Best Practices for Building a Digital Workplace on Office 365

Building a digital workplace can offer your business many opportunities, but it also comes with certain implementation challenges.

One of the biggest debates organizations often have is what tool to use for their digital workplace solution.

We came across this great whitepaper from SP Marketplace that offers a suggestion we like: Microsoft Office 365.

You are probably already using some of Office 365’s standard applications, such as email through Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and maybe even file sharing in the cloud through OneNote. Those are all great productivity tools, but they’re only part of what Office 365 has available.

For instance, did you know that you can use Office 365 to implement an Intranet? By using an Office 365 SharePoint-based Intranet, you can create a consistent look, layout, and user experience across departments. This can be helpful if someone from HR or IT, for example, needs to access documents stored in a different department portal.

Other benefits that an Office 365 employee portal can provide include:

  • Cost savings. It is significantly less expensive to use SharePoint Online than it is would be to install and maintain an Intranet system in-house.
  • Automatic upgrades. Office 365 updates are installed as they are released.
  • Consistent workplace. If your team is already using other Office 365 applications, using it for your Intranet needs means that users can switch between other services, such as Outlook and OneDrive, seamlessly.

And then there are the remote capabilities to consider. In the modern digital workplace, many organizations have employees who work remotely, be it from home, from another office, or while travelling. A cloud-based Intranet solution gives your team flexibility to access what they need from anywhere. This means greater connectivity and greater productivity.

Your Intranet portal could be used for:

  • Inter-departmental communications (without creating huge email chains).
  • Sharing relevant articles, studies, reports, etc. across the organization.
  • Accessing shared documents and files.
  • Connecting to your ERP system for consistent database consolidation.
  • Remote project management.
  • Shared calendar management.
  • Access to Human resources tools – training, updates, forms, etc.
  • Centralized business process consolidation.
  • Virtual meetings.
  • Remote vendor relations.
  • And much more.

One example of how this could work: a member of your sales team is on the road and wants to enter travel expenses into your automated employee expense program, but he or she can’t remember how to complete a certain step.

Without a cloud-based Intranet portal, that sales rep would either have to email the appropriate contact at your organization and wait for a response or decide to wait to submit the expense until returning to the office. Both options would be time consuming and reduce some of the effectiveness of your automated solution.

However, with a cloud-based Intranet, training or how-to videos for the employee expense process could be shared on the employee portal, so if a staff member needed to review a certain step, he or she could access it right then and there, creating a more seamless process.

This is just one example of how a cloud-based Intranet portal can add value to your business. There are many more uses and times where it would be beneficial.

If your organization is considering moving to a cloud-based Intranet, such as Office 365, it’s important to consider implementation. You’ll want to make sure that your system is seamless throughout your business, all of your staff (including remote employees) can access it, and that it has the features you need.

At SHEA Global, we can help you build a seamless integration to your cloud-based employee portal. Our team has implemented many successful technology projects and can create the process that is right for your business.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help. Call (905) 470 6830 or visit