what are the six ways Workplace supports work with a purpose?

Gevaert tells us that: "Workplace provides a critical solution for nonprofits and educational institutions, two industries that have always relied on creativity and innovation in the face of resource constraints.

"Whether it’s reporting back from the field in real time with Live video, mobilising a network of volunteers in trouble spots around the world through Groups. Or it’s simply accelerating the speed of information through a school district with News Feed, Workplace has empowered organisations like never before – and they, in turn, have pushed the product to its limits."

  1. Video chat. It Gets Better uses Workplace’s super reliable HD video chat to hold weekly meetings to get important updates out to its global affiliate network in over 20 countries with 500 people.

  2. Groups. Vision India Foundation uses a Workplace Group to keep 5,000 alumni and volunteers up to date with campaign news. Having everybody together on Workplace has helped the charity lower organisational costs and cut time spent in meetings

  3. News Feed. When Australian Catholic University’s National Sustainability Manager posted a message about disposable coffee cups onto his News Feed, it was seen, shared and commented on by hundreds of students and staff members, which resulted in a campaign that cut plastic consumption on campus.

  4. Bots. Oxfam uses a Bot to demystify industry jargon. OxBot is a jargon-busting bot that will tell employees what specific acronyms mean, and will even provide a link to other internal sources of information if they want to know more.

  5. Integrated Tools. Oxfam launched Workplace using an integration with Okta to provide single sign-on access for 10,000 employees. They also used an integration with Box for a seamless and more structured way of working across multiple tools.

  6. Accessibility. Workplace benefits from the pioneering results that Facebook has achieved in its efforts to make the platform more accessible for people with disabilities. For RNIB, this means screen-reading tools for the 20% of the workforce that is visually impaired.

Gevaert says "the result is game-changing impact at zero cost".

Marie Izquierdo, chief academic officer, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, said: "Workplace has been a great addition to the district’s communication and collaboration toolbox. All our employees are contributing to the greater good of the entire organisation by sharing ideas, best practices, resources, and highlighting their accomplishments.”

Alongside Workplace for Good, Gevaert's group has "also created a special Multi-Company Group on Workplace. Workplace for Good is a dedicated space for people from nonprofit or educational institutions to create their own community, ask questions, share tips, and swap best practices. It’s open to anybody with a Workplace account".

"Finally", said Gevaert, "we’re renewing our commitment to #ImpactCloud – a coalition of technology companies including Workplace, Salesforce, Box, Okta, and Microsoft, working together to help accelerate digital transformation and impact for humanitarian and disaster relief organisations".

Naturally, the good work doesn't stop here, with Gevaert reminding us of a Facebook internal saying that "the journey is only 1% finished", and that "Workplace for Good will continue to grow and evolve".

Gevaert concludes by stating: "Today we’re taking the first step, and we’re excited to invite many more organisations to join us on the journey to support work with a purpose and build meaningful communities."

You can find out more about Workplace for Good here

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

 

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