5 cool ways Office Space characters are using Facebook’s New Groups

The Facebook Wars have been raging for years between employers and their employees. Employers have taken a stand against such war crimes as time-wasting and excessive socialization during work hours, not to mention the public revelation of employees’ personal opinions of the workplace. I’d like to notify employers of all kinds that the new groups on Facebook add functionalities that might be starting to make your work life a little easier to manage,  and call for a temporary ceasefire while you try these out.

To demonstrate the new functionalities, I’m going to let the cast of Office Space do all of the talking. And if you don’t know Office Space, well chances are likely your office is going to be moved to the basement.

You can: Get some work done.

You know your employees are probably using Facebook anyway, so it would only make sense to use Facebook as a creative hub for projects. They’ll be able to edit documents and share links or other resources in a private online environment. Some of them may even be inclined to brainstorm after-hours (which would make up for the time spent online in the office space, no?)

You can: Keep your employees in the loop.

Especially during winter and the holiday season, most companies are going to have plenty of unplanned schedule changes. Getting your employees into a group means you have an additional mode of contact if you need to reschedule hours, offer overtime, invite employees to a holiday party, and notify everyone of a day off due to inclement weather. (Or, a make-up day due to previous inclement weather, but that’s not as much fun.) It’s pretty simple to invite employees to your group and keep them apprised of any changes using the “events” function.

You can: Plan and execute events your community will want to be a part of.

Some individuals find charity to be a personal choice. As many coordinators know, there’s a good chance that employees or community members who are not involved in the project selection process will opt out of participating, even if it’s mandatory. So why not avoid that issue? You can use a Facebook Group to lead a discussion via the chat function or a wall post thread that will gather ideas from your crew. Find out what kind of outreach your workforce is most interested in contributing to, collect info related to scheduling and availability concerns, and then create an event to keep track of the information. Consensus is a beautiful thing.

You can: Get your world rocked by trustworthy feedback.

Once you’ve had a Facebook fan page for awhile, you’ll realize certain names and faces are contributing feedback more often than others.  My experience is that these people have an eye for detail (or else they wouldn’t have so much to say) and they either love or hate the company. Furthermore, they want to stand out in a crowd and you can make that happen for them by creating an exclusive Group they can participate in. This kind of Group could provide you with revolutionary changes for your company; you’ll know these people well enough to trust their opinion, and can potentially receive real-time feedback from passionate, outspoken critics of your brand who can offer valid and well-crafted opinions. And they get to feel important, because they are. It’s a win-win.

You can: Have a virtual after-party.

If you’re networking in real life, be it a tweetup, conference, or pretty much anywhere, I’d recommend creating a Group to follow up with your new contacts. Make the group open to the public and get some inexpensive business cards with your contact info and the group URL on them to pass around. I recommend running the URL through a shortener first, like bit.ly or ow.ly, and printing on cards by Vistaprint or a business card printer of your choice. Some of your contacts might join your group to keep in touch, and you can think of this as a low-level prequalifier since you know that anyone in your group remembered you and wanted to learn more. Bonus: your social life is protected because you can keep in contact without adding a near-stranger as a “friend.”

The new updates to Facebook’s Groups features make getting actual work done on the platform a real possibility. Since so many companies have condemned Facebook from work servers, do you think there’s any likelihood that functional applications like this may be evidence enough for a re-trial?


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marjorie Clayman November 3, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Really interesting post, Tommy! Your passion for Facebook is an unstoppable force.

I know that talking privacy and Facebook rubs you the wrong way, but I would imagine a lot of companies would be scared to have this much communication out in the open.

Have you seen Jay Baer’s recent slew of posts about Facebook over at ConvinceandConvert.com? I’d love to see some retorts from you :)


Tommy is my name November 5, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Thanks for the link.

The cool part about new groups is that it’s privacy can be set to closed or secret. If it’s closed than the members are made public but the content in the stream is not, and if it’s secret, than it may as well not even exist (except to the members of the group)

My inner circle group on Facebook is closed, so the stuff we talk about on there is totally between everyone in the group.


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  • Tommy Walker

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