Designing the future of work part 7: Personalised

by Catherine Flynn

In part 7 – the final in the series – we find out how communications in the workplaces of the future will be personal and focus on individual priorities.

First time here? Catch up with the rest of the posts in the series.

‣ Start with the introduction in part 1

‣ Read about the first principle and why future communication will be open by default in part 2

‣ Head here to see why the workplaces of the future will be mobile first (and full of bots)

‣ Take a look why work communications will be more expressive than ever before

‣ See how the tools you use in the future will be integrated, not isolated here in part 5

‣ And discover why tools that connect everyone will be crucial in future workplaces

The sixth principle: Personalised and prioritised

The final principle we've identified is the expectation that access to information in the workplace of the future will be personalised and prioritised.

As the speed of information accelerates, the need to make sense and prioritise it effectively will be a critical competitive skill

This matters more than ever in a world where productivity tools and collaboration software are greatly increasing the volume and the velocity of information hitting employees every day. As the speed of information accelerates, the need to make sense of it quickly and prioritise it effectively is going to be a critical competitive skill.

The same, of course, is true in our personal lives. The 'everything, everywhere, whenever' culture of mobile means that we now have access to an almost infinite amount of stuff – news, films, games, books, music – at the touch of a button. And yet one thing remains the same: the time we actually have to consume it.

Cutting through the noise

Time is our most precious resource, which means that we need to make smart choices about where to spend it and how to find the stuff each of us is most likely to enjoy.

Facebook's solution to these problems is the News Feed. News Feed is a unique, scrolling source of content that each individual is most likely to find valuable – like a personalised newspaper. Facebook uses an algorithm based on a series of signals derived from people's real behaviour.

Powerful signals include the friends that you follow, the family you're connected to and the Pages, brands or things that you like. The aggregate of all these influences and connections is known as the social graph.

Keep up with the right business conversations

At Workplace, we're building the work graph in the same way that Facebook built the social graph. Eventually, we'll be able to use contextual signals such as the connections between people and teams, the documents you download, the messages you reply to and even the meetings you attend to understand, not just what you do, but who you are at work.

This is next generation IT, built using Facebook's world-leading AI and machine learning capabilities to continually improve our understanding, so that we can surface the right information from the right people at the right time.

Groups and News Feed

It's why we've made project Groups and personalised News Feed two of the central features of Workplace.

In a world that is time poor and information-rich, the News Feed is the most powerful system we have to surface the information that really matters.

Your groups – open, closed or secret – become the natural first place to start a working day. Groups can focus on specific teams or projects, and people can control the group notifications they receive depending on their changing priorities and needs.

In this way, the information that people need surfaces more readily, and with more relevance.

It's also why the News Feed is so effective at work, as well as in our personal lives. In a world that is time poor and information-rich, the News Feed is the most powerful system we have to surface the information that really matters.

People change organisations. Workplace enables people

So, those are the six key principles that will define and shape the successful workplaces of the future. And at Facebook, when we think about that future, it's not just through the lens of technology, but also through the lens of people.

We're taking over 10 year's experience building tools that have transformed the way billions of people connect and communicate in their personal lives and we're bringing that knowledge to the workplace. The technology we use will be important. And we've set out some of the key principles in this series through which technology will help enable people.

But more important will be our ability to unlock human potential by putting people's needs and expectations at the heart of everything we do.

In case you missed it, find out about the role that connectedness has to play in the future of work here.

Find out how using Workplace can prepare your organisation for the future of work. Join one of our webinars and try Workplace for free.

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