Why your intranet should be placed at the heart of your digital workspace

Posted 16 March 2018 12:00 AM by Petula Aardenburg, Sales & Marketing Coordinator @ ClearPeople

In January, the Nielsen Norman Group released its annual intranet awards report. The report includes screenshots of before-and-after designs of winning intranets, case studies, best practices and current trends and challenges you can use to improve your own intranet design. 

The top 3 trends are:

Simplification: the simplification of intranet design. The latest user interface isn’t something that intranet teams have to focus on, but rather on basic design elements like information architecture, content and page structure. 

Mobile second: the best intranets this year are also working on mobile devices. However, the use of it should still be practical. Using the intranet on your phone isn’t the same as on your desktop – focus on only offering the top tasks on intranets on the mobile version.

Employee Photos: an interesting characteristic to see is that all the designs were including photos of real employees at work instead of stock images.

Communication & Employee Engagement

The intranet should be a place where staff can connect, communicate and collaborate. Tools like Yammer and Microsoft Teams are great for your employees to improve teamwork and connect remote workers to their colleagues. However, important information like company news shared by executive leaders gets lost in these tools. The digital workspace makes it able for your employees to work from wherever they want, they don’t have to work in the office. You need to bear in mind to that these “deskless workers” need to be engaged in the overall business happenings too. Intranets provide the perfect platform from which to do this. 

At ClearPeople we developed the Essentials Communications Intranet, which has employee engagement at its core. Designed around the needs of your workforce, it enables your teams to get access to the latest news, documents and applications and collaborate effectively with one another from whatever device they are on, wherever they are.

We have created enhanced communications intranets for different organisations like Alzheimer’s Society, Fred Perry and Holman Fenwick Willan

Collaboration

A company’s intranet is often being used as a source of resources. However, most of the time, the information you are looking for is outdated or difficult to find. The collaboration tool Microsoft Teams in Office 365 is adapting to people’s new ways of working. It is a chat-based workspace that gives people one place to connect and create in inherently human ways. Your employees working from different places are able to share ideas and data in one single interface. It’s easy to go back in the history of the communication thread and easily find the information you were looking for. It’s the central hub where all conversations happen within a team.

Business Needs

The main reason for a company intranet should be to deliver an interactive and inclusive experience for your colleagues to communicate and collaborate. There is an argument that enterprise social networks can fulfil these needs, but this is very dependent on the specific needs of your organisation. Social networks should certainly be adopted within your intranet platform if staff engagement is high on your agenda, and not working independently. We believe that social communication intranets are key to the digital workspace, providing a hub to increase productivity and efficiency in an organisation. 

As you can see, there are lots of tools to work in a smarter, more engaging way. With so many tools available, information can be found in different places. That’s why we created Group Explorer: a handy tool for enterprises allowing users to easily find and access collaboration areas across Office 365 Groups, Yammer, Microsoft Teams, and more.

If you want to know more about how an intranet can help your organisation to work smarter, engage your employees even better and other benefits it has to offer, then don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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