Remote work: when the Intranet and the Digital Workplace facilitate the link with employees

Although France took another step in its deconfliction plan on June 9, with the end of 100% telecommuting, many organizations still have to deal with remote work. In this context, how to maintain the link with employees? Here are some answers and testimonies from professionals who have successfully met this challenge.
travail à distance 

A hybrid organization of work

Today, more than ever, many organizations of all sizes have to deal with a hybrid organization of work, between returning to the office or to the field and maintaining telework. For more than a year, many of them have reinvented themselves in order to continue the exchanges with and between employees, wherever they are. So much so that for Amine Bedjaoui, technical leader at Klee Group, a specialist in digital solutions, internal communication is undergoing a major transformation.
"I think these changes have been underway for several years. As we go along, we are reviewing the way we interact. Before telecommuting became widespread, we used to work with collaborative spaces, we aggregated everything inside and worked with document exchanges. Today, we are entering a more direct, one-to-one communication. The past year has accelerated this trend, and the Digital Workplace has been reinvented to become more than a gadget, it is an essential tool for working and exchanging information quickly," he says.

An evolution of existing tools

Based on this observation, many organizations have been able to rely on previously under-exploited solutions to strengthen communication with remote employees. This is notably the case for the RIVP (Régie immobilière de la Ville de Paris), which had already implemented the Jalios intranet, JPortal, 10 years ago. And while previously the company's 1,200 employees could share documents and exchange information via collaborative spaces, the Covid-19 pandemic required several major changes. An internal reflection was conducted in order to capitalize on this intranet and to implement other evolutions in line with the company's context: integration of Microsoft Teams with the Jalios solution, adoption of a mobile solution (JMobile V2), and even a redesign of the IsiDoor digital space homepage (in order to highlight collaborative spaces, news flashes, certain events, blogs and business forums, etc.).
"We developed equipment that already existed," says Caroline Laurent, head of the projects and cross-functional applications division at RIVP. "We put e-learning programs online to validate knowledge, which was already being done live. A training program was developed with Coaptis to learn how to manage remotely while working from home and to encourage the involvement and motivation of employees. We have upgraded our tenants' extranet to a 100% paperless environment for documents, which was implemented in just one month. There are also mobile applications for guards to share tenant requests, as well as a virtual printer for sending mail. "

Employees brought together around fun initiatives

To foster engagement and maintain internal ties, RIVP has of course been able to rely on videoconferencing solutions (Microsoft Teams and Zoom, to name a few), but it has also been able to rely on sending newsletters. This initiative, which already existed before the health crisis, has become a weekly event with videos and more interactive content, leading to an increase in consultations. The organization has also set up the Energic tool, which consists of an environmental challenge to unite teams while providing information on protecting the planet in a fun way.
Other original initiatives have been launched, notably by Groupe Mutuel, a Swiss insurance company. To enable its 2,700 employees to communicate and unite around common projects, the company has spared no expense: a wellness program at work launched by human resources (with gymnastics, fitness or cooking classes), home delivery of gifts, internal challenges (photo or sports competitions), solidarity actions, etc. These actions have been a great success: the operations set up by the Groupe Mutuel around the "café roulette", thanks to which everyone could take a virtual "coffee break" with employees (whom they would probably not have met otherwise), have recorded an engagement rate of between 75 and 80% on the company's intranet! 
All these actions have been very successful: the operations set up by the Groupe Mutuel around the roulette coffee, thanks to which everyone could take a virtual "coffee break" with employees (whom they would probably not have met otherwise), have recorded an engagement rate of between 75 and 80% on the company's intranet! 

A high-performance intranet for collaborative work

The effects of teleworking have been most tangible on MyNet, Groupe Mutuel's intranet: use of the tool, which centralizes information, has risen from 20% to 60%, making it the gateway to everyday business applications. On the home page, everyone has access to a continuous source of information, whether related to the evolution of the health situation or to the life of the company. As a bilingual company, the intranet includes automatic translation software (in conjunction with DeepL) so that all employees can read and understand the content that interests them. And less than two years after its deployment, MyNet is already the subject of multiple developments.
"We work in sprints, with developments every month. Quite recently, we worked on the business news, so that it is more dynamic and integrated into a scrolling carousel that everyone can consult to promote cross-functional information and sharing. We are also integrating web services into our intranet: the next step is to add the HR tool, with job offers in particular," says Kathia Jerbi, head of internal communications for Groupe Mutuel. 
As for the challenges encountered during the implementation of the intranet or the Digital Workplace, all are unanimous: it was above all necessary to adapt! "Professionals need to relearn how to work remotely in order to be effective. It took some time to understand how to use technologies that were not used for this purpose until now," observes Valerio Siciliano, CTO and co-founder of BS-Team, an expert in digital transformation. Nevertheless, it is clear that interest in these tools has never been greater, and rightly so.
Interviewed during the Digital Workplace Days - Spring edition during the Round Table of May 18, 2021 "Engagement, remote working and mobility".

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