Designing the Future of Work Part 3: Mobile First

by Catherine Flynn

In part 3 of the Designing the Future of Work series, we explore why the successful workplaces of the future will be mobile first and full of bots.

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.

The 2nd Principle: Mobile First

The mobile stats speak for themselves: 61% of all time spent online in the UK happens on a mobile device (that figure is 71% in the US and 91% in Indonesia); mobile penetration is at 84% in Europe, 80% in the US and 66% in Asia Pacific; while the next billion people to come online in Africa will probably never set eyes on a desktop PC.

We know that the next generation of workers will be tied to their phones, not their desks. That means we need to design experiences that are incredibly simple to perform on the go.

Experiences like Workplace Chat, which brings all the best bits of Facebook Messenger – a platform that over 1.3bn people use on their mobile every month – to a work environment, making instant voice communications totally intuitive whether you’re in an office, the factory or the field.

Bots and the future of chat

But perhaps the ultimate example of building for mobile is Workplace’s integration with bots. Because although we put people at the center of everything we do, we’re also building a next-generation IT platform. Bots are a great example of how the two can come together.

Bots have taken what used to be tricky, time-consuming or just boring tasks and made them lightweight, interactive and fun

People built over 100,000 bots in the first 12 months after Facebook opened Messenger to developers in 2016.

Examples include everything from customer service automation to media outlets sharing news headlines, weather updates or football scores. Bots have taken what used to be tricky, time-consuming or just boring tasks on mobile and made them lightweight, interactive and fun. And now they’ve come to Workplace.

There are two ways of using bots in Workplace. Bots in Groups can do some of the same things that people do (but don’t really want to do). They can post new content, comment on content with new information or even ‘like’ posts to show acknowledgment or approval. They can @mention people to get their attention, or be @mentioned themselves to kick off certain actions.

The best bot builders in the business

Like Facebook, you can build your own bots using the Workplace API (developers can head here to find out more). We’ve also joined forces with some of the best independent bot developers. Our Service Partners include Formative,, and Revevol and they can help you get started and also support you with advanced or customized bots. You can find the full list or Service Partners and apply to become a Workplace partner right here.

Here are a couple of examples of some bots in action from our partner Azuronaut.

Sharepoint Bot helps you work smarter

Use the SharePoint bot to search for SharePoint documents in Workplace. Find content in various SharePoint sites and then use Workplace to open and edit documents. A document search is quick and intuitive and uses previews to help you quickly locate the right version to collaborate on.

Bots in Groups are great for sharing information amongst teams in different countries or time zones. Bots in Workplace Chat give you real-time interaction amongst defined groups of people (like a specific team) or for specific individuals. For instance, you can use a chatbot to send important reminders or notifications to someone about an upcoming event like an interview or a meeting.

Outlook Bot is an admin killer

Outlook Bot uses Workplace to book all your internal meetings. It finds availability across multiple calendars and geographies, it creates the calendar event, and it automatically sends invitations on your behalf. Outlook Bot is an admin killer that saves people time so they can concentrate on the more important stuff.

The mobile revolution has gone hand in hand with a radical shift in the way we communicate. And it’s this shift that has inspired our next key principle which we share with you in Part 4 of the series here. Catch up on Part 2 of the series here.

Give us 30 minutes. We’ll give you Workplace. Join one of our webinars and try Workplace for free.

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