How to build a mobile Intranet that your employees will actually use?

Between 1995 and the end of 2014, mobile phone ownership has exploded. According to KPCB’s Internet trends report, the numbers grew from 35 million in the min-nineties to 2.8billion today. That looks something like this:
mobile intranet

Close to half the planet now owns at least one mobile phone, and the younger part of the population – so-called ‘millennials’ – almost exclusively own smart phones. These people grew up with Myspace, Facebook and Twitter and are extremely tech-savvy. Statistically, you’re probably one of them; as millennials now dominate the global workforce.

So, you would have expected today’s organisations to have developed mobile Intranets that correspond with the needs and expectations of this smartphone-friendly workforce. But that is where you’d be wrong – research shows that many modern companies still don’t have fully functioning Intranets for employees to access from mobile devices. Is this actually that important, and how can you provide a mobile Intranet easily (and cost-effectively)?

Mobile matters

You might wonder whether a mobile Intranet is really that necessary. Surely employees just need to check their emails on their phones while working from the office desktop? And isn’t building another Intranet for their phones going to come at a hefty price?

We’d argue that you’re missing a trick here. With more and more millennials flooding the workforce, you’re communicating with a generation that have learnt to live and work in a mobile first, cloud first world. What does this mean? Let’s look at a couple of stats.

  • 20% of millennials consider themselves ‘night owls’ and enjoy flexible working
  • 34% prefer collaborating online
  • 45% use personal phones for work

It’s no major revelation that today’s workers have quite a different approach to their professional lives compared with previous generations. They expect to be able to work more flexibly, to work online and use their mobile phones to their full potential at work. And why shouldn’t they? Today’s smartphones reportedly have more computing power than modern NASA rocket ships. Whether it’s working collaboratively on the road, being contactable any time, receiving internal communications or being able to find colleagues any hour of the day, a mobile Intranet offers your employees so much.

So, it seems a mobile Intranet experience is a must. How can you design it so your users actually, you know, use it?

Be sociable

When deploying a mobile Intranet, a social experience is essential. We recommend Yammer, which can be used standalone or in conjunction with Office 365. Yammer takes many of the features your users have come to expect from social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and adjusts them to the needs of the enterprise. What does it look like?

Yammer users have profiles which display the work they’ve been doing recently, what their interests are and what skills they can offer. It also provides a ‘newsfeed’ where internal communications can reach colleagues more easily and individuals can contact one another more naturally than the more rigid email. Crucially, Yammer has been optimised for mobile experiences, meaning set-up, training and implementation take no time at all.

Use video

A major trend in the consumer market over the last 12 – 18 month’s, those creating and sharing visual content is creating significant increase in traffic, engagement and acquisition. According to the research mentioned above, 29% of all video for the web is now shot in portrait format, making it easier for mobile users to enjoy it. If you’re looking to make a mobile Intranet experience your users will enjoy, it needs to fit around the device itself. Video is a powerful means of communicating company news and vision to employees and sharing it in the easiest-to-access format will boost adoption rates.

Tune the interface to the screen-size

A big reason today’s workers don’t fully engage with mobile Intranets is that they’re far harder to use than the desktop versions. Typing on glass still isn’t as easy as the tried and tested keyboard and mouse, and selecting small tabs can make the User Experience (UX) frustrating. While their favourite mobile apps have been specifically designed with a great UX, corporate Intranets can often feel years behind. However, with Microsoft’s new ‘mobile first, cloud first’ strategy, users of Office 365 – and basically any of Microsoft’s productivity tools – access cutting edge, 5 star mobile Intranet experiences.

Make it easy to find content and people

A major advantage of today’s Intranets is the ease at which users can find people, documents and information. Office 365 is a safe bet for high adoption rates as basically all the desktop features are also available on mobile. When your colleagues are working away from the office, they still need to find information and documents quickly, and tools like Delve make that even easier, by surfacing relevant information and contacts.

Make it available offline

While users can get Internet access almost everywhere nowadays, there are still occasions where it’s unavailable. This shouldn’t be an obstacle to productivity, however. OneDrive for Business allows security-enabled offline document editing which can later be uploaded and synced once connection has been re-established.

Get in touch to find out how we can configure you’re mobile Intranet experience today!

Tim Wallis

Tim Wallis

CEO and Founder

Tim is the CEO of Content and Code and founded the company in 2001. As CEO of Content and Code, Tim focuses on corporate strategy, client and partner relationships, and has overall responsibility for driving the growth of the company. Tim founded Content and Code so he could help transform organisations to be more responsive, more competitive and engage their employees to better realise business goals.

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