LinkedIn is a buttoned-up place where people go to work their specific, professional networks. But since the coronavirus has disrupted most workplaces, the social network, in a unifying move, has shifted the top-right quadrant of its homepage to share news about the coronavirus.
LinkedIn’s Special Report: Coronavirus updates serve as a place where all members can find COVID-19 facts, economic impact and any good news, such as Amazon’s call for 100,000 new distribution workers to serve the quarantine economy.
"It’s heartening, in an environment where many are experiencing job risk and uncertainty, that other employers are stepping up wherever they can, and that companies like LinkedIn are using their platform to help get the word out," said Cheryl Fields Tyler, founder and chief executive officer of Blue Beyond Consulting, a company-culture specialist, headquartered in Castro Valley, Calif.
In a posting, Ryan Roslansky, head of product (and incoming chief executive, effective June 1), detailed how LinkedIn, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., unified the social network.
"Underlying everything, we remain the professional community that helps people adjust and thrive in a different normal," wrote Roslansky. "Our global team of 60-plus LinkedIn editors are curating news and perspectives about the coronavirus from trusted sources. This includes insights on the impact to the economy, how companies are responding, new policies that are being put in place and best practices for people and companies adjusting how they work."
In the coronavirus news feed, LinkedIn's content team not only gathers news but elevates thoughtful postings by members, expanding the sense of community.
Internal communications expert Alison Davis gave LinkedIn’s curated global community their thumbs-up.
"LinkedIn has recognized that there’s a burning need for information, not just on the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, but also advice on how we can best cope to disruptions in our work and every other aspect of our lives," said Davis, chief executive officer of consultancy, Davis & Company, in Glen Rock, N.J.
"My firm has been working with a number of companies to create similar content," she added. "Employees are requesting guidance and suggestions because their organizations are a trusted source of information—and, in a time when many people are working remotely, employees seek contact and reassurance from their leaders."
Fields Tyler of Blue Beyond is hopeful managers see this workplace upheaval as an opportunity to connect with their employees.
"This is an opportunity for employers to see and engage their people as whole people," she said. "A vast number of employees are dealing with working from home with children, have elderly parents who need their support, or feeling isolated from human connection."