Skip to Content

The Hybrid Work Imperative – Here’s How An Intranet Can Help

Intranets are private, secure online platforms that store and manage company data, making them ideally suited to keep your hybrid teams connected.

For Canada’s smallest companies, and the biggest, the same question remains: how should employers equip their teams for success, now that hybrid work models have become the norm?

Data from StatsCan make it clear that a shift which began during the pandemic has become a best practice. More than 1.7 million Canadians have some kind of hybrid work policy for their job. This in part due because companies recognize the advantages in reducing the size of their real estate footprint, along with the advantages that come with adopting a digital HQ to manage core operations.

However hybrid work models also have a lot to do with helping support employee well-being. Close to three-quarters of Canadians surveyed earlier this year said working occasionally outside a traditional office has helped them achieve better balance in their lives and increased their happiness. Hybrid work can also save employees money by spending less on gas and eating more at home during their lunch breaks.

It’s only natural that adopting a hybrid work model might create some challenges for companies, of course. Leaders are realizing the importance of ensuring meeting equity when some of their team members aren’t in a boardroom but tuning into a discussion via a video call, for instance. Arranging for in-person gatherings can also require careful scheduling and double-checking everyone’s calendars.

The most critical issue for many hybrid workplaces, however, is making sure no one overlooks important updates about the company’s strategy, standard procedures and content that builds a strong culture. Your people might want to work in a distributed, centralized manner, but that has to happen without losing a sense of cohesion as an organization.

Fortunately, the concept of an intranet was developed long before hybrid work was offered to the majority of business professionals. A private, secure online platform to store and manage company data, intranets are ideally suited to keeping hybrid teams connected. Setting up an intranet can be part of a digital transformation initiative, or a project all its own.

Sometimes intranets are launched and then neglected. Other companies fail to recognize their potential and don’t deploy them in the first place. If your firm falls into either of these camps, now is the time to take a second look at intranets and explore the opportunity to:

Lower costs by consolidating applications

Talk to the sales team and you might discover they have a shared drive that only reps can access on a regular basis. Over in the marketing department there might be an entirely different tool that houses old employee performance reviews, or brand guidelines that other teams often need. There might even be a function or two within your company that continue to store everything on paper in filing cabinets.

These approaches not only make it more difficult for employees who aren’t always in the office. Having separate tools can add unnecessary expenditures, including what it costs for the IT department to support them. Moving to an intranet as a single, trusted platform can be cheaper and more effective.

Drive more efficient growth, no matter who’s working where

Let’s say that, despite economic challenges, your business is attracting enough demand that you need more people to keep up with it all. This should be great news – until you can’t finalize the hiring process until a candidate makes the trek into the office to sign an offer letter.

Growing with efficiency not only means having well-oiled processes for selling, marketing and supporting customers. You also need the same kind of efficiency during key moments of an employee experience. An intranet solves for this by putting onboarding documents, reviews and benefits information in a cloud-based environment for any managers and employees that need them.

The efficiencies you gain from automation in this area aren’t just limited to hiring staff, but assisting with training on standard policies and procedures, your company’s products and assets to execute on its mission and vision.

Unifying around values that help exceed expectations and create customer magic

Intranets also speak to another critical need as hybrid work becomes the norm. Business leaders don’t simply need to ensure employees are “showing up” for the job and that deadlines are being met. They also have to find ways to help employees feel a sense of belonging, no matter where they’re working.

When you’re in an office every day, companies can rely on age-old tactics like pinning up inspirational posters, or having a plaque near the lobby doors that outline the values it upholds. An intranet can serve as a digital extension to fulfill the same kind of purpose, but with a range of dynamic options.

Rather than just write out your vision and values, for example, your intranet can be a place that tells the story through videos, podcasts and othe forms of rich interactive content. You can make it easy for them to learn at a glance how sticking to your values creates a better customer experience and meets their expectations in areas such as sustainability and equity.

When all employees feel a part of your value and culture, there’s a sort of magic that happens. It translates into every customer interaction across marketing, sales and customer service.

Hybrid work models may still be relatively new, but over time it won’t be surprising if the people on your team expect to have a well-managed intranet at the heart of the employee experience. Your company’s success may now happen well outside the boundaries of an office you own, but the intranet can be a hub where everyone gathers to communicate, collaborate and win.

Get timely updates and fresh ideas delivered to your inbox.