We don’t need to tell you the future of work is hybrid. Countless surveys like Prudential’s Pulse of the American Worker Survey have confirmed what we already know. Sixty-eight percent of all workers say a hybrid workplace model is ideal. However, connected work doesn’t just happen in distributed teams. You need the right technology stack if you want to drive collaboration, communication, and knowledge sharing. And you also need the right processes to ensure staff connect with each other and business goals. The good news is a company intranet could be the perfect solution.
Here we explain all you need to know about connected work. From technology to people, we explore how to connect your hybrid workplace.
Let’s dive in with a definition of connected work.
What Is Connected Work?
Connected work means having a secure integrated network of software and tools. And it’s a must-have for effective hybrid working. It ensures employees can communicate, collaborate and be productive whether working remotely, in the office, or on the road.
However, connected work is also about connecting people on a personal level. People are the foundation of every successful business. Call it team spirit, corporate culture, or camaraderie, but workplace social relationships are vital to success. And they are more difficult to build when team members are no longer all in the same building.
There’s no doubt remote workers report more negative health impacts. Loneliness, isolation, and depression have increased alongside the shift to remote working.
Hybrid working goes some way to addressing the isolation. Employees work a mix with some days spent in the office and others working remotely. However, as the pandemic has progressed, employers have become acutely aware of the importance of connecting people wherever they are located.
What Are The Benefits Of Connected Work?
An integrated connected work system offers several business benefits. Here are a few highlights:
- Drive productivity with anytime anywhere access to tools and systems
- Break down silos and streamline collaboration
- Promote knowledge sharing
- Empower communications with two-way channels
- Speed up decision-making with automated processes
- Nurture your people’s social relationships
- Support employee wellness
- Achieve cost efficiencies
The bottom line is organizations work better when working together. And connected work enables your people to do just that.
Connected Work And Connected People
Connected work involves connecting colleagues as well as digital platforms. Distributed teams make it harder to maintain those personal relationships that underpin a thriving workforce. Often, big decisions are made in face-to-face meetings. And innovations are sparked by casual chats at the coffee machine. Remote and on-the-go workers can feel excluded and left out in the cold.
Here are some tips to help you ensure your connected workplace connects all workers.
Focus On Two-way Communication
Set up communication channels that work for remote, on-the-go, and on-site staff. Business IM is a great way for your people to connect and helps level the playing field. Furthermore, your workers will love the social features like #channels, @mentions, and emojis. Real-time communication via team chat also speeds up decision-making and the flow of information. And it goes a long way to building social connections between staff.
Other two-way communication channels include company blogs, quizzes, and surveys. These options give a voice to your workers regardless of location. Remote workers can participate in discussions, comment, and share content just like their office colleagues.
Switch Team Meetings Online
A daily 10-minute online stand-up ensures everyone feels part of the team. Video communication platforms have made it easy to maintain face-to-face interaction, even if not in-person. However, try to keep it short and simple. Zoom fatigue has been well documented and has forced leaders to sharpen their meeting management skills to everyone’s benefit. And make sure meetings are not all about work. A few minutes chatting about plans for the weekend isn’t time wasted. Far from it as it forges those vital personal connections.
Celebrate Team Achievements
All staff appreciate a thank you from the boss or a co-worker. However, dropping by a team member’s desk is not always an option in a hybrid workforce. You have to work harder to ensure off-site staff get the same opportunities for praise and recognition as those in the office. A #shoutout channel on team chat is the perfect platform. Managers can use it to thank employees for their achievements and hard work. Even better, your people can use it to shout out their teammates. Peer-to-peer recognition is the most powerful motivator of all.
Find Ways For Workers To Socialize
Informal staff gatherings are an essential part of cohesive teams. Many companies have developed some fantastic ways to ensure remote and on-the-go workers socialize with office-based colleagues. Whether it’s lunchtime online yoga, remote happy hours, virtual quizzes, or lunch-and-learn webinars, informal get-togethers are more crucial than ever.
Connected Work And Connected Technology
When it comes to technology and connected work, your systems and tools should be able to talk to each other. Mobile-friendly cloud platforms and integration are fundamental to connected work.
Your business is likely already using various apps to support staff in getting the job done. It could be a combination of Google Workspace, Slack, Asana, and Salesforce. However, while these platforms individually do a great job. Often, they don’t talk to each other. In practice, this means employees are jumping through different apps and screens, each with their own logins. Not surprisingly, productivity inevitably takes a hit.
The key to a connected work is fully integrated systems and tools. Instead of multiple apps, staff can access all they need from a single platform.
The benefits to your business of a connected workplace are huge. Delays, waste, miscommunication, and inefficiencies are minimized. Your people are better equipped to get on with their daily work, supported by strong personal relationships.
Connected Work And The Intranet Solution
If you think that a connected workplace sounds like a great idea but a lot of effort, it’s time to think again. A cloud-hosted intranet solution ticks all the boxes for effective and efficient connected working. And the really good news is it’s an easily implemented, cost-effective platform.
Let’s take a closer look at how an intranet supports a connected workplace.
Gateway Access To Enterprise Apps
Your intranet comes with a ton of integrated tools and features. Corporate calendars, employee profiles, newsfeeds, secure file sharing – you name it, the intranet has the lot.
But did you know that intranets offer single sign-on access to other commonly used enterprise apps? For example, MyHub’s platform integrates with Office 365, Google Workspace, and Salesforce, among others. This means your people have a seamless connection to everything they need within the intranet. It makes for a coherent employee experience and boosts productivity and workplace efficiencies.
Automated Business Processes
Embeddable digital workflows and approvals processes save time. More accurate and free from human error, digital workflows are easy to set up on the intranet. Use them for everything from ordering supplies, booking vacation leave, and reporting project progress.
What’s more, the intranet automatically routes the form to the correct staff member for action. Online processes give managers more oversight, and any bottlenecks can be swiftly dealt with.
Intranet digital workflows speed up decision-making and save time and effort. How much time is wasted in your organization chasing managers and missing paperwork or resolving issues? The answer is probably too much. Say goodbye to that time-wasting problem with intranet-based automated processes.
Intranets provide endless opportunities to develop two-way communication. The platform comes with fully integrated instant messaging, blogs, projects spaces, and customizable newsfeeds. Communicating up, down, and across the business is easy. Staff can connect formally and informally no matter where they are located.
Finding ways to share your valuable internal knowledge is critical to successful hybrid working. Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report highlights its importance. According to the research, knowledge sharing is a primary driver of business performance and a key competitive differentiator.
Knowledge sharing is undoubtedly more challenging in distributed teams. However, intranets help bridge the gap with the following integrated tools:
- Centralized library of company policies, information, and data organized in a way suited to your organization
- Employee profiles highlight internal knowledge and make it easier for workers to identify subject experts
- Activity walls showcase current projects and expert knowledge
- Forums and project spaces support ideation and problem solving
- Automated forms and checklists capture internal expertise and assess understanding
- Trending #channels and personalized notifications keep staff informed
Intranets connect your people directly to corporate knowledge. Plus, you can present that knowledge in various ways to suit the learning needs of all staff. From explainer videos and webinars to wikis and podcasts, knowledge sharing in a connected workplace is a richer experience.
For companies looking for a competitive advantage, team collaboration offers several benefits. Businesses that promote collaboration are better at problem-solving, innovating, and generating ideas.
When it comes to team collaboration in hybrid workplaces, cloud intranets have everything needed to connect workers. Here are just some of the integrated tools available to break down silos and streamline collaboration.
- Real-time team chat supports communication and swifter decision-making. And it also ensures issues are quickly resolved
- Notifications and alert tools mean team members never miss a vital update
- Dedicated secure project spaces bring staff together to brainstorm, share insights, and track progress
- Automated workflows for monitoring progress and tracking milestones
- Seamless integration to Office 365 or Google Workspace
- Employee profiles make assembling a collaborative team more straightforward. Bios showcase areas of expertise and connect potential collaborators
All these handy collaboration tools, plus much more, are available under one virtual roof on your intranet.
Connected Workplace: Advantages Of An Intranet
If you are in the market for a connected workplace, an intranet offers much. In addition to the key features explored above are the following extra advantages.
Easy To Set Up
Intranets are out-of-the-box platforms that are super-easy to deploy. No coding skills or technical abilities are required. This means your connected workplace could be up and running in just a few hours.
Simple To Use
An engaging interface, eye-catching design, and effortless navigation mean your intranet will be a sure-fire hit with workers. Plus, integrated admin tools make it easy to manage.
Secure And Reliable
Your intranet comes with the latest online security features, including SSL encryption. Super safe and secure, intranets are also very reliable. MyHub’s platform has 99.9% uptime and availability.
The best news of all is that intranets are very affordable. Fixed yearly fees give your budget certainty, while unlimited users and data storage ensure the platform grows alongside your business.
MyHub’s out-of-the-box cloud intranets will drive connected work in your business. Our highly-rated intranet software is used by organizations of all shapes and sizes worldwide.