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Intranets – a help or a hindrance?

Time – it’s a modern day dilemma. Whether it’s at home or in the workplace, there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day and we often find ourselves rushing around. As a result, our priorities can sometimes be somewhat diluted. No matter how busy we are, we should always try and find the time to share knowledge and information – especially with our colleagues. We are, after all, working towards the same end goal.

As one of Hull’s leading intranet design agencies, we are finding that internal communication engagement is an increasing trend. Improving your communication channels from the inside out is often the best place to start in breaking down barriers and ensuing that your workforce are all on the same page to begin with. Used effectively, an intranet system is a great way of storing and sharing knowledge and important documentation in one central hub. It can be accessed at any time and is a quick and easy way of sharing resources and best practises – therefore working towards a more collaborate working ethos, all with the same brand values.

For more effective results and buy-in from members of the team, you should make your intranet interface look different to that of your corporate website. It needs to be seen as a different platform to that of the “corporate” site and be friendly, welcoming and appealing to employees.

To encourage your colleagues to use the intranet more frequently and to keep up to date on there, why not build in a search engine functionality on the landing page? You could also include bespoke news and weather updates – it could then be set as your search engine home screen and be handy for general internet browsing use.

Depending on the size of the company, you could also set up a trading post section, post any upcoming events, include fun add-ons such as sweepstakes, use forums for gathering thoughts and ideas etc. There are lots of intranet systems out there to choose from, with some better than others. Whether you buy an off-the-shelf package or have something custom built to suit your needs, the format needs to be clear and easy to navigate around. There is nothing more frustrating than needing to find something quickly, and not being able to. Most intranet systems can integrate well with external programmes – ensuring that you can receive real time industry related news – amongst other things. In some cases, they can also be linked to systems such as Sage and help you schedule your workflow through different departments.

Another benefit of an intranet system is that it can enhance your customer service levels as a business, because being “in the know” and having consistent information available shows a unified approach. It also means that, environmentally, you are onto a winner, as you are keeping your paper wastage to a minimum. This is good for both your corporate social responsibility programme – keeping carbon footprint to a minimum – and saving you money.
So, to sum up – yes, intranets can be a good thing, if they are used and managed effectively.

Need help creating a bespoke intranet system?

All too often, intranets display poor web design, with dated content and are largely ignored. Our digital team has the ability to transform tired intranets, as well as producing web, Windows or mobile apps, together with engaging games and entertaining animated sequences. If you’d like to know more about a website for you, email Laura Smith at laura.smith@bluestormdesign.co.uk or contact our Head of Digital Media, Gareth Moore at gareth.moore@bluestormdesign.co.uk

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