Many companies are struggling with the deliberation between a social intranet and a digital workspace. But our standpoint is: why choose? In this blog, we’ll go into the difference between a social intranet and a digital workspace. We’ll also discuss why you shouldn’t have to choose between them; why combining them is the right move to make and how to do it.
Traditional versus Social Intranet
To start off, an important thing to understand is what we mean by ‘social intranet’. When thinking of an intranet, many people’s minds instantly go to the traditional intranet: a static platform, usually focused on sending information and files. There’s little to no interaction or collaboration, and it’s easy for the information on it to fall behind. In any case, this type of intranet is outdated, and many companies are already moving away from it.
Today, it’s all about the social intranet. The key factor of such an intranet is that it’s – surprise – social. This means that it is not just a platform for sending information top-down; it is a two-way street. A social intranet should stimulate communication, interaction and collaboration between colleagues. Therefore, it should allow interaction.
Social Intranet versus Digital Workspace
Work is not a place you go to, it’s something you do. Today’s technology allows people to work from anywhere, especially when using a digital workspace: one place with all your applications, information and files, which you can access from anywhere with one click.
For many people, the social intranet and the digital workspace are two different options, which can pose a few dilemmas: do we use one or the other? Or do we use them both, in which case: how do we make it user-friendly to switch between the two? And how do we keep information from decentralising?
Why you shouldn’t choose between a social intranet and digital workspace
The aforementioned dilemmas are exactly the reasons why you should not see a social intranet and a digital workspace as two different things. To work as productively and efficiently as possible, both alone and with colleagues, you’d want to use both. Though if you use them side by side, it can cause confusion. When people constantly have to switch between different platforms, they don’t know when to use which, or where to find or post certain information. In short, it’s confusing and chaotic. Therefore, we recommend that you don’t choose, but unite.
Unite everything in one adaptive workspace
A digital workspace is a place where you have everything you need to work; so why wouldn’t that include your colleagues? It doesn’t make sense to separate the social aspect of work from the practical, especially since they often overlap. We believe that the social intranet and the digital workspace are not stand-alone things, but should both be part of the same solution. That is why we unite them into one adaptive workspace.
This way, you have one central starting point of your day. One place where you not only discuss projects with colleagues, but also are able to work on them. Where important company announcements appear next to your business news, and where you and your colleagues can collaborate in files at the same time. The adaptive workspace provides you with one platform where digital workspace and social intranet not just co-exist, but seamlessly blend to allow you to work optimally.
Scaling the social intranet
One of the biggest pitfalls of the social intranet, is letting information get outdated. One of the biggest reasons for this happening, is because the intranet is implemented, simply because “you have to have an intranet”. Many companies implement an entire social intranet, while they actually just need a few features. Resulting in an intranet that’s largely redundant.
By using social intranet elements in your adaptive workspace, you can easily scale your social intranet up and down, based on the needs within your organisation. Subsequently, you only use what you need and people’s overview is not cluttered with features that are unnecessary or unused.
Using Shared Spaces
If you still want to make a distinction between social intranet features and digital workspace features, you can use the Workspace 365 Shared Spaces.
The shared spaces within Workspace 365 allow you to bring more structure to the workspace, by dividing it into several spaces. You could for instance create spaces for a certain team, department, or for a certain purpose. Naturally, you can also create a shared space for all your social intranet-related features. This allows you to still keep features separate based on their purpose, while still keeping them seamlessly working together in one adaptive workspace.
Integrate your existing intranet
Do you already have an intranet you don’t want or are not able to say goodbye to? No problem, you don’t have to. You can just simply integrate (part of) it into your adaptive workspace. In doing so, you can still combine the important elements of your existing intranet, with the additional benefits of the adaptive workspace.
This also works the other way around; it is also possible to embed (part of) your workspace into your current platform. Contact us to discover more about the possibilities.
Constantly strengthening social
Within Workspace 365, we have introduced several social elements to bring the social intranet to the adaptive workspace, such as:
- The contacts sidebar
- Microsoft Teams
- Announcements & Announcement live tile
- SharePoint RSS feeds
And the social intranet aspect of the adaptive workspace is continuously getting stronger. We are constantly developing and improving features to boost your work.
What social intranet element would you like to see in the adaptive workspace? Let’s talk!