The world is facing one of the most testing times in human history. The United States is moving towards stringent measures to avoid further corona spread. Major economies like China and India are also grappling with this new COVID-19 viral attack. World trade and commerce is facing a dip and companies are implementing Business Continuity Planning strategies. Businesses, IT firms, especially, the technical service providers, are resorting to working from home scenarios. And the one question we see organizations asking is how to manage employees who are working from home?
While the world economy is doing an uncertain rope walk, organizations can leverage the power of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) that we have been building over the past few decades to overcome such challenging situations. One thing we need to remember is that the majority of communication in the modern world is online. Even before the Corona outbreak, it was so with almost 4.5 billion users of the internet worldwide.
How to ensure continuity of work during such emergencies?
There are many work tracking tools and performance management systems. The most effective and economical solution to the problem of communication and work management is the intranet. As you might already know, an intranet is an internal network of computers with its server. It allows a secure space for each employee to work within an organization.
An intranet ensures that the virtual space for work is kept intact even if the physical space is somehow unavailable. And the COVID-19 outbreak has forced organizations to send employees home, and the physical space is becoming less and less accessible. Adding to this is the governmental regulations.
“How to manage employees working from home?”
Now, this work from home scenario that the COVID-19 outbreak forces us is something very new to many people. Employees, managers, project leads, etc. are all equally weighing the implications of this move. A primary concern that may come to any organization is how should we get it done. Luckily, we have the Microsoft Guidelines to work at home effectively with clear guidance as to how to make it work in reality. You can learn from these guidelines and effectively manage the work of your employees at home.
The three essentials to start basic work from the home process are:
1. Set Up Your Workspace
Identify the equipment, tools, devices you need to perform your work. Then find a place which has the least distraction at your home. Also ensure that this space has the required lighting, ambience and connectivity to keep you connected to the internet.
2. Stay Connected
Identify the best connection you can leverage at home. A wired connection is the best choice if possible. Next, ensure that your network is secure and safe to work. And remember it is home, so keep your mobile ready to keep you in the frame of work even when unavoidable distractions call for your attention.
3. Manage the Right Way
Managers have a huge responsibility here. Though they might be focusing on how to manage employee work effectively. It is necessary to keep a practical and considerate sense of expectations from your employees. Try to check in on them regularly, it’s a different climate of work, and they will need all your support as new challenges and blocks are bound to come up. And lead by example to keep your employees motivated.
How does the intranet help motivate employees?
In testing times like this besides the concern on how to manage employee work inspiring them is also essential. An intranet is the best way to ensure employee engagement. When employees move away from their colleagues, meeting halls and rolling chairs. There is a possibility that they lose that mental construct of a workspace and hence go easy on work. The home may place some employees into a different mood with its ambience. In all such instances, your company intranet can play a very decisive role. It can help to endorse a work environment even in the home setting. Just imagine an intranet window that appears like the one below :
The push notifications, the intranet branding and the look you have given to your portal. And the overall activities like messages, wishes, pictures, videos etc. create a virtual office space. The live communications, the brand elements, etc. remind the employees of the larger organization for which they are working. It thus ensures that employees are working with the overall company goals and objectives in mind.
Features of Intranet That Make it Irresistible for Employees
Do you remember reading more when you bought your new kindle device?
Well, it’s a psychological fact that people work more efficiently when they are in a new setting. That explains the much-seen job switch. Intranets like Sharepoint with intensive support from the Microsoft Corporation has every ingredient inbuilt to build a digital workplace from scratch. The power to leverage them to create great intranet portals depends on your Sharepoint developers.
These features make intranet an inevitable part of your enterprise for pandemics and your good times as well:
- Workflows and Forms
Do you know every mundane process from simple leave application to the interview process can be automated by using process automation solutions. Intranets built on Sharepoint and similar platforms help you develop such workflows to make life easier. Employees are definitely going to fall in love with such paperless and self-caring mechanisms that save them unnecessary work.
Work together on time and start your meetings on time. Even if a member is missing, they can join through an office app that links them to the enterprise intranet. Video conferencing, co-authoring on documents, concept papers, etc. is comfortable with the intranet. The result is higher productivity, engagement and happy employees.
- Manage Documents
The intranet’s most significant advantage in making the workplace greener and smarter is in its paper-saving ability. For example, a Sharepoint intranet lets you modify and send documents effortlessly. It also has a powerful search which can pick you up any file from the whole organization’s repository. And all this is happening with access control in place. Only the authorized employee who’s in the loop can access these documents, and the security is kept intact throughout the process. Version control is another feature that helps you to track the record at various stages of its development.
There is nothing like having fun at work. Communicating with your friends at work, cracking jokes, sharing light moments help you to be more productive. Because the more relaxed you are, the more creative you turn out to be. Intranets are the best ways to encourage your workplace relations and build strong interpersonal connections. Healthy interpersonal relationships help employees vouch for each other and hence promotes teamwork. Yammer in Sharepoint based intranets is a perfect example of this socializing through intranet features. Even at home, you feel your friends from work are with you, and you can quickly jump into getting more job done.
Things are going to get better soon and we are going to get to our normal happy ways of work. Meanwhile, take care, find balancing in working at home with breaks, frequent check-ins and take care.
If you want to set up an intranet for your organization send a word to us and we can collaborate instantly.