By Julien Codorniou, VP of Workplace from Facebook
Today, employers want staff to get on with their work as normal while working from home. Yet, many expect the highest levels of productivity while still relying on outdated technologies and systems to provide staff with critical workforce materials. This is leading to serious problems. According to a report by McKinsey, the average employee wastes over nine hours each week searching for critical company information.This issue boils down to the availability of company-wide documents and the suitability of a company’s intranet. Too often, employees only head to the company intranet to search its depths for information on a specific company policy or benefit — and the rest of the time it sits untouched.On top of the fact that many HR policies are required by law, travel policies, employee handbooks and business “how-tos” have become essential to everyday work during lockdown. These documents have become even more critical because many are changing weekly, if not daily, to reflect government advice. As such, it’s vital that these documents are readily accessible, relevant and available to all.The rise of the next generation of intranetWith the lockdown, policies around COVID-19 have become mission critical not only to business operations but also for employee’s safety. Now more than ever, organisations have a real responsibility to ensure employees are informed and know what procedures to follow. To keep accurate and reliable information flowing to employees during this busy and chaotic time, one company XPO Logistics has turned to Knowledge Library, the home for official content on Workplace from Facebook, to create a space for employees to stay informed about its response to the ever-evolving pandemic as it managed emergency logistics for New York City.Much of the content employees are dealing with today is dynamic – CEO posts, status updates, etc. – it's quick to read and often only relevant for a short period of time. This is why the newsfeed approach works so well on many business collaboration tools. Intranets, on the other hand are often used to store more of the static content that isn’t accessed every day and doesn’t change very much.The challenge is that many intranets simply weren’t built for the pandemic era. In the remote working world, a company’s content repository needs to be easily accessible and updateable, searchable and shareable. What’s more a tool that creates a central home for both dynamic and static content can empower employees, bring information together and reflect the true pulse of an organisation.Keeping it accessibleThe beauty of a content repository that sits in collaboration tools employees already use is that no one needs to be trained to use it. Many employees today have grown up alongside social media and even for those that didn’t, social media now has billions of users around the world today. Ultimately, this means that the majority of employees in an organisation will be able to already use document libraries integrated into already familiar collaboration tools, regardless of their role or level of training.Availability above allInherent usability is convenient, though companies will stumble if employees don’t have universal access. While this seems obvious, many forget that businesses are far greater than those that sit in the company headquarters.The fabric of companies today is built up not only of desk workers, but also those who don’t reside in the headquarters, such as frontline store workers, engineers, cleaners, air hostesses. The problem is many of these workers aren’t supplied with a company laptop and don’t often connect to the corporate network, and as such won’t have access to company files that are stored in the intranet.Until now, many of these workers have relied on print copies, emailing HR, or other arduous processes to get critical corporate information. When these documents sit within tools they already have access to via mobile, it instantly widens the net of employees who have access.Reducing the noiseToo often employees need to trawl through irrelevant and unusable policies to find what they’re after. With a more bespoke solution, employees can search a personalised set of documents, with customisable landing pages helping guide employees towards relevant content. Importantly, a home can be made unique for each viewer based on the categories they have access to, while still maintaining priority categories and key links that will be visible for everyone.This means, for example, that employees such as kitchen staff won’t need to sift through pages of client-facing guidelines but will still have clear access to hygiene regulations and universal files such as employee handbooks and holiday policies.Communication and collaboration should be at the centre of every successful organisation, particularly in times like these. As such it only makes sense to consolidate a business’ communication channels and centralise the collective knowledge of a business. Ultimately, this can only help to power the heartbeat of an organisation and reduce the space so employees can feel close to the business while also empowered to do their job.