Paula Darch 27 April 2020 7 min read

How can your intranet help you plan your 'new normal' workplace?



At some point, the wheels must start turning to reignite the economy, businesses will slowly emerge and a new normal will begin. No one yet knows when, but it will happen, and it raises the question of just how businesses take on this mammoth task. Organising for lockdown seems somehow less complicated than easing out of it. This blog starts to look at how intranets have a vital role to play in helping your organisation to manage this transition.

Furloughed Employees

Many employees have been furloughed and how businesses have been communicating with their furloughed employees varies greatly. Some have received no communications at all, whilst others have access to the full company intranet or a portal page to ensure everyone is kept up to date with important news.

Easing your employees back into your business post Furlough will be a communications challenge. They will need to be onboarded and re introduced to the business. It will be important to update them on changes that have taken place during this period, new business processes and what the new goals of the business are in the short, medium and long term.

Your intranet is the place they should feel confident to go to, to watch videos, read key documents and share information with other furloughed colleagues. They may feel apprehensive about returning to work so their health and wellbeing needs to be a priority. Your intranet is the ideal tool to support all the work you will be doing to help your employees.

Reopening the Office 
I don't think many of us will ever complain again about our daily commute and are keen to see our colleagues and the return of office life. However, this will not happen instantly, and businesses will already be creating plans as to how to return to work safely. In some cases it may mean reorganising the office completely to comply with the latest government advice.

Whatever your new normal will be, your intranet is the place to communicate this to everyone - clearly, simply and securely. At this point, everyone will have the same information needs, from new self-monitoring procedures, office practicalities, hours of work, days of work and just what the plan is, your intranet will be a vital resource.

Health & Wellbeing 
Everyone will need to be supported during our transition to a new normal. Many of us will be anxious about returning to work and will need reassurance, guidance, counselling, and a safe place to share our thoughts with colleagues who may also be thinking the same.

Your intranet can help with all of this, by providing a safe and secure place for people to share their thoughts, links to useful websites, videos, and experiences about what has and hasn’t helped them.

New Ways of Working 
Not everything about working during lockdown will be negative. Lockdown has forced all of us to look at every aspect of our work and the wider business operations. Some of these new ways of getting things done, will be temporary but some may have transformed businesses and be here to stay.

You will be keen to get feedback on your employees lock down experience, what did and didn’t work, what was challenging, new ways of working and their input as to what they feel should perhaps become the new norm.

Your intranet can help give structure to this, with forms, blogs, and polls, you can easily and simply gain feedback and gauge opinion.

Planning the Biggest Office Reunion
When all of this is finally over and we can commiserate and celebrate what we have been through, I am sure many will want to celebrate being able to be reunited with loved ones and colleagues and share our experiences. I think one thing the lockdown has reinforced for many of us is the high regard we have for our colleagues. I don’t think it’s ever too early to be hopeful about when this could be and what you would like to do. Save an area of your intranet for this, let everyone have their chance to share what they would like to do and start shaping your reunion, you never know, it could be sooner than we think. 

I hope this blog has got you thinking about your own intranet and just how important it is for your business during the coming weeks and months. If you would like more information, look at our on-demand content, full of webinars on a range of topics or our intranet guides you can download. We are here to support you, if you would like to talk intranets please call Sue McKillop on 01635 551777 or email


Paula Darch

Paula is our marketing whizz and is passionate about intranet engagement and getting the most out of your intranet software.