As companies move their employees’ workstations to their homes during the current COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a need for new tools to keep this remote workforce connected. The good news is that intranets, digital workplaces, and other digital communication tools are already deployed in many companies and doing a great job in empowering remote workers.
In fact, intranets were designed to support just this sort of situation, enabling you to communicate with all employees and keep work moving in a crisis. A good intranet can be used to keep everyone informed, up to date and most importantly to encourage collaboration amongst a scattered workforce.
The perfect remote digital workplace
With this current shift in the way we are working, these digital tools will become the main source of information, whether for meetings and project collaboration or the daily workplace social interaction. Without coffee rooms or water cooler chats that engage workers on a human level, the remote digital workplace will be the number one place for your people to gather for all their needs.
So how do you keep your employees connected and productive when they are away from the office? It might not seem easy at first, especially for organizations with limited remote work experience. But an intuitive digital workplace platform does make it possible – and you might find it paves the way to a new, productive and more collaborative way of working.
5 ways to use your intranet to empower your workforce
Having installed intranets and digital workplace tools for almost a decade we know that there are many ways you can use the tools to empower your workforce.
Here we’ve suggested five ways we believe that a modern, intelligent intranet and other digital workplace tools can empower your remote workers to ensure business continuity and crisis communication.
1. Make collaboration & engagement easy
Collaboration is central to every modern digital workplace, especially one that includes remote workers. So, everyone wants the best tools and means to make the most of team collaboration no matter where employees are. Whether it’s to find the right person to answer a question or sharing news and gossip, there are tools for it.
While physically distancing yourself from your colleagues, it has never been more important to be able to locate and engage your colleagues. One of Valo Intranet’s most popular features is the People Finder and People Directory. Both allow you to search for colleagues based on their skills, location or business expertise.
2. Step up your Crisis Communication
A modern, intelligent intranet, like the Valo Intranet, includes all the tools you need for publishing top-down content such as crisis news, quickly and effortlessly, in an attractive and engaging way. It also allows for two-way interaction too whilst being a social intranet.
In fact, we’ve just launched a ready-built crisis communications template for our customers to start using immediately. The site template, which is built as a homepage inside the intranet hub, includes pre-built web parts such as alert news, targeted news, Valo FAQ, People Finder, RSS news, events, Quick Polls, Yammer embed, Power BI reports and social media feeds to get started too. Contact your local Valo Partner to hear more about this.
If that’s not enough, Valo Intranet’s Alert News feature can be used to get in touch with all employees to inform them about critical or very important news. Alert News enables you, the content producer, to quickly publish an important news item and ensure the message is spread efficiently across the organization.
Another effective feature is videos. Using videos on your intranet lets you reach more users easily and is an inspirational way to teach, introduce a new team member or launch a project, you name it.
3. Hang out in the virtual Coffee Room
Suddenly working from home for the first time can be a tricky adjustment for employees. If remote employees feel cut off, it can have a negative impact on productivity and engagement. However, the social and cultural features of your intranet can help mitigate these feelings of isolation.
Valo Ideas is a great collaborative tool. Housed in a single location, it’s a place where people can share their ideas. Use it to replace email as it’s a much better two-way communication tool. Your colleagues can upload ideas and everyone can see them. If someone adds an idea, other employees can add their suggestions to make it even better. Everyone feels involved.
A news feed with commenting, liking and mentions makes colleagues feel empowered. Hosting small competitions in your digital workplace offers light-hearted incentives and brings a sense of belonging to workers.
And to replace those daily coffee lounge catch-ups, how about looking at the social features of your digital workplace? Try setting up some fun and informative channels, such as a ‘Break Room’ or ‘Hobbies’ channel, that’s specifically used for ‘down-time’ chat.
4. Advertise events
As events go fully virtual, you need a place to advertise upcoming events, targeting this information to users based on their profile information to reach the right person.
Valo Intranet’s event calendar, with visual calendar icons, has been designed to make sure your people won’t ever miss any important training or presentations.
It’s a complete solution that allows organizers to work behind the scenes planning the event, sharing a live feed, archiving event content and gathering employee input through polls and other feedback mechanisms.
5. Start using the Mobile App
Because many employees may be new to remote working, they may not have the full computer access they are used to. Valo’s digital workplace mobile App gives your team instant access to the communication and collaboration solutions they need to get work done from wherever they are, on any device.
This means everyone inside your organization has an equal opportunity to read the news and follow what is going on inside your organization.
The Valo Digital Workplace App supports push notifications so you can alert every user the moment you need to share new information. And it’s not only easy to use for remote workers – IT departments love the App because it is secure and has the familiar Office 365 architecture.
A great intranet can empower your remote workforce with collaboration software and policies in place to enable teams to be efficient and company-focused, whether they are in the office or at home.
The beauty of Valo Intranet is that it’s a ready-made intranet-in-a-box solution, built on top of SharePoint and Office 365. It already has 90 percent of what you’ll need and has won numerous awards from the best in the industry. This means you can confidently install it and start using it within the week – see our five simple steps here on how it’s possible!
If you are a smaller business and just need a communications platform, we suggest you consider taking it up a notch with a Valo Teamwork collaboration tool which can be fully integrated it into your Microsoft Teams.
Do you need to set up an intranet to empower your remote workers, and FAST? If so, get in touch and we can have a solution installed within the week.