As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, so must we. Staying connected with family members, friends and businesses has taken on new meaning. Teams at Meta are involved in efforts to keep people informed and safe as we build the programs, products and services our communities rely on. In this story, two members from the Workplace team share how their team is supporting organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and other frontline workers that are adapting to a new remote work style.
When she interviewed for a solutions architect role at Meta, Beatrice P. was on a quest to find a role that gave her a sense of purpose in her work. But she could never have imagined the dimension that sense of purpose would take.
As companies and organizations across the globe seek out new ways to communicate and collaborate while shifting to a work-from-home culture, the team at Meta has been working closely with businesses large and small to help them manage these challenging times in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
“What is the most important thing we can do to help organizations manage the effects of COVID-19?”
They’re doing this through Workplace
, Meta’s collaboration tool for companies of all sizes. Used by organizations worldwide, Workplace gives teams easy ways to communicate and collaborate, even when they can't be together, but often the organizations with the greatest need for technology aren’t able to access it because of cost. For non-profit charitable organizations, Meta launched Workplace for Good. Among the organizations using Workplace for Good
are WWF, Oxfam, Save the Children, It Gets Better, War Child and more.
“Workplace has become a business-critical tool for organizations across the globe that are shifting to a model of virtual connectivity,” says Beatrice. “The increased urgency to onboard companies and organizations has shortened our deployment cycle significantly. What used to take a couple of weeks now has to be done in a matter of days, while maintaining the same level of focus, commitment and quality."
For Mayra E., a global account manager on the Workplace customer engagement team, the work the team is doing is especially close to her heart. She comes from a family of healthcare professionals, some putting their own lives on the line to help save others. “My sister is a doctor working in the Brazilian public health service, and is currently fighting the COVID-19 crisis on the frontline. Personally, I feel motivated to come to work every day knowing that while I don’t work in healthcare like the rest of my family, the work I do can have a positive impact on people in need across the globe.”
Mayra E., Workplace Global Account Manager
Helping organizations like the World Health Organization continue their mission-critical work
At the center of the global pandemic is The World Health Organization (WHO). From streaming press briefings to holding virtual seminars and sharing critical resources with teams distributed across the globe, finding ways to connect has become mission-critical. WHO was already transitioning to Workplace to streamline their operations. But once COVID-19 hit—and the need for better and quicker ways to disseminate information and collaborate became even more critical—their onboarding to the platform accelerated.
When WHO representatives reached out to Meta for help organizing information as they switched to a remote workforce, both Beatrice and Mayra jumped at the chance to help. They’re now focused on optimizing WHO’s use of Workplace, offering best practices and providing tools like Workplace Groups and Workplace Lives to help quickly organize and share information with thousands of employees across 150 countries around the world.
"Workplace ‘ticks the box’ on our need to communicate, engage and connect real-time with our colleagues around the world, especially during this public health emergency of international concern." —Carey K., Lead - Internal Communications at WHO
When it comes to prioritizing work, there’s one single question that serves as the guiding light for the Workplace team: “What is the most important thing we can do to help organizations manage the effects of COVID-19?” To address the range of issues organizations are facing, the team has since developed several solutions—from bots that provide people access to credible information to a resource library that serves as a single source of truth to combat misinformation.
“Businesses around the world are being forced to quickly figure out how they can be successful in changing circumstances,” Mayra notes. “Making sure they transition smoothly to a remote work setting while keeping everyone connected and informed is our main priority.”
Aside from their work with WHO, Mayra and Beatrice support companies across several other industries that are being heavily impacted by COVID-19. Recognizing the value in giving organizations access to the right tools and technology, Meta is providing a year’s subscription to Workplace for free to approved groups involved in relief efforts around the outbreak. This includes emergency service organizations and government agencies—such as London Fire Brigade, West Midlands Fire Brigade, Icelandic Police and Singapore Health to name a few—acting as first responders or coordinating public information.
Finding a new sense of community through Workplace
Beatrice says she’s been continually impressed by how Meta has been able to quickly adjust to this new way of working. “It’s been phenomenal to experience how our team has transitioned from collaborating in the office every day to suddenly working from home. Navigating these circumstances together has made us much more resourceful, and this experience has taught us how to connect more meaningfully with our teammates through our work.”
Beatrice P., Workplace Solutions Architect
Despite new work-from-home mandates, Mayra says Meta’s internal community is focused on supporting one another, too. “Everyone, from the leadership team and down, just wants to make sure that we’re all well. These are distressing times for everyone. But it’s been incredible to witness every person pulling together to rally behind the mission and vision of Workplace.”
"Many people are overcoming obstacles and navigating challenges right now, whether it's learning to do their jobs differently than before, collaborating with their team from a distance or staying connected,” Beatrice says. “Workplace is providing a platform for people to feel a sense of belonging during this time. Helping support this service every day gives me a strong sense of purpose."
We are working on other ways to innovate our technologies and products during this pandemic. Find out more about these efforts:
This post, originally published on May 7, 2020, was updated on October 14, 2022, to reflect our shift to Meta and new details about team members, roles and responsibilities.