As vaccination targets are met, organisations are looking to welcome employees back to the office while still embracing the positive changes that the last 12 months have delivered. While the timings and proportions vary, most organisations report they will continue to have a mix of in-office and remote working for the foreseeable future. Few staff want to continue working completely from home and almost no one wants to be 100% back in the office. The key is choice and supported flexible working.
There will be many considerations to facilitate a smooth transition to a new way of working and your intranet can be a valuable resource for informing, connecting and supporting teams both at home and in the office.
1) Manage expectations with clear communication
Your intranet should be the source of truth for all company announcements, so make sure there is a prominent section to help people find current WFH policies, guidelines on masks, distancing and occupancy limits. Office managers will appreciate checklists to help them prepare the site if necessary.
The Injio intranet has a range of options for clear communication including a scrolling news ticker, highlighted menu sections, targeted announcements and news articles.
2) Refine communications with a poll
How are people feeling about returning to work? Why not ask them with a simple 1-question poll on the intranet home page? The results can help you craft internal communications to be empathetic and helpful as well as arm managers with relevant information for conversations with staff.
3) Make it easy to come in
A simple tool to book days in if required, monitor occupancy, register guests and check who is in the office will be of enormous help to people trying to connect with their colleagues and finally have an in-person brainstorm or simply catch up for lunch.
4) Make it fun to come in
If you require people back at the office, it would be nice to give them some extra reasons to make the commute. Use your intranet to promote some welcome back events – morning tea, free lunch on Mondays, Friday rooftop drinks, afternoon yoga… it doesn’t have to be crazy creative, just a nice gesture to help people warm up and get used to being around each other again. Don’t forget those who might still be remote! Where practical, they can join in via video conference eg a group morning meditation. Fun pictures and comments in your intranet social hub might create a bit of FOMO and encourage reluctant socialisers.
5) Tick Some Boxes
A policy attestation module on your intranet can ensure all employees are aware of current policies and requirements. Publishing relevant information around personal protective equipment, vaccination requirements and other important aspects of the workplace, then requiring all staff to acknowledge receipt, is a good way to protect both the organisation and the individual.
6) Self-service tech support
Changing location often brings with it technical challenges. What was set up to work at home may not function effectively at work and vice versa. Wi-Fi settings, printer connections, ports & cables… all these things are rich sources of frustration and wasted time. Reduce the burden on IT by providing an intranet section for self-service, addressing the most common issues and how to troubleshoot them. An AI bot could potentially be an effective and user-friendly way to do this.
7) Don’t drop the digitisation ball
Many organisations have used the pandemic as a launching pad to digitising processes and creating workflows to make requests, reviews and approvals more efficient. It’s important to continue this process and leverage your intranet to help people spend less time on admin and more time on value-adding activity.
8) Learning and skills development
Ideally, online training and skills updates have been happening online but if they haven’t, the intranet is the perfect place to guide people to upskill in key areas like online presenting, Teams governance, remote leadership or running hybrid meetings effectively. Viva Learning will launch early November, presenting new opportunities to incorporate training into your SharePoint intranet.
It’s an unsettling time for a lot of people, and many organisations are still firming up policies governing office attendance. Your intranet is not going to solve all of these problems, but it’s a powerful asset that can help in many ways.
Need some more ideas on intranet best practice? Contact Us.