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7 ways intranet systems encourage creativity in the workplace

An efficient intranet solution is designed to fuel internal communications, and is proven to boost productivity, by connecting employees and improving team work.

Intranets become the ‘hub’ of the workplace, offering quick and easy access to company tools and information, without an elongated process. Using an internal intranet system can improve business operations, as organisations tend to perform best when their employees are well informed and united.

There are multiple benefits of using an intranet system in the work place, including: improved employee engagement; ensuring everyone is well-informed about business updates; and giving employees the chance to have their opinions heard. Interestingly, these factors also support creativity, which is a lesser discussed benefit, perhaps because many companies do not value it as an important asset. However, this could not be further from reality.

Whilst creativity is subjective; it can be loosely defined as a unique solution, or viewpoint that answers a specific goal/ problem, and simplifies an otherwise complicated solution. A corporate environment does not tend to inspire creativity due to intricate policies and processes minimising the opportunity to take risks. If a company wants to become an innovator, the first step is to allow space for exploration and discussion. A company-wide intranet enables learning and lends itself perfectly to creative flow, here are 5 ways it can help:

1.    Inspire Idea Generation

Intranet applications allow for company-wide brainstorming, which can aid creative problem solving. Unofficially dubbed as ‘crowdstorming’, this process refers to gaining insights from outsiders, who work in a different department/ project, to help with idea generation. Creative solutions can come from anywhere and this collaborative approach to work has the added benefit of improving employee engagement.

2.    Easy Access to Information

Having company information readily available for employees to access at their leisure not only improves productivity, but can influence creativity. It allows employees to learn about how other teams have handled challenges and applied effective solutions. This lends itself to personal development and once again, creative problem solving. 

3.    Encourage Non-professional interaction

Most people will have non-professional hobbies/ interests, and so this should be channelled in the workplace to boost collaboration and team spirit. Having interpersonal relationships at work will improve employee morale, which can also effect creative flow.  Using the intranet system as a social arena for non-work related news, games, memes etc. will encourage staff to participate in group projects, due to positive working relations.

4.    Allow Expression

Often, staff can be hesitant to openly voice their ideas and opinions, especially in larger organisations, meaning that good concepts can be swept under the carpet. Intranet systems provide employees with a platform where self-expression is encouraged and, often rewarded, which gives people the confidence to contribute.

5.    Customisable Design  

The great thing about modern intranets is that they are entirely adaptable, so that you can make the application appear exciting and creative, by adding unique widgets e.g. countdown to the Christmas party. Small start-up companies can use the intranet to help build up their brand identity, whilst established ones can use it to reinforce theirs.

By Sukh Ryatt, Managing Director at Oak