As someone who grew up in this digitized age, there are two things that are important to my productivity:

  1. I’m able to share and access information as easily and pain-free as possible
  2. I’m able to connect with my teammates on more than just work

Thankfully for me, intranets are still alive and thriving. Your intranet is the online portal for your company, containing all of the information that keeps your company running. A successful intranet is one where users come back to stay on top of everything they need. The problem is, intranets aren’t often ingrained in a company’s processes or culture and forgotten. Either employees don’t know their intranet exists, don’t know how to use it, or don’t have any reason to.

5 benefits of using an intranet

At Atlassian, we love our intranet – the majority of our company uses it every day. We use it to share team updates, work on cross-functional projects, and do our day-to-day work. We particularly love how it creates a transparent culture.

In a world where teams are remote and in several time zones, it’s important to have a tool keeping your company connected. Here’s how you can use an intranet in your workplace to keep your company in sync, productive, and having fun.

1. Easily share information

Most companies use email as the primary method of disseminating important company information. But did you know the average employee checks their email roughly 36 times a day? That’s a lot of distraction. Sharing information where your employees already are means less context switching and less wasted time. Try sending out information through your company’s intranet for company-wide announcements.

On the homepage of Atlassian’s intranet, everyone has access to the posts being shared, the conversations happening (FOMO no more), the teams involved, and anything else trending in the company.

By sharing information via internal ‘blog posts’, your team has more opportunities to respond. Instead of one-way communication from an individual to rest of the company, anyone is able to express themselves using likes, emoticons, and comments. By creating a space to have a dialogue with your company, you’re instilling the values of open communication and trust among employees. This method of sharing in an open platform also prompts discussion and aides in discovering experts within the company who feel comfortable sharing their point of view and expertise.

2. Knowledge management

No matter where you work, your company has a lot of information to store. In most cases, knowledge is stored across multiple platforms like email, Word documents, Google Drive, etc. making finding information a tedious task. Instead, using your intranet as a central one-stop shop for all information means it will be easier for your employees to find what they need. It’s important your intranet has strong search capabilities so teams can quickly locate relevant information.

Teams like HR and Legal often use intranets to host on-boarding material, employee benefits, HR guidelines, and legal policies, but why stop there? Any team can and should use it to keep knowledge accessible.

Screen shot of Altassian's confluence installation.
Here’s an example of an internal knowledge base on our software, Confluence, to help our employees easily answer any questions they have or troubleshoot any issues.

Knowledge stored in an intranet takes many forms, from blog posts to documents to company polls. One of the biggest benefits of having a single source for this information is the tribal knowledge gained by everyone in the organization. This can be a huge competitive advantage for your business, reducing time to onboard new employees, retaining the knowledge from those who have left the company, and making all of this accessible to current employees. Knowing that all the information an employee might need is trusted and accessible helps them work faster and feel more confident in the work they produce. This will also affect how you serve your customers and their perception of your business.

3. Improve collaboration and feedback

The best way to encourage employees to use your intranet is to pull them in. People will naturally use a tool when they are drawn in by their peers or their work. Most intranets have social features such as @-mentions, comments, easy document sharing, and some form of notifications. Using mentions and comments help you bring in the right people at the right time to contribute to work, and keeps all feedback and contributions contextual.

A well-rounded intranet allows real-time page editing with teammates and tasks assignments with deadlines.

Having one single place to capture feedback and work with your team supports collaboration since all information is available to involved stakeholders and updates are in real-time.

4. Create engaging content

There’s a common saying that “people eat with their eyes.” The same can be said about content on your intranet. When content looks good, people are more likely to want to read it.

A good intranet makes it easy to create engaging content of any type, whether it be a blog post, meeting notes, a marketing campaign plan, or product requirements. Can you imagine trying to format and share that kind of information in an email using a basic editor and bullet points? Not many would opt into reading that. Using templates and a feature rich editor should empower your team to make pages they are proud to share – easy peasy.

Here’s an example of a product requirements page for a dashboard feature, using a product requirements template to help organize the information in a clean, concise, and easy to read way.

With a platform capable of building different types of pages your team doesn’t just have to use an intranet as a form of communication, but also as a place to do their day-to-day work keeping all information in one place.

5. Build a transparent culture

In order to bring out the best in your employees, you need to create a space they can feel comfortable sharing thoughts and opinions. Did you know that 87 percent of people want to work for a transparent company? I‘m sure by now you’ve guessed an intranet can be the ticket to building a transparent company.

At Atlassian, one of our strongest assets is our company culture, built on the principles of transparency and open work. Confluence, our intranet and everyday workspace, plays a critical role in who we are as a company and how we choose to work with one another. Anyone can contribute, like, and comment on anything shared within the company, allowing for transparency between execs and all employees. We have teams located all around the world, from Sydney, Australia to Austin, Texas, and when we are able to share bits and pieces of ourselves, whether it’s a piece of advice we want to blog to the whole company about or congratulating a team member on a promotion, our team of more than 2,500 people feels a lot smaller.

Here’s a screenshot of an internal blog, documenting one of our teammate’s road trips to see the eclipse. She loves photography, so she included pictures of her travel, her food, and even her travel route to share with others who may be interested.

When teammates feel empowered to open up authentically at work, they build stronger relationships with peers. This fosters a deeper understanding of one another, leads to stronger levels of trust, and ultimately empowers each individual to fully contribute their value to the team.

Learn more about Confluence intranet software

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