Are you getting everything you can out of your company’s website? Many people make the mistake of assuming that if they or their business don’t specialize in marketing or communications, they don’t need to worry about what their website looks like. In truth, your company’s website is not only a powerful communication tool that can connect you to customers, but it is also a way to help employees enhance the utility of the business’s remote network.
The first step in analyzing additional uses for your company’s website is to take a look at what you have up right now. Did you go fully interactive, with lots of information for potential customers, or do you just have a single home page with your business hours and relevant contact information? The latter is fairly common with smaller companies, but it’s a good idea to take some time to add a layer of depth to your content, even if it’s only a few blog entries or some advice articles. When it comes to boosting the utility of your business network, it also helps to have a section available to employees. This should be placed in an out of the way area of the website so casual customers don’t stumble upon it.
Setting up an employee gateway on your public website can offer several benefits. For one, it means that you don’t need to worry about your employees remembering multiple web addresses or links. Another benefit is that it keeps all your online work for your business centrally located – when your IT team does maintenance or makes revisions, they can handle changes to both the external website and the employee gateway without having to switch to an entirely different system. This method also allows easy remote access for employees even if they aren’t on a device that is set up with a virtual desktop or other remote utility. As long as they can get to your website, they can get into the employee system.
There are many reasons to set up an employee gateway on your website, but there are a few circumstances when doing so isn’t necessarily beneficial. For example, companies with confidentiality concerns should think long and hard about what type of security they need before setting up any gateway. While most visitors to your website will gloss over a link that is marked for employees only, providing such an easy-access gateway may draw hackers and information thieves. Employee access is almost always password-protected, but if you have bigger than normal security concerns you should look into extra encryption. Such security does come at a higher cost, which might outweigh the benefit to your business.
You shouldn’t use a lot of metaphorical prime real estate in placing your gateway link online. Typically, a potential customer looks in three places upon visiting a website: the left navigation frame, the right navigation frame, and the central content area. Any information in any of these areas should be usable by as many people as possible. Your gateway link is better off located either near the bottom of the website or in a “For Employees” tab that can be found near the company’s contact information. You should also make sure that the area of the site you want to be accessible to employees only is password protected. If you have more security concerns, adding a second verification step can help.
There are a variety of different pieces of information and work-related tools that you can put into an employee section of your website. Some of the basics should include employee manuals, company protocols, and other necessary resources that all employees should have access to. You should also include a link to access your virtual desktop if your business uses one. Other tools will vary based on company needs. One item that is especially useful in any sort of collaborative business is an employee forum or message board where difficult problems, changes in policy, and general company news can be discussed. The list of possibilities is truly endless, dependant only on your business’s needs.
While many companies view their website as a tool for public communication and little else. However, by making your site something that provides employees with content and accessibility as well, you will be able to streamline your business and increase the effectiveness of remote networking tools.