Social Networks at Work

The Knowledge Manager sends an email about hitting a milestone in the number of users on Yammer. One of the Digital team replied, ‘Can’t we use Facebook for Business?’.  

Needless to say, the Digital team don’t like Yammer, but I wonder if Facebook would be any better, what we would use it for, and whether it’s a solution without a problem. We share links to interesting articles on Google Plus, but like most organisations our main form of communication is email. And email has it’s advantages; it works on lots of different devices, can attach files, can be sent to only those people you want to receive the message, you can respond immediately or at some future time, and emails are searchable. I’m not suggesting email is the perfect communication or collaboration tool, but then neither are social networks that are built around a central feed with the latest content at the top. This approach makes it difficult keep track of a relevant post without manual effort of using tags. 

Maybe it’s a technology issue, that we just don’t have the right platform to achieve a social way of working, but I think the deeper issue is that we just aren’t digital residents at work enough to move away from email as our main form of communication. Until the overwhelming majority of us engage in our work as digital residents there is no requirement for Yammer, Facebook, or any other internal social network.