IT Brief New Zealand - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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Facebook unveils product and business updates as it outlines Future of Work vision
Mon, 25th May 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Facebook has announced a series of product and business updates as it looks to outline its vision for the future of work and how it sees Facebook's technology helping companies work flexibly.

The updates span Facebook, Workplace, Portal and Oculus.

“As businesses re-merge from the COVID-19 crisis, high on the agenda for all business leaders is considering when and what their return to office pathway looks like," says Will Easton, managing director, Facebook Australia and New Zealand.

"Whether it's a staggered return or delayed until later in the year, companies will want to ensure employees working from an office, the shop front, or at home remain connected. Our investments in remote presence, video technology and Facebook Workplace are squarely aimed at supporting companies and organisations to be successful in the future of remote and flexible work," he says.

Vicky Skipp, head of growth ANZ, Workplace by Facebook, says the nature of "work as we know it" has been challenged more than ever in recent months.

"Many companies have snapped to remote working with success, by bringing employee wellbeing to the forefront and prioritising internal communication," she says.

"Others haven't made the transition as smoothly, and as a result their employees are feeling stressed and are struggling to receive critical comms from their employer. This disconnect is impacting employee wellbeing, retention and by extension, productivity and growth.

 “Digital tools like Workplace from Facebook can help and are now critical for businesses who are trying to connect their entire workforces – from the C-suite to the frontlines. We know that tools like chat and video are imperative tools for leaders who need to check-in on their teams and ensure they feel connected when they are physically apart," Skipp adds.

"That's why we're announcing features like Workplace Rooms and shipping improvement to our Portal devices, which will help connect disparate workforces.

“This announcement reflects our continued focus on ensuring that Australian businesses - from established corporations to community-led non-profits - are equipped with the communication tools they need to thrive during these challenging time and for many years to come," she explains.


  • Workplace now has more than five million paid users, up from three million in October 2019. 
  • Workplace Rooms: A new way for coworkers and teams to stay connected, hangout and get things done when they cannot be together in person. Rooms is an easy way to host both planned and spontaneous video calls from your desktop, mobile or the Workplace app on Portal. Anyone can join, even if they don't have a Workplace account or the app installed.  
  • Workplace Live Video Improvements: Including Live Producer, a new way to go live on Workplace from your desktop with better production value, control and interactivity; automatic live captioning in 6 languages; automatic caption translations and editing; and the ability to add a Q-A to a Live video. 
  • Workplace on Portal updates: Including the ability to use Portal TV for Workplace video calls, Workplace Rooms on Portal and Workplace Live on Portal - allowing our remote working customers to work more efficiently while creating meaningful work.
  • Oculus for Business: An enterprise platform solution designed to streamline the deployment of virtual reality for productivity and collaboration in the workplace, is out of closed beta and now generally available. 
  • Facebook Work Groups: A Facebook Group type to help people connect with their coworkers more easily, for lightweight tasks like shift swapping. There are now more than 20 million active monthly users across 170,000 active Work Groups on Facebook.