How do we get staff back into offices? This is the question plaguing businesses around the country, and there’s one common solution that’s come to the fore: the split office. Essentially just another way of describing shift work, in the split office, only a portion of staff are onsite at any given time. It’s a smart way to control disease spread, but it presents particular challenges from a management perspective.
Connecting The Split Office
If businesses want a split office setup to be successful, the most important thing they can do is to ensure that teams – both onsite and remote – are seamlessly connected, and that’s harder said than done. Too often, when workers are remote, communication breaks down, because staff don’t have the right tools. What they need to be successful within this new structure is an intranet platform.
Introduction To Intranet
What is an intranet platform, and why does your business need one? After all, we already have email, chat platforms like Slack, and phones, plus project management software for sharing information. Based on this list of existing tools, it could seem like investing in intranet is unnecessary, but that overlooks the value of an integrated social-productivity tool. With next generation social intranet, staff can collaborate regardless of location, prioritize tasks and information, and maintain continuity in company culture even when your team is split across multiple locations.
Remaking Management Norms
Implementing an intranet system helps remote teams work together on a peer level, but that’s not the only advantage. These programs are good for managers working with remote teams, too. Specifically, using an intranet allows managers to identify staff who may be struggling with changes in work patterns and expectations, see all of the different ongoing projects within a central framework, and streamline trainings. It’s easy to disseminate information when everyone is in the same office, but much more difficult to make meaningful connections and manage projects when you can’t get everyone in the same room.
Besides the simple reality that the sudden transition to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t about working from home – working from home is a much more intentional, carefully planned process – one of the biggest challenges facing newly split teams today is a lack of continuity. It’s hard to transition projects between teams or staff, or even to share knowledge about an ongoing one. Things tend to get lost via chat and email, buried in piles of messages, but intranets encourage streamlined knowledge sharing. With fewer opportunities to conveniently check-in or meet face-to-face, that continuity ensures accuracy, helps teams meet deadlines, and prevents knowledge siloes.
There’s no replacement for in-person collaboration. Sharing an office with coworkers, brainstorming together, and developing a shared language and sense of trust is irreplaceable. Unlike basic video chat tools and other programs focused on remote scenarios, though, intranet provides substantial benefits to teams no matter whether all staff are remote, all are onsite, or they’re functioning within a split office format. Intranet is a world of its own, functioning almost as if it were a complete office in the cloud. Though teams that once worked together may not report to work in the same place in the coming months, they can stay connected via intranet.