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Office workers could soon be using technology to get to know their co-workers, thanks to innovative new research from IBM.
The firm’s Beehive solution is being touted as the corporate equivalent of Facebook, allowing workers to network with one another and to share something of their personality and contacts with like-minded employees.
The internal social networking site is used by IBM to create a "rich connection to the people they work with", mixing the personal and professional.
Like other Web 2.0 solutions, Beehive can establish new connections, track current friends and co-workers, as well as keep up to date with those they have worked with in the past.
The network also features biographical information and profiles, with attached photos, tags and comments, as well as top-five lists called "hive fives".
This might outline ideas about a project, with IBM saying it covers a "lot of territory, from clearly work-related subjects to the kinds of personal exchanges that might only happen among collocated team members at the water cooler".
"Hive fives are a light-weight way to share ideas and a great way to keep in touch with remote team members."
The convergence of social networking and corporate culture is something which appears increasingly to be shaping office life in the 21st century.