Facebook has announced that it will support emergency services and government organizations globally during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing free access to its advanced Workplace platform for one year.

Julien Codorniou, the Vice President of Workplace from Facebook made this known in a statement in Lagos on Thursday.

He said the platform would help organizations who were at the frontline of combating COVID-19 to connect and safeguard their employees by allowing them to share critical information in real-time.

“Workplace helps connect everyone in an organization including frontline or diskless workers and is deeply committed to supporting everyone during this crisis.

“The platform would help provide updates on the health and welfare of their employees; enable leadership to reach employees via live videos; posts and more.

“Workplace advanced is built for connecting an entire organization. It will provide them with familiar Workplace features such as chat, live videos, and groups, plus advanced admin controls.

“This offer is available to all government organizations and emergency services (including ambulance, dispatchers and law enforcement), pending legal and compliance checks,” Codorniou said.

He said that the platform could also allow companies to instantly share information, live stream meetings or announcements.

Codorniou said the Workplace supported two-way communication or even employ bots to quickly gather feedback from employees.

He said the World Health Organisation (WHO) was currently using Workplace to share critical information about COVID-19 among its workforce, host staff seminars and create an open forum for employee questions.

“Emergency services and government staff have a vital role to play during the COVID-19 outbreak, whether it is acting as a first respondent or coordinating public information.

“Not only might these staffs be among the most exposed to the risks of COVID-19, but they are also among the least well connected but just like employees in other industries, many will soon find themselves forced to work remotely or reliant on mobile tools.

“That is why from today, Facebook will be offering Workplace advanced to emergency services and government organizations free of charge for 12 months globally,” he said.

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