Designing the Future of Work Part 4: Expressive

by Catherine Flynn

In part 4 we find out why new, expressive and multi-modal ways of communicating will play a central role in the successful workplaces of the future.

First time here? Catch up with our introduction to the series in part 1. Read about the 1st 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).

Principle 3: Multimodal communications

The mobile revolution has gone hand in hand with a giant shift in the way people communicate. We’ve moved from the written world of email to a multimodal world where video, text, emojis, photos, and gifs all have a role to play.

“It’s clear that video is the new natural language of the mobile era”

Facebook itself has played a part in this shift. When News Feed first launched in 2006 updates were primarily text-based which resulted in a wall of words. As mobile became an increasingly popular screen we saw a shift to more visual communication with Facebook becoming the biggest photo sharing platform in the world. But in the last couple of years, the explosive rise of mobile video has led to a more fundamental change.

According to the Ooyala Global Video Index, mobile now accounts for 50% of all digital video plays in North America – with that figure rising to 54% in EMEA, 56% in Latin America and 61% in Asia. This reflects a 3x year-on-year rise in the amount of video uploaded to Facebook and a 150% increase in time spent watching video on Instagram.

The new normal

It’s clear that video is the new natural language of the mobile era. So it’s no surprise that we’ve invested so much time in building world-class video products on Facebook. What’s really exciting is how transformative those products are proving to be in the workplace.

Take Live video, which has been a huge product focus for Facebook in the last 12 months. One in every five videos on Facebook today is a Live video, which allows virtually anybody in the world to share what they’re doing in an immediate, authentic way.

The new Workplace

We’ve seen similarly enthusiastic take up in Workplace, with senior leaders using Live to quickly and easily reach an entire company for town halls, weekly business updates, and breaking news. We’ve even heard the story of one CEO broadcasting Live from their morning jog.

Live was a day one launch for Workplace, as was Workplace Chat with its video functionality. But we’re continuing to build out our video offering. Most recently we’ve launched Group Video chat, which allows up to 50 members of your team to communicate face to face at the push of a button. Take a look at this video to find out how you can use Workplace to broadcast to your whole organization.

But why is video so effective in the workplace? For the same reason we love it in our personal lives: attention. Our studies show that people spend five times longer looking at video in the News Feed compared to photo or text posts. And that means you have a better chance of landing your most important messages with more people.

As the volume of information at work continues to grow exponentially, the moving image remains the most powerful way we have to cut through the noise and grab those precious extra seconds of attention. Find out about Integration in Part 5 of our Designing the Future of Work Series here. Or, catch up on Part 3 here.

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