Work Wonders: How Social Media Helps Global Teams Connect
One of the biggest problems facing businesses split across various international hubs is achieving meaningful connection; how do you facilitate swift, intuitive communication at work between global teams?
Social networks popped up with the stated mission of connecting the world. It makes sense then, that social networks for work purposes are becoming the easiest way to connect teams, build rapport and just get things done.
With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the current big players in social media for work:
I like Slack because it functions a bit like my inbox. In a system that causes most people a severe migraine, I like to use my inbox as the data set for my own personal search engine. Which is a fancy way of saying that I organise nothing, and use the search bar liberally.
Slack’s status as a bit of an outsider (i.e. not owned by Alphabet or Facebook) means that it can put user responsiveness ahead of prioritising their own eco-system; it’s relatively easy to integrate external apps with the Slack chat app, keeping it flexible for teams that might already use other services. However, Slack by its very nature is built for one-line-at-a-time communication. A useful addition, but Slack shouldn’t replace a well thought email or even, the horror, a phone call.
The idea of a closed, stripped-down Facebook sounds a bit like heaven at this point in 2017, even if it is for work. Facebook Workplace takes all of the familiar features of Facebook and re-purposes them for the modern workplace, with the added benefit that most people will be very familiar with the interface. 30 000 organisations across the globe use Workplace to co-ordinate between teams, instant message and video conference.
The Workplace-specific app again provides a reassuringly familiar interface, whilst ensuring that your normal Facebook is totally separate. The downside is that Workplace doesn’t provide any task management tools, so whilst it’s a great place to share ideas, it’s not the best one to make sure they actually get done. It’s also important to remain alert to your tone when using Workplace; it’s very easy to slip back into bad Facebook habits.
Ah, LinkedIn, everyone’s least favourite social network. A place where you can #leanin and catch up on all the fascinating conferences and meetings that are being attended by that one person you met at a networking event once. A place where no-one knows the actual meaning of the word ‘humbled’. And the worst part?
Writing inspirational stories
Line by line
For all of these faults, and its atrocious interface, LinkedIn does have a place in the social media sphere. Crucially it allows you to separate your personal online profile (Facebook, typically), from your professional. It provides potential customers, and recruiters, with the opportunity to scope out your skills and experience in a way that you can control, not through the work grapevine. Finally, as more companies use it, it’s a better place to find new opportunities and keep in contact with colleagues who perhaps never quite made it to the friend network tier.
Finding the right communication style for your business is always going to be a work in progress; the Whatsapp group that works for a team of four is not sustainable when you’re split across timezones. With the rise of flexible working and hot-desking, using the right kind of social networking for work can help to build a strong team, no matter where you’re physically sitting.