With all that’s happening around the globe, working from home has become a survival strategy businesses are trying to adapt to.
We can’t deny its set of perks and how a lot of businesses are grateful for being able to continue their activities amid such a crisis, but that doesn’t mean that remote work doesn’t come with challenges.
The absence of office camaraderie can undoubtedly diminish focus, commitment and productivity. That’s why an internal community is so badly needed when everyone is working remotely.
Internal communities represent an underexploited strategic value for the company, and the sudden shift in working patterns due to the coronavirus has led businesses to rethink their importance.
Let’s dive deeper into their roles:
To facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing
Creating the best conditions for finding creative solutions to complex problems or just helping a peer find relevant information helps facilitate collaboration.
As a big part of company knowledge is silent, collaborative spaces and communities represent a great medium for capturing and sharing that knowledge. This can be done through wikis, documents, tasks and even chat rooms.
Moreover, by helping to resolve problems and dilemmas faced by teams, these communities enhance collaboration and play a huge role in blurring the boundaries of physical proximity while maintaining social distancing.
At the same time, employees can continue to develop within an environment of openness and networking in order to participate in the rapidly changing world of work.
To build and grow your company culture
Much has been said about the perceived cons of having remote teams, and one of the most discussed topics is company culture and the lack of communication. What’s more, the risk is much higher when you have a disconnected and disengaged workforce.
With the pandemic leading to loneliness within your teams, an internal community enables your employees to share their thoughts and feedback. A great example of this is the creation of polls within your digital workplace, which can reveal lots about how your employees are doing in these difficult times.
While management sets the core values, it’s your teams that incorporate their belief system into your culture.
Internal communities encourage a robust sense of commitment and a collaborative culture, as well as accountability. Utilising all of these values helps your business run as smoothly as possible despite the current turbulent time.
To skyrocket your employee engagement
With everyone working from home, it becomes important to focus attention on keeping employees engaged and connected.
Having different spaces and sections – from knowledge reads to fun activities – enables employees to better connect with one another. An internal community serves as the best platform to share not only knowledge but also common skills and interests.
Here at eXo, and since we started to work entirely from home, we made a deal to share what we were doing every day outside of the work hours. We were amazed by how talented some people are. We’ve discovered that some of us are master chefs and others artists, and yet others have accomplished some incredible DIY handiwork. This has helped foster a greater sense of camaraderie and belonging.
So, if done right, internal communities have the surprising advantage of increasing engagement and communication amongst employees.
To recognise and motivate
There is a saying that ‘people will always work harder when they know they are appreciated’, and a lot of research has backed this up. Internal communities are a great way to achieve this, by allowing employees to interact with each other and feel valued for their skills and input.
With the pandemic making your employees feel increasingly isolated and frustrated, a simple ‘kudos’ or just a ‘thank you’ can mean a lot and thereby reinforce their contributions.
Any workplace that is able to recognise and reward productive behaviour contributes greatly to its employees’ levels of satisfaction.
The pandemic is leading executives to realize that companies can’t grow, prosper or even survive without a knowledgeable and engaged workforce.
Internal communities, on the other hand, ensure that remote workers are fully engaged and that ‘out of sight’ never means ‘out of mind’.