Blogs
Jason Smith
Chief User Experience Officer

Coronavirus vs. Your Digital Workplace: How to Go Beyond Intranets

Apr 29, 2020

By: Jason Smith

The intranet is a focal point of internal communication and collaboration. It provides a single starting point to access internal and external resources within your local area networks (LANs) and wide-area networks (WANs).

Intranets can be rich places where employees can share knowledge, experience, important announcements, and even memes to share some laughs.

But with the obvious impact of COVID-19 on workplaces, companies have had to accelerate their digital transformation.

In fact, according to a recent poll from IDC, 65% of the surveyed CXOs have formulated plans for working from home, while 20% are implementing telecommuting.

With the new changes and the rise of the digital workplace, the intranet has become increasingly important, but it’s also fallen short due to the need for employees to stay connected and feel part of a community.

This means that enabling your employees and supporting them during this time of isolation is fundamental to not only survive the pandemic but also come out on the stronger side.

Stay with us and learn how to go beyond intranets and strengthen your digital workplace.

Read More: The Employee Experience: What It Is, And How to Manage It

Intranets: Your Digital Workplace Foundation

A Quick Intro To Intranets

An intranet is, in its purest form, an internal website for your organization. It’s mainly used for top-down communication and as a place where employees can access corporate news, review policies, and see announcements.

Back in the early days of the internet, its goal was to increase productivity through easier access to company documents, faster circulation of information, and more effective communication overall.

Even in those days, the intranet offered a lot of functionalities such as email, group work support, texts, and data searching.

Nowadays, the intranet has become a tool for companies to accomplish their goals. It supports employees’ commitment to their tasks and helps workers share knowledge all in one place, reducing the amount of time lost due to information retrieval.

Why Intranets Are Vital To Workplaces?

Don’t forget that your intranet is the portal for your company. It contains all the information that keeps it up and running. An intranet should also be the place where workers come back to find any information they need about your company.

The intranet is vital if you want to share team updates, work on cross-functional teams, and do your job transparently and without data silos.

Intranets are gaining importance during the COVID-19 epidemic because more employees are working from home, and they need a tool to keep them connected to your company to stay in sync and be productive.

However, keep in mind that an intranet is not a one-size-fits-all solution for your engagement woes. On the contrary, it’s only a building block with a set of tools upon which organizations can start creating a better employee experience.

3 Features That Are a Must for an Intranet Today

Information Sharing

Intranets were born with information sharing in mind. So, instead of disseminating your information on an email, send it through the intranet to avoid potential distractions and context switching.

Knowledge Management

No matter how big your company is, chances are you have a lot of information to store. Instead of storing knowledge across Google Drive, Word documents, and Dropbox, an intranet acts as a centralized stop for all your employees, allowing them to find what they’re looking for faster.

Improved Collaboration

Today, intranets need to include social features to make sure that people feel drawn to them. For instance, intranets with the ability to tag other people, share documents easily and notify others about the progress of a task while keeping all the feedback and contributions contextual.

Going Beyond Your Intranet

It’s clear that the intranet has clear benefits, but the only way to truly go beyond the intranet is to see it as a place to boost your employee experience. You need to use it as part of a holistic B2E experience strategy that integrates with other parts of your business as, by itself, the intranet won’t ever give you all you need to create a positive experience within your company.

As consumers, we’re used to seamless user experiences when we go online. Part of going beyond your company intranet means to consumerize your digital workplace experience to engage your employees and empower them.

With that in mind, digital workplace tools need to start imitating the apps we use on a daily basis to remove the barriers between the employees and the workplace app to stay relevant and familiar.

That being said, the fact that you build an engaging intranet doesn't mean that your employees need to be connected and working 24/7. On the contrary, the intranet needs to be a place where they can hang out and decompress too.

dotCMS: The Full Solution to a Digital Workplace

A full solution to a digital workplace that improves the B2E experience includes:

Personalization

When it comes to intranets, brands should seek to go beyond a one-size-fits-all model that includes company resources for all staff.

dotCMS customers, for example, have chosen to build fully-fledged B2E portals, which provide a more personalized employee portal where employees can also access L&D programs, share knowledge and collaborate with colleagues.

Unlike a traditional intranet, however, a B2E portal is centered around individual employees, giving them every team member a unique, yet connected experience.

Read More: How Hyper-Personalization Helps Improve the Employee Experience

NoCode Environments For Non-technical Staff

Most businesses can’t afford to ignore their employees’ demands, so using no-code tools for rapid development can help companies keep pace with or even get ahead of the competition.
Digital transformation means using technology to focus your business on rapidly evolving customer demands. Without utilizing a no-code approach, companies will struggle with digital transformation because traditional software development is costly and time-consuming.

Workplaces that fail to meet these increased expectations may fall behind their competitors who are better able to adapt to the “new normal.”

Watch Webinar: #NoCode Is The New DxP

Workflows/Approvals That Keep Content Flowing Smoothly

Every digital business today exposes its corporate and marketing content to the public over various touchpoints. With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), this number increases exponentially and puts an even higher demand on enterprises to produce more content.

This becomes an issue for those companies operating in a controlled industry, like pharmaceutical, medical, finance, and the like, where strict content governance and approval is required.

dotCMS offers a content approval workflow and publication module with features like Four-Eyes Approval and Action Groups built No-code drag and drop capabilities. These tools make it easy to deliver the content your audience requires while mitigating the risk of something going wrong.

Read More: Workflows & Approval

Distance Learning

Distance learning is usually considered less expensive than formal attendance at a campus-based or classroom-based course. Also, during trying times like those we’re currently living, distance learning has become the go-to way of learning new things both for personal and professional gain.

To make online employee training accessible to everyone, you need to ensure that the technical possibilities it brings are connected to what your company is and can do, finding ways to play with your strengths, such as your brand and your values.

All you need is time and access to the intranet. Distance learning initiatives make sure there’s no costly, time-consuming travelling and no fixed, scheduled lessons, enabling every employee to learn at their own pace.

Read More: How Coronavirus Has Changed Online Employee Training

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