Intranet success webinar - Communicating with a distributed workforce

A few weeks ago I was invited to attend a webinar hosted by Elcom called "Communicating with a distributed workforce" while I didn't manage to attend the live webinar, they have made the webinar recording available for anyone to view.

I've embedded it below if you don't want to navigate away from this blog. Elcom have also published a blog post, on the topic of how intranets can improve collaboration, which may also be of interest.

Anyway back to the webinar, in it the presenter looks at 4 areas that organisations need to think about when using intranets to communicate with a distributed workforce (individuals who might not sit at a desk, but are on the road or work remotely). These four areas are:

1. Key challenges organisations face in communicating with a distributed workorce
2. Key challenges employees face as remote workers
3. Best practice techniques to improve your organisations productivity
4. How technology and your intranet play an important role

The webinar then focuses on each of these areas in turn:

Key challenges organisations face
  1. Knowledge sharing - becomes more difficult to share knowledge when you work remotely. No conversations over a watercooler.
  2. Collaboration - easy to walk over to someone's desk, not so easy to do this when you work remotely.
  3. Need to engage both internal and external employees to make collaboration effective.
  4. Employee engagement - remote workers cant take part in social activities
  5. Company culture is key

Key challenges employees face
  1. Working in isolation - don't have anybody to interact with
  2. Limited access to information and knowledge - cant just walk up to someone. Likely to spend more time searching for information.
  3. Difficult to built a relationship with your team - Easy to build a realtionship within an office, needs to be considered by teams and management
  4. Difficult to have a voice in project discussions - When you're on the phone it can be hard to participate and be heard

Best Practices
  1. Search - make sure your intranet has a powerful search to support the needs to remote workers
  2. Mobile friendly - how will your distributed workforce access your intranet. Make it responsive or adaptive (not the best choice) Engage with your employees no matter where they are.
  3. Social colaboration - Will increase knowledge sharing and help engage employees

The last area was really a discussion of how Elcom's product could support communicating with a distributed workforce so I'm not going to summarise that discussion here. This was an interesting webinar to listen to, which is supported by statistics from Gartner and others showing just how distributed organisations workforces are becoming. So if you're looking for an introduction to this area then this webinar may be helpful.