Before our conversation on Friday with Harold Jarche, I had never heard of the term workstreaming. Since last September, our inbound marketing agency has been a certified ROWE workplace. ROWE is a Results Only Work Environment… one in which employees are empowered to work as they wish as long as the requirements of the work are completed.
As a small team, the one challenge we have with ROWE is communicating with one another. Some of us respond by email, some by phone, and some not at all (like me!). When I’m heads down in my work, I honestly hate interruptions. But that’s not fair to my clients or co-workers… who are sometimes trying to track me down.
David has noticed issues with other organizations that lose productivity from too many emails and too many meetings… not allowing the employees to actually get the tasks at hand accomplished. He said some of the organizations have turned to Workstreaming. Simply put, Workstreaming provides a communication method that’s not interruptive to employees but still allows those close to you to understand what you’re working on, when you might need assistance, and when to expect results. It seems that Yammer may be a great tool for this!
Yammer is an easy to use yet powerful micro-blogging application that connects people and content across time and space. It works similar to Facebook or Twitter, the difference being that while Facebook caters to the public domain, Yammer works exclusively for the business, allowing enterprises to customize user-centric social networking software to connect employees, channel partners, clients and others in the value chain.
A private social medium such as Yammer provides a host of benefit for the company. It engages and empowers employees, speeds up work processes, improves productivity and fuels innovation. And the results are almost immediate. For instance, Yammer provides a consistent and efficient collaborative tool to connect talent and technologies spread across the globe to the sales and marketing team, allowing them to engage in strategies and launch campaigns seamlessly.
A prime concern about social networking sites is data security. With Yammer’s sole point of differentiation (over Facebook and other public networking sites, that is) being privacy and safety of data, the portal goes that extra mile to ensure top-grade security. Yammer integrates security reviews in the design, prototype, and deployment phases. All connections go through SSL/TLS, and data flows through low level logical firewalls to prevent leakage across networks. The web application servers remain physically and logically separated from data servers. These safeguards, plus other run of the mill security functionalities such as round the clock video surveillance, biometric and pin based locks, strict personnel access controls, detailed visitor entry logs, single sign-on and secure password policies, strong authentication and more ensures top notch security.
Back to Workstreaming. Given the challenges of our different priorities, schedules, locations and work practices… utilizing Yammer could be a great way for us all to keep on track with one another. Rather than me calling my developer, I can just check Yammer and see what he’s up to or when he may be available! This isn’t just advantageous to a small business… imagine the increased communication and reduction in noise the enterprise could have as well!
Yammer also has both desktop and mobile applications available, Skype integration, and a ton of other features.