Arizona agency testing Facebook at Work

Arizona agency testing Facebook at Work

Arizona's Department of Administration will soon start using Facebook as its main platform for internal communications, according to news reports.

Facebook at Work, a work-friendly version of the Facebook most of us know, will let department employees work together across departments in real time. It will replace email as the main form of communication because, according to state CIO Morgan Reed, email “has become too antiquated to keep up with demand of government communication,” KTAR News reported.

According to Reed, the Department of Administration receives nearly 20,000 emails daily, and by moving internal conversations to the Facebook at Work collaboration platform, the department can respond more quickly to its customers, KTAR said.  

The Facebook platform will also serve as a global address book, the article states, and it will also allow for more multimedia content sharing among departments -- as well as with the public, which can request content via public information requests.

The agency can also use the platform’s groups, chat and timeline features as well as schedule meetings and search department posts.

Arizona is the first government entity to try Facebook at Work, according to a Government Technology article, although more than 450 companies worldwide have been involved in testing it.

“Arizona is trying to be the model for other states and lead the way to embrace technology that the private sector would use, not just what other governments are using, to help us attract that next generation of employee,” Reed told Government Technology.

Facebook’s advantages include users’ familiarity with the platform and their ability to work from anywhere, including through the mobile app. Additionally, Facebook’s built-in security met most of the department’s needs, and the platform scales easily, Reed said.

Use of Facebook at Work is bound by the same records-retention requirements covering other internal government communications, the article adds.

A pilot test of the platform has gotten positive responses, Reed said in the article. “This is work Facebook, so we tell our employees not to confuse it with personal, don’t post anything you wouldn’t want HR or your boss or legal to see, because they are on the platform and they are watching,” Reed said. “But, it’s been really great for driving employee engagement, tearing down the silos between agencies and divisions and really creating that two-way conversation.”

About the Author

Stephanie Kanowitz is a freelance writer based in northern Virginia.

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