Disconnected departments, large teams and the rise of remote workers can make it feel impossible to keep everyone in the loop. But strong communication is essential to a well-functioning office, so intranet platforms are a vital tool to keep your team in sync, which keeps your operations running smoothly.
You might start by trying Google Drive to share files and collaborate in real-time. Asana can make it easy to assign tasks and check in on others' projects, thus increasing productivity. You can even create your own intranet platform to customize it to your team's needs. To find the best intranet platforms for staying connected, we asked 12 entrepreneurs from YEC to share the ones they use to facilitate open employee communication.
"We use Dropbox to share files and communicate about projects we are working on. Someone working on a design in Florida can send it to us in Pittsburgh for comments. We can comment within the document, send messages to each other on one document, add notes and keep up to date on projects. We also use the file sharing as our main server, since it can handle larger files." - Ashley Ferraro, Dona Jo, Inc.
"Communifire lets your employees connect with one another even if they're working in different departments. You can upload and manage documents and files, create dedicated workspaces for team members and group projects, and communicate effectively with your staff as well. It has a free 14-day trial, so you can give it a shot before diving into a paid plan." - Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
3. Skype for Business
"Skype for Business serves us well for internal communication. It integrates with the Microsoft Office 365 Suite of products, which makes it the ideal tool for intra-office and inter-office collaboration and communication on complex tasks and projects." - Russell Kommer, eSoftware Associates Inc
"Asana improved our employees' productivity by helping the team track their work, as well as communicate more efficiently. This app makes it easier for each of us to focus on our individual tasks even when there are so many responsibilities as a team. We each bring our own strengths to the table, and by utilizing this means of communication and organization, we will be able to share ideas and goals." - Stanley Meytin, True Film Production
"Before creating our own in-house solution, we used Podio for employee communication. They have an employee network where individuals can upload images and links, leave messages, @mention others, etc. What's great is that you can also connect directly to items inside of Podio that require action, and all of the references remain in the same application." - Marcela De Vivo, Gryffin
"Keep it simple. Basecamp is like email (except better for file sharing), but with the entire team's involvement. It leaves the traditional email threads clear for client communication." - Andrew Namminga, Andesign
7. Confluence Wiki
"We use an active Confluence wiki to keep everyone on the same page. There's also one written record of the decision from our meetings and one version of product specs. If anything changes, everyone gets automatically notified because Confluence sends out an email for wiki edits to the relevant parties." - Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.
"We use HipChat for internal communication and it serves us well. It greatly speeds up our internal communication efforts and its handling of uploaded files makes exchanging documents with the team very efficient. It also has integrated video calling capability that makes connecting with our overseas office very easy." - Duran Inci, Optimum7
9. Gchat & Hangouts
"Our team primarily uses Gchat and Hangouts to stay connected. It’s instant, can accommodate large groups and saves conversations where new ideas or important details may be discussed." - Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR
"Slack is a clear leader. It is a great tool for inter-team communication that is customizable, integration-friendly and flexible when it comes to adapting to your needs. Perhaps more importantly, it has humanized and injected fun and humor into office chat better than any previous solution. The "personal touches" of Slack are invaluable and make it a great tool for any organization." - Kevin Yamazaki, Sidebench
11. Google Drive
"Google Drive allows me to see my team's tasks in real time, how long they have worked on something and recent docs they created/edited. I can easily save images, files and docs on the cloud. Best of all, we can also chat using Gmail -- all for a low cost, or for free for my team." - Daisy Jing, Banish
12. Create Your Own
"We actually created our own company intranet where we house all information on upcoming events, HR updates, forms that we need employees to fill out and news regarding company changes or updates. We have a great development team, and since no one knew what we wanted more than ourselves, it made sense to build it in-house." - John Hall, Influence & Co.
Photo credit: shutterstock.com/g/Iakov+Filimonov