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The Myth of Facebook Being a Distraction in the Workplace
November 4, 2016

Workplace from Meta is about more than just reducing email. It’s a different way to run a business, engage with your employees and optimize your time.

Rob Castaneda, CEO at ServiceRocket.
Rob Castaneda, Founder/CEO

Back in September, in a shared Multi-Company Group, I posted that I wanted to eliminate the frustrations caused by email in my life.

Wouldn’t that be great?

A noble goal.

But where do you start?

For me, it was to start with internal email. In one of my earlier articles, I showed that in the first month using Workplace from Meta, my internal email dropped by almost 30%. This was excellent progress towards my goal, but Workplace is about more than just reducing email. It’s a different way to run a business.

Here’s what I mean.

A common question I get from other CEOs is this:

"Isn’t using Facebook at work just another distraction?”  

I admit, I had to think of this for a little while because it never occurred to me that connecting with my own team members is a distraction. I respond with a question of my own:

“What do you call a distraction?”

I look at my email inbox, which contains the following:

  • Sales Development Representatives from many companies trying to sell me their wares
  • Recruiters trying to sell me recruiting services
  • Recruiters trying to offer me jobs
  • Promotions of various sorts
  • System notifications
  • Salesforce and system dashboards
  • and... customer emails

I then looked at our Workplace system, and sure, there’s lots of activity, but zero of it is spam. Zip. Zilch. None. None of it is a third party trying to sell me stuff. Nor trying to sell my team members stuff. Any, and every second that I spend on the screen is spent engaging with content from my organization. So at times if a group produces too much activity, I can remove or mute the activity. But even just skimming it doesn’t take me out of my world or away from my mission.

One big way that Workplace differs from public Facebook is that there is no advertising or games. Because the instance is private and within our company boundaries, we only get company content. Similar to walking the hallway of my office, there are lots of conversations going and lots of ideas flowing - but there’s no advertising trying to pull me away from immersing myself in my teams.

Skimming, reading, and engaging in conversations with my teams about our mission, our projects, and our customers is not a distraction. Everything else is.

Then I had a bigger thought: “What are all these SaaS companies going to do when nobody reads email?”

The workplace isn’t the only thing is going to change

The typical sales cycle, made famous by Salesforce.com, is the Predictable Revenue Model. Whereby a company uses a Marketing Automation tool to mail blast thousands of prospects. Those that respond or click on links are followed up with by SDRs whose job is to qualify the lead for conversion.

Each of these mail blasts, whether automated from a Marketing Automation tool or semi-automated from an Sales Development Representative, is a potential distraction for the target. But when I use Workplace, my daily activities are not driven by my email inbox, instead they are driven by the newsfeed and the collaboration inside my Workplace Groups.

Selling doesn’t always help, but helping sells

We’ve often believed that selling doesn’t always help, but helping sells. We have a podcastwhich focuses on different ways that companies are adopting this philosophy, and in the new world ahead of us this will become more prevalent.

Education will become the way to sell, or more specifically, education will become the way to help prospects learn about your solutions, and make the decision to engage and buy from you. At least that’s how we’re now working. Our teams are now more focused on our customers' outcomes than ever before and working closer together across geographies, timezones and cultures with less distraction from the outside world.

How much of your email inbox is full of distractions?

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How much of your email inbox is full of distractions?

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