9 benefits of intranets that will surprise you

Posted by Niall Sullivan

11-Sep-2017 08:00:00

benefits of intranets

If you didn’t know already, the digital workplace is here.

With 67% of organisations seeing an increase in productivity from the implementation of a digital workplace it isn’t going away anytime soon.

With this in mind, you will need to think about the tools that will help you to achieve this.

One of those, is an intranet. In this blog post, we will explain 13 key benefits of intranets that you may not be aware of.

Access anytime, anywhere

In this day and age, people want to work when they want to, not when they’re told too.

This is especially the case with millennials, who will form 50% of the global workforce by 2020. A Deloitte report has found that 64% of them are able to work from locations other than their employer’s primary site.

Most intranets will allow you access anytime, anywhere as long as there is an internet connection and browser. This flexibility means that you no longer have to be in your organisation’s office in order to be productive.

Centralised resources and best practice guidelines

benefits of intranets

How many times have you been given a helpful tip by a colleague, but then forgotten it as it’s lost in your email inbox, or you didn’t write it down?

Using an intranet is a great way to centralise those great ideas in one place. The main advantage being that they can find the information they want quickly.

This is even more important when you consider that it takes one-third of employees up to 25 minutes to find the information that they’re looking for. Think of all that wasted time!

Better communication

With 56% of money spent on a project is at risk due to ineffective communications, it is imperative that you have a plan in place to overcome this hurdle.

An intranet should be at the core of your plan. Instead of firing off emails that will be buried in people’s inboxes, share memos, news and announcements via the intranet instead. People can then login and easily find the information when they want to.

You can even personalise the information each individual sees, based on the department that they are a member of.

If successfully implemented, this could become the communication hub of your organisation.

Easy to set up

Easy to set up in the cloud

The cloud is making it easier to quickly set up an intranet for your organisation.

For a start, it means that you don’t have to invest in expensive on-premise hardware that needs to be configured first.

This is one of the reasons why Gartner has stated that the most transformational digital workplace technologies will only be available from the cloud by next year.

Most cloud intranet vendors will offer you a free trial so you can quickly set up, test and customise your intranet the way you want it. Once you’re ready, you can then simply invite your colleagues in and start to reap the benefits.

Encourage e-learning

As a manager, you want your team members to have access to the best training and resources as possible.

In-person training has its benefits. However, this does come with additional costs such as hiring a trainer and also the fact that your team will be unproductive for that period.

E-learning is a practical solution. People can use training materials stored in your intranet to teach themselves how to do something – in their own time.

The benefits of doing this are obvious. Retailer Marks & Spencers saved £500k a year and improved customer service by 22% by switching to e-learning for one of their needs. Great numbers in anyone’s book.

Employee engagement

Employee engagement

 

The fact that only 13% of employees working for an organisation around the world are engaged with the work that they’re doing is disheartening to say the least.

There are certainly a number of benefits to having engaged employees. This includes increased productivity and better retention of employees which let’s face it, all organisations are striving for!

So how can an intranet help? As content is added, other users are notified and are encouraged to participate.

Using tools such as surveys and forums, you can give your team a voice and a say in the direction a project should be heading. Having their voice heard helps them to feel that they are playing a key role in what you’re trying to achieve and therefore will be more engaged with your project.

Reduce the amount of emails

It’s official. We’re being swamped with emails both inside and outside of work. According to Digital Marketing Ramblings (DMR) the average office worker receives 121 emails per day.

This is having a negative impact on productivity. New York University professor Adam Alter claims that when you check your email it takes about 25 minutes on average for you to get back into the zone of maximum productivity.

Now think about how often you check your email. That’s a lot of wasted time!

Using an intranet means an end to those time-consuming email chains which are difficult to keep up with and easy to misplace.

Instead, you can communicate via your intranet using not just forums, but also private messaging which leading vendors include within their software. Conversations are kept separate this way, making it easy for you to look through them for key points.

Automate administrative tasks

Automate administrative tasks

Administration is an unavoidable, yet necessary part of any organisation.

For some, it can be boring. If there was a way to automate at least some of these tasks, the person responsible could be more productive elsewhere.

These are just some of the tasks that an intranet could help you to automate:

For the first three, you can simply set up a calendar for each of them and allow your team access. This saves you having to input the data manually into a spreadsheet for example.

Document management

Isn’t it frustrating when you have to spend lots of time searching through your email inbox to find a document?

Even worse, once you open the document you find that it’s an older version.

Don’t worry, an intranet can help. Documents can be stored in one centralised place where your team can view and work on them when they want.

Also, different versions are clearly marked and you can even see all of the comments and suggested changes in a clear stream.

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Topics: do more with less, agile working,