Maintaining a strong corporate culture isn’t always easy when your employees are working around the world. With a distributed workforce that is increasingly working remotely full-time and/or expects to have mobile access to their digital workplace, co-workers may rarely see each other in person.
So, how do you make sure your organization can both support mobility and remote workers while still preserving a sense of community? With the increasing number of clients moving to Office 365 we’re seeing cloud-based tools make a big impact.
Let’s consider the case of a professional services organization that needed to maintain a cohesive culture even as its staff — a few hundred employees — spent lots of time out of the office, traveling on business and working remotely. One common challenge the company faced was creating duplicative duplication between multiple project teams. Does this sound familiar? A project team encounters a new situation (to them) and wants to see if another project team or employee has the expertise to assist them. Team leaders can’t easily find past documentation and they certainly don’t have easy access to other employees’ experiences and skills.
Through information architecture strategy sessions and an employee adoption program this company drew upon several communication features in Office 365 to solve this issue, build its culture, knowledge base and competitive strengths. The foundation of the company’s digital workplace was a corporate intranet that gave everyone on staff a clear view of the different projects going on within the organization, and easy access to documentation that was created for them. Providing a central method for all employees to access company updates and news helped unify the distributed organization and reinforce the organization’s cultural identity.
What’s more, this intranet homepage served as a tool for connecting internal expertise to project needs. From the homepage, users could search employee profiles for specific skill sets and experiences. When new people joined the organization, their profiles were featured, showcasing their abilities to the rest of the staff. Why does this matter? As a result of this implementation, the company now spends less time searching for resources and is able to increase its revenue by quickly identifying the best consultants for its projects.
In a second step to integrate communications, this organization also moved its email infrastructure to Office 365. This “technical” move opens up the possibilities for employees to be able to integrate intranet, email and social enterprise features as Microsoft moves to create one seamless experience. Beyond email, the organization’s leaders wanted a quick method to communicate with employees without clogging up email. In the third step of its transition to the cloud we helped implement Lync’s instant messaging.
Now an employee is able to check in quickly with a coworker without clogging the person’s email. The tool also allows you to call anyone in your network with the click of a button. And Lync’s presence indicators (green for “available,” yellow for “away” and red for “busy” or “do not disturb“) are integrated across Office 365, so you’re able to see the status of your coworkers whether you’re sitting next to them or halfway around the world.
In the end, the cloud-based communication solutions included in Office 365 present great opportunities for promoting company culture in the digital workplace, streamlining communication and building camaraderie among coworkers regardless of how many miles might be between them.
Learn more about helping your organization leverage today’s digital workplace capabilities by contacting Portal Solutions.