In a time where people are used to finding information quickly from anywhere and from any device, employees expect the same when it comes to finding the right information to perform their duties at work. At SII Belgium, we believe that the digital workplace is supported by tools that make it possible to be more productive at work. In this blog we will elaborate on the important elements of a digital workplace-proof intranet that is built with the Office 365 tools.
By using the third-party tool Powell 365, you can create an intranet according to the branding of your organization and customize it to your needs. Next to this, Powell 365 and Office 365 make it possible to create a responsive intranet that is accessible from any device and from anywhere. At SII Belgium, we created a new intranet with this tool.
The homepage or the landing page is the first page that the employees see when accessing the intranet. This is also the starting point for them across the digital workplace journey. On the homepage, you can find information that gives more insights on the company, such as the latest news, department information, upcoming events, a poll, etc … It is important to keep in mind that every page can be customized to the needs of the organization.
In the modern workplace, navigation is an important topic. As said before, you want to give your employees the possibility to access everything very quickly, this means ‘in as few clicks as possible’. Through the navigation, they will have the possibility to access every department very quickly. You can create a separate & dedicated communication site for every department which can be controlled by the department team. For example, the subsite about human resources can contain information about holiday procedures, illness procedure, telework rules, expense reports, contact information, and so on.
In our case we decided to split our departments and teams. In our company, the departments are the supported teams such as: HR, IT, sales, fleet, etc. The teams on the other hand are the different business units and technology teams. Each team has a different SharePoint communication site. On this site the team can post team information, templates, and other documents that can help the team to be more productive.
In the last part we also have a link to our different tools. These are quick access links that allow to access applications inside and outside the company. We have a quick link to our public website, the holiday request portal, timecard system, incident log system, and more.
On this dashboard page, your employees can find a custom overview of all the information that is relevant for them to support their work. Instead of going to each site, they can find all the latest information they need on one single page. In the case of SII Belgium, we decided to place three major blocks on this page:
- Delve gives an insight of all the information in Office 365 which have changed, recent documents you have recently worked on, …
- Yammer gives us an overview of all conversations the person has across the Yammer-network in one place
- Planner compiles all the tasks assigned to the user in one useful dashboard. From Planner, a user can also create tasks, edit, archive, etc.
This “single overview” page can be extended with additional tools functionalities depending on your needs.
When we are working on an opportunity or a proposal for a new project, we often create a new SharePoint collaboration site about this: a presales case. We want to give our employees an overview of all our presales cases to which they have access to.
We give a few people the possibility to generate this kind of sites with a predefined template. This means that every presales site will have the same structure to start from. Whenever an authorized employee creates a collaboration site, he or she can invite people to gain access. A collaboration site can be transferred to Microsoft Teams and is ideal to collaborate on a presales case.
Anyone who has access rights for the specific presales site will see that same presales site appear in the navigation under the presales tab. Each site will have his own button and if the site has a logo, this will be showed as well.
Users find it important to have a short overview of recent activities. Via the notification button, your employees can find an overview of all their notifications:
The notifications can be customized to fit the needs of your organization. In our case, we show the topics of which we think are the most relevant: events, news, documents we recently worked on etc.
As we have said in earlier in this blog, users want to be able to navigate to everything in a few clicks. We provided them with the navigation, which contains links that are set across the company and for every department. The users however also want to create their own quick links within the application. With the use of the built-in favorites app, they are able to mark any link, site, document they want.
In this blogpost, we showed you the key elements of a modern workplace-proof intranet and it always comes down to this: finding relevant information for a specific user without wasting any time. The user-friendly navigation and ‘favorites’ functionality play an important role. We can customize the intranet to the needs of the customer, so he will have his own personalized “Digital workplace” which can be accessed anytime and anywhere.
Curious about how the digital workplace can be integrated in your company? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us!