In this series of blogs we’ll look at the trends Internal Comms teams and Intranet providers need to be aware of and respond to, and provide suggestions on how these challenges can be met. The series will cover challenges such as:
Mobility & Responsiveness – getting employees the information they need, wherever they are.
User-First Design – ensuring accessible and engaging experiences
Social Engagement – especially for remote or hybrid workforces
Personalisation – uniting distanced employees while responding to individual needs
Content & Search – creating a single source of truth
The uncertainties and enforced changes in working conditions and patterns faced by workforces throughout 2020 and 2021 led to many of the trends we will look at. The first, the “Remote Revolution” may have been underway before lockdown, as improved mobile devices required organisations to build applications and sites to be viewed on screens of varied size, but little could have prepared us for entire workforces leaving behind their offices and working in their own homes.
Vendors are flocking to create responsive and mobile experiences for users. Here’s why…..
94% of workers own and use a smart phone
44% of workers own a tablet
13% of workers state they plan to buy a tablet in the next 12 months
73% of workers spent 2 hours or more accessing work materials on their phones
A remote revolution has started in all sectors with internal communications leading the charge. Employees can now decide where they want to work, the office, at home or on a tropical island, and how to access their work tools. As restrictions ease and normality sets in many are returning to the office but in lots of businesses, hybrid working is now the norm.
Remote working and a change to working patterns has bolstered the urgency around getting teams the information they need, wherever they are.
One disadvantage of remote working is communication problems, as colleagues can no longer collaborate with one another face to face in the office. Also, users are choosing from a wider variety of devices to access their site. Across all sectors different types of workers need access to an intranet whether they be frontline NHS, deskless or just home/office hybrid everyone needs access to information quickly and in a secure manner.
Mobiles are now being used by more people for work, day in day out. Mobile-first communication in the internal communications space makes organisational news and information available by a simple swipe of your fingers and responsive intranets bring many benefits such as boosting productivity, increasing engagement and facilitating collaboration.
Having a mobile focused intranet helps employees receive information quickly and it offers a direct, immediate communications channel for users to access whatever they need for their role. This trend can be seen in sectors with a lot of frontline employees as many don’t carry laptops on them. Having a mobile site allows important organisational updates, announcements and news to be seen quickly and efficiently.
2022 may see a huge rise in deskless workers, now that sectors are returning in full force there will be a substantial increase in workers with no desks. 80% of workers globally are frontline based, and these deskless workers will be performing a range of client-facing or operation based roles. They may be in retail, manufacturing or healthcare but they have one thing in common – they aren’t sitting behind a desk ready to receive corporate communications.
Since lockdown was imposed and office workers were introduced to a new way of working, many have found they prefer to work from home, while others enjoy the office environment. Offering hybrid working has become essential for many businesses to offer within job specifications, to attract new employees. But maintaining effective communication between home and office workers can be a struggle. Employers will have to cater for their staff’s demands whether that be a greater variety of comms channels used to reach those workers or a new set of objectives people need.
With a huge variety of browsers in use, including Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Microsoft Edge, intranets need to be able to adapt and work with all browsers in the most secure way possible. Employees within a business don’t always use the same browsers so to ensure no one is excluded, ensuring an intranet is compatible with all main browsers will help to unlock the flexibility within your organisation’s internal communications strategy.
To prevent many security problems associated with remote and mobile working, having Multi-Factor authentication is one of the best ways to make sure a site is being accessed securely. MFA prevents malicious actors from gaining access to sensitive systems or account information by coupling a password with the need to input a unique code sent directly to a verified mobile number. Other solutions such as providing staff with a secure personal device, having a firewall or VPN ( Virtual Private Network) are also good ways to ensure your staff and site are secure.
Find out more about how Invotra has used MFA to help organisations secure their intranet accounts
Making it as easy as possible for employees to access the intranet, and receive news and information at a much quicker rate is essential to user uptake. Using SSO (Single Sign-On) removes any obstacles when logging in as once the site has your details. SSO will allow you to be looking at the homepage of the site within 1 click.
Reducing the number of logins per day, as a user only needs to log in once, improves usability, SSO helps lower IT costs by saving time on password resets which means less help tickets for the IT team.
Discover how Sierra Club used SSO to authenticate 600,000 users
Look out for Part 2 of our Intranet Trends series, on User-First Design – ensuring accessible and engaging experiences