man with phone on escalators

The 4 most recognizable pitfalls in the realization of a digital work environment

Your workplace intranet has the potential to be a powerful digital work environment and a communication platform, capable of being used at anytime and anywhere.

But there are a number of pitfalls and mistakes to be avoided when you make the move to a digital work environment. The four most recognizable of these, along with how to avoid them, are as follows:

Pitfall 1: Your employees are not involved in the process

Your employees are central to the delivery and sustainability of a new intranet. After all, it is the employees who use the intranet every day. And in the realization of a digital work environment, you often get only one chance to do it right. So, involve your employees. Ask for feedback on the new intranet and act on it.

Make sure your whole organization is engaged during the design and test phases of the new intranet, and not just the communication department.

Perform acceptance and user-friendliness (usability) tests and adjust the intranet based on the responses. Enthuse the employees involved in this stage and make sure they take that enthusiasm back to their colleagues.

Pitfall 2 - The search environment finds nothing

Do not underestimate the power of effective search functionality in the new environment. Employees benefit from an environment that easily provides relevant search results. Don’t forget, the intranet is intended to support, not hinder, the work processes and thus save time.

An ineffective search environment, for example where employees have to filter through many pages of search results, has a negative effect on the adoption of the entire intranet.

But we must be honest. When "Information cannot be found", it is not always due to a poor search environment. It can also be as a result of the quality of the information and its characteristics. Employees who move from a folder structure to a digital work environment can face difficulties in finding the information they are looking for.

The digital work environment must facilitate this and offer extensive search functions. When designing the environment, a well thought-out information architecture is therefore indispensable.

Pitfall 3 - The governance model is of poor quality

A new intranet also requires management and guidelines (governance). Without clear management, guidelines and agreements, it is difficult for the employee to understand the requirements or benefits of the intranet.

The right governance model, therefore, must strike a balance between functionality and guidelines. Start with the points that are most important. Set up the roles and responsibilities within the organization, and hold on to this.

Pitfall 4 – The intranet you have built does not evolve

The world does not stop turning after your new digital work environment gets up and running. Yet we see many organizations that think their intranet platform can remain unchanged for years. If it does not grow with the organization or the technological developments, then it loses its value very quickly.

The intranet must be continuously fed with new information and new functionality. But a new structure may also be required. So, think ahead, even during the planning and development phase.

Work on a plan to easily manage the new digital environment and the long-term sustainability of the platform. The management team must be aware of the upcoming updates, how the platform is managed, and any new developments.

Find out more about bringing your digital work environment to life

If you’re keen to understand how to fully digitalize your work environment, simply request a demo of the latest digital collaboration tool, SMART Workspace.

albert hoitingh
Albert Hoitingh
Business Analyst Office 365