New tools and new ways of working have been widely adopted by organisations. In particular, the interest rate pandemic in the spring forced organisations to adapt rapidly to remote working, making digital working environments and tools even more important.
Open and active internal communication has a major impact on the culture and well-being of an organisation. Effective communication channels and clearly defined digital tools can ensure balanced and timely communication and strengthen interaction within the organisation.
Teams is the most common tool for communication within an organisation. Teams is typically cited as a tool used for communication and peer support within their team in various organizations. Yammer, the second most common tool for intra-team communication, is also extremely popular. WhatsApp, which is questionable to say the least in corporate use, seems to be the third most popular channel for internal team communication, according to many recent surveys.
Teams and Yammer are also the most common tools for sharing information between different organisational teams. The intranet, traditionally used for intra-organisational communication, seems to be the third most used channel for communication across team boundaries.
Teams’ instant messaging and video conferencing tools are also used widely. Tools such as Slack, Skype, Google Hangouts and Yammer, are also used for instant messaging, but very often these are mentioned as being used alongside Teams.
Similarly, for video conferencing, organisations use several tools in parallel. More widely used alongside Teams are Skype and Zoom.
Tools for different practices for document management
There are also many different tools for collaborating and sharing files within an organisation. A combination of Teams and SharePoint workspaces is one commonly used solution. Google Drive, Confluence and M-files are also very popular.
However, there is clearly still much room for improvement in document management within organisations. Many surveys show that, for example, in Teams, it is the collaboration of files that is still perceived as a challenge. In addition, organisations use a wide range of tools such as email, web drives, OneDrive, which, when misused, contribute to complicating the flow and sharing of information.
The problem with email and OneDrive, in particular, is that the model is strongly tied to people and user accounts, where changes of person pose challenges in terms of information flow and discovery.
Support for work from the communication intranet
Internal communication and the best digital collaboration tools also have a role to play in providing a platform for project work and a channel for sharing guidance to support work.
In terms of providing guidance for work, the importance of organisational intranets for communication is highlighted. In many recent surveys, the intranet came out strongly alongside Teams in respondents’ assessment of the most used tools for sharing internal work instructions.
The importance of email for internal communication has recently declined significantly. However, many professionals still cite it as one of the tools for sharing instructions.It might be a precautionary measure to use email to disseminate information, given that reaching employees and colleagues through other channels is still uncertain.
Tools for managing projects
A wide range of tools are available for project management and information management. Microsoft tools, Teams and SharePoint, again seem to be extremely popular. Strong project organisations also use tools that specifically support project work, such as Jira or Confluence.
Many channels to create a good working atmosphere
In various organisations, Yammer, Teams and intranets are the most relied upon tools to foster a sense of belonging, where open sharing, discussion and commenting strengthen interaction within the organisation. These are complemented by a wide range of other tools and channels.
Things to consider
The introduction of new multi-purpose and powerful tools such as Teams has not reduced the number of tools in use. The lack of a clear governance model and common rules of the game may contribute to a lack of effectiveness of the tools deployed. Some employees are sticking to old familiar tools and practices, which poses challenges to the implementation of a coherent communication and interaction model in the organisation.
It is therefore essential for the successful introduction of new tools that it is clear to everyone which tools are being used in the organisation for which purpose. The tools must be in good working order and users must be provided with both technical support and tips for practical use cases. It is also important that the management of the organisation is committed to change and that they are actively using the new methods and tools.