Last week Viet Nam News asked readers to share their thoughts about using "Facebook at Work" – a new Facebook application that will allow users to chat with colleagues, network with other professionals and collaborate on documents. Here are some of comments we have received:
Andrew Burden, Canadian, Ha Noi
Facebook and other social media are addictive and here to stay. If you cannot beat them, join them. Wise managers will adopt the technology early.
Do not think your employees are not already goofing around and slacking off. With "Facebook at Work," employers can combine socialising with profit by setting up competition.
Using psychology and various incentives, managers will be able to promote business affairs, set up solo projects and group work. Before you know it, workers will actually be doing work at home rather than playing around at work.
There is always the danger that competitors will steal your ideas and even your employees. Be careful to set time limits and proprietary standards. Do not reveal too many personal details – the internet does not forgive and never forgets.
Western business models have adopted "flexi time" where people can work from home or with flexible schedules. There is no reason why the dynamic, aggressive and young Vietnamese workforce would not jump at this idea.
Thuy Duong, Vietnamese, Russia
Logging onto Facebook seems to be the first thing I do when turning on my laptop or computer, and that doing can turn into an addiction. I think it is hard for people, like me, to stop checking news feed even when they claim to use "Facebook at Work" only for their work.
So, the key will be if Facebook lets people separate their work identities from their personal Facebook selves. If not, using "Facebook at Work" in the office might be time-wasting because employees would spend work hours on their private activities.
If you are an employer, could you imagine where you will likely find an employee after you give him or her a big work assignment?
They might be busy updating their status, pressing the "like" button or even shopping online. If people log out of Facebook and other social networking sites at their place of work, their work might get done faster.
Anh Tai, Vietnamese, HCM City
Everything has two sides. I mean that employees using "Facebook at Work" has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantages include creating opportunities for team building and networking between colleagues.
In the meantime, disadvantages include the fact that the practice might decrease productivity, as well as increase the risk of malicious software as employees waste time playing games or chatting with each other instead of focusing on work.
Nguyen Thuy Nga, Vietnamsese, Ha Noi
If you like your colleagues, I think the "Facebook at Work" site would be great. It is a professional tool allowing you and your colleagues to connect with each other by sharing internal memos and documents, and boosting team building in your company.
In some companies, employers block social networking sites, so with the launch of the site in January, employers might let their employees get back on it.
But employees should be warned to not mix up the "Facebook at Work" site with their own profiles. I do not know how the upcoming site will work, but I think if you are allowed to use it at your workplace, you should be careful enough to not post a photo or update your status during working hours.
Let's wait and see how "Facebook at Work" hits your office.
Thu Ha, Vietnamese, Japan
The "Facebook at Work" site is a good idea. I think it could work well when it is launched. Facebook is the world's largest social network with more than 1.35 billion monthly active users worldwide.
I think the focus areas for Facebook and "Facebook at Work" will be different from each other. Facebook is designed for all people and "Facebook at Work" will be a professional site tailored for businesses. Therefore, the launch of this site might aim for advertising.
According to a Wall Street Journal article, the site will initially be available to employees through their companies.
"Facebook at Work" might not be an immediate threat to LinkedIn, but it will challenge it in the long term. — VNS