Could Facebook at Work create more productive, happier employees?
For anyone who's ever been chastised for tooling around Facebook at work, Facebook may be developing an answer, cleverly named “Facebook at Work.”
TechCrunch reported this week through an anonymous source that the rumored technology would allow private businesses to share documents, chat and share information in internal groups for business, sans the cat videos and baby pictures that might distract workers.
If Facebook does launch a work-friendly platform, market researchers at Forrester say it could be the missing link people have been waiting for between personal and professional social media accounts.
“Much, but not all, of people’s work and personal lives are related, and it can be frustrating to have those siloed in separate online relationships,” analyst Frank Gillett told PC World. “Helping individuals integrate and express their digital selves…will create greater engagement and loyalty.”
But is the potential merging of personal and professional online identities a good thing, or is it just another way work is taking over American lives?
As The Atlantic reported earlier this week, a Heartland Monitor Poll found that one-quarter of respondents employed full-time listed their working week at 51 hours or more. About 41 percent of those employed said their job frequently requires after-hours communication and 56 percent of those who checked in when not at work said they maintained the work connection while on vacation.
All of this makes it more difficult than ever for average workers to divide personal time from work time — and, in the long term, creates more online distractions for workers, said London Cass Business School professor Andre Spicer.
“Using Facebook is not going to make people more productive at work, it will probably actually divert from (work) activity,” Spicer said.
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