Mobile workforces need to replace face-to-face interaction and in-office time with other tools to stay connected and productive. When working in an office, there inherently tends to be more communication, idea generation sharing, collaboration, transparency of information, and community/team building. It is important to develop and encourage these areas with mobile workforces, so you don’t lose any of the in-office benefits. Using SharePoint can help.
SharePoint supplies an Intranet portal that allows mobile employees to contribute and share ideas and information. It is easy to learn, and allows users to be involved sharing ideas and content without requiring programming or IT. This makes it an ideal tool that can be quickly implemented and gain adoption.
Some of the key areas where SharePoint can help mobile workforces:
- Document Sharing & Management – Easy to use document libraries to share content. Can tag documents with any desired properties to make them easy to find in future. Employees can change how documents are displayed so each can have their own unique way of organizing the same documents.
- Discussion Boards & Newsfeeds – Generate idea sharing opportunities using these tools. Make this the location for “virtual water cooler” chat. Employees can start items or join into existing ones, sharing ideas about any topic. Users can also “Follow” topics to receive immediate updates when others post.
- Wiki’s & Blogs – Give employees a forum to share more in-depth topics, ideas, and articles, or use them as a place for them to get important information such as handbooks, FAQs, help desk, competitor information, how-tos, etc.
- MySites – Social networking for work. Each employee has their own landing page where they can post their bio – a great way to enable company searching for subject matter experts on specific topics! Allows employees to connect to others in the company, follow and tag important topics and areas on the company site, and track their own tasks.
- Dashboards – Create dashboards to display individual and team KPIs and metrics for weekly meeting discussions.
- Team Collaboration on documents – Multiple employees can edit and work on the same document at the same time to view live edits as they happen. They can also utilize versioning, so that each iteration of a document is stored in archives, to access again in the future if needed.
- Searching – Can search for any content on a site (documents, discussions, wikis, etc.) with lighting fast speeds. Search results provide quick filters to further define searches, as well as preview panes, to preview each item prior to opening.
These are only a small sampling of ways that SharePoint can help a dispersed team of employees across multiple locations. But by using this type of intranet site, employees can still collaborate and communicate just as frequently as they would in an office, by supplementing the tools they use to do so. SharePoint can provide an environment for team building to keep your mobile team working together and with others in the company.
by Jenny Douras
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