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Workplace by Facebook, Slack, or Yammer: What Is The Best Office Collaboration Tool

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Collaboration is essential in the workplace.

Collaboration is essential in the workplace, especially when your team is spread out across multiple locations. Without the right tool, it can be difficult to ensure that everyone is on the same page. To help keep your team in check, you have three main options for the best office collaboration tools: Workplace by Facebook, Slack, and Yammer. Neither one is inherently better than the other two; it depends more on what you’re looking for in a collaboration tool.

What Is Workplace by Facebook?

Workplace by Facebook is aimed at Facebook users who want to bring the intuitive layout of the social media platform to their work tasks. It even has many of the same functions, such as a newsfeed, groups, audio and video chat, and events. The difference is that your network consists of people in your business — workplace uses the domain name of your business email to determine this. Plus, you can work on projects with users at other businesses using Multi-Company groups.

In addition, the platform has many features present in the other two collaboration tools. For instance, it offers file sharing (as well as unlimited storage space), team channels, and reporting.

There are two versions of Workplace by Facebook: standard and premium. With premium, you gain extra features like single sign on, APIs for custom integrations, and IT monitoring. It also has no ads. The premium version is free for the first three months, after which its price depends on the number of active users. If your business is a nonprofit or educational institution, you can use Workplace for free.

Why Is Workplace by Facebook a Good Option?

If you already use Facebook (and the likelihood is that you and the rest of your team does), it is easy to get started with Workplace. More good news: you’ll create a separate account for Workplace that has no connection to your personal profile.

Workplace offers integration with a number of tools and cloud platforms, including SharePoint, Google Drive, Salesforce, and SurveyMonkey. If you need a particular integration for your business needs, check that it’s available — if it’s a popular tool, there’s a good chance that there will be integration capabilities.

Another useful function of Workplace is its own version of Facebook Live. This is excellent for sending a message to your entire team in real time. In fact, the Workplace newsfeed in general is great for presenting users with the information they need. It uses an algorithm to determine what posts are the most relevant and also lets you choose who to follow. Finally, you can set preferences to receive highlights from groups to ensure notifications that matter always reach the top of your feed.

All of this makes Workplace ideal for businesses of any size. It is even simple to manage large teams and keep everything organized.

What Is Slack?

Slack functions much like Workplace. For instance, it allows you to send messages, post text, photos, and videos, and comment on the posts of others. A major difference is its layout. To avoid becoming overwhelmed by the sheer number of chat discussions, it is necessary to learn how to use Slack effectively. This is particularly true if you have more than 200 people at your business.

For instance, you’ll want to ensure that you utilize channels correctly to separate messages and notifications by project, topic, team, or purpose. You should also bear in mind that you can create private channels for discussions with just the users you choose to invite and direct messages to talk to individuals.

It is similarly important to customize notifications to avoid receiving updates for everything and potentially missing what matters. You can prioritize by specifying channels, keywords, and other criteria.

You’ll also need to decide if you want the free, standard, or plus version of Slack. This will influence things like the number of apps you have access to, voice and video call capabilities, search features, and file storage. Like with Workplace, you pay according to the number of active team members.

Why Is Slack a Good Option?

One of the best things about Slack is its large number of integrations, which means that all your notifications (whether about sales, social media, local search marketing, or something else) will be in the same place. As well as built-in integrations, Slack allows you to use If This Then That and Zapier.

Another great capability is file sharing and storage. Integration with services like Google Drive and Dropbox simplifies file sharing. Better still, when you use one of these services, the changes will sync in Slack and everything will be search-enabled — you can even search for content within the document.

Employees and team leaders alike will appreciate the customizability of Slack. The company owner is in charge of how the tool works on a grand scale, whereas individual users can set their preferences to make the solution work for them. They can even use Slack on whatever is their preferred device, including Mac, Windows, and Linux computers.

What Is Yammer?

Microsoft created Yammer as a solution to mimic social networking, the difference being that it would connect just single companies instead of the whole world. As a Microsoft tool, it integrates with the Microsoft Office 365 suite.

Whereas there is a free version of Yammer (called Yammer Basic), it is intended as a trial to test some of the Yammer features. Despite this, you can actually use Yammer Basic for an unlimited amount of time. The full version with the complete set of features is called Yammer Enterprise. With an Office 365 subscription, you’ll have access to Enterprise automatically. Alternatively, you can try it (and the rest of Office 365) for free for 30 days.

Why Is Yammer a Good Option?

If you are using Office 365 already, Yammer will fit right in. It is better than just relying on collaboration within Microsoft suite, as this can often be confusing due to an overlap between applications. You’ll also receive many more functions, similar to those you find with Workplace and Slack (like the capability to send private messages, join groups, and share pictures and videos).

I said above that Yammer was designed to be a social network-type solution to collaboration. Workplace shares this definition, yet the two are quite different. Yammer has a greater range of open APIs for integration, more capabilities for importing and exporting data, and more plugins available. Plus, the search feature on Yammer is more powerful.

Yammer is also different from Slack in a few ways that can be an advantage for some businesses. For example, its newsfeed layout allows you to share information that is far from urgent, such as items that team members may find interesting or useful. It also offers role-based permissions and to-do lists. Finally, there’s its great functionality for working on team members working on the same projects within Office 365 applications.

Choosing the Right Solution

To decide on the right collaboration tool for your business, it may be worthwhile talking to your team. Discuss what they feel most comfortable using (for instance, if there are some less tech-savvy members, Workplace may be ideal) and what will take the least effort to start using (if you are using iWork rather than Office, Yammer would make for a complex transition).

Also, find out what functions are important to employees and what integrations they deem critical. Finally, consider your budget. Although all three offer free versions, you may need to upgrade to a paid version to receive all the features you want.

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