Intranet Explained: Its Definition, Applications, and Advantages

Learn how intranets are revolutionizing workplace collaboration and efficiency.

August 7, 2023
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Ever wondered what secret weapons most high-performing teams have?

Communication and collaboration!

Every innovative workplace begins with an efficient communication structure. In today's interconnected digital workplace, companies need a hub where employees can access and store information to help them perform better. An intranet solution is that compass guiding organizations towards seamless communication and collaboration.

A study by Gitnux shows that 4 out of 10 companies saw increased employee satisfaction due to their own intranet software. Therefore, organizations looking to create an enabling environment and enhance employee engagement need to look into an intranet solution that employees will love.

This article will discuss the intranet, explore its various uses, and highlight its benefits to your organization. 

What Is an Intranet?

An intranet is a centralized platform within an organization accessible only to employees to enable secure communication, collaboration, document sharing, and knowledge sharing. Unlike the internet, which the public can access, only authorized individuals within an organization can access the modern intranet.

What Does Intranet Mean?

The term “intranet” is made up of two Latin words. “Intra” means within or inside, and “net,” which is short for network, indicates that it is a closed internal communications network.

Why Is it Called Intranet?

The word “Intranet” points out its restricted nature as a closed network that can only be accessed by authorized people. 

What Is a Modern Intranet?

A modern intranet is a private network within an organization that is based on web technologies and offers a combination of features and tools to support communication, collaboration, and information sharing among employees. Unlike traditional intranets which were primarily repositories of documents, modern intranets are dynamic and user-centric, designed to enhance employee engagement, internal communication, employee productivity, and the overall company culture.

Here are some characteristics, features, and benefits of an intranet:

  1. User-Centric Design: Modern intranet platform prioritize user experience, with intuitive interfaces, easy navigation, and personalized content.
  2. Collaboration Tools: These intranets offer various tools such as chat, forums, social media-like features, and project management capabilities that encourage teamwork, improve workplace culture and collaboration among employees.
  3. Integration with Other Systems: A modern intranet software can integrate seamlessly with other enterprise tools and applications like CRM, ERP, HR systems, and others. This provides employees with a centralized platform to access multiple tools.
  4. Mobile Access: As mobile devices become increasingly popular, modern intranets are optimized for mobile access, ensuring that employees can connect anytime, anywhere.
  5. Social Features: Like "likes", comments, feeds, and sharing capabilities mimic popular social media platforms, making it easier for employees to engage with content and with one another.
  6. Search Functionality: Enhanced search capabilities allow users to quickly find the information they need.
  7. Content Management: Advanced content management systems (CMS) allow for easy creation, editing, and organization of content.
  8. Personalization: Users can often customize their dashboards, receive tailored content recommendations, and set personal preferences to enhance their experience.
  9. Analytics and Reporting: Modern intranets provide administrators with data about user behavior, content performance, and other vital metrics to continuously improve the platform.
  10. Security: With sensitive company information at stake, modern intranets prioritize robust security features, including access controls, encryption, and regular audits.

Is the Intranet a LAN or WAN?

Since an intranet is designed for use within a single location or organization, it often uses a Local Area Network (LAN) architecture. Larger businesses, however, can have Wide Area Network (WAN) intranets that link several offices and facilities.

What Are Ways an Intranet Is Used?

An intranet offers several ways to collaborate and communicate effectively, depending on your needs. These are some of the ways it can be used:

  1. Human Resources Operations: Organizations conduct and store performance appraisals and onboarding processes within their intranet privacy purposes. In addition, the intranet is one of the best places to recognize and reward employees for their efforts, creating a more appealing internal brand image. 
  2. Central Repositories: Organizations store important information on the intranet with authorizations to streamline usage. 
  3. Effective Communication and Knowledge Sharing: With a central place to access information, employees are better aligned and communicate effectively. Assembly’s Group Feed is an excellent workflow for your team to communicate and store critical information that is easily accessible when needed (especially during employee onboarding).
  4. Document Management: Intranets can store and manage documents. It is a platform where employees can safely exchange ideas on documents without fear of external exposure or share relevant information. 
  5. Task and Project Management: Companies use project management tools and integrations to manage workflows better on the intranet. Teams can assign tasks and manage deadlines and progress. With Assembly’s integrations, your intranet becomes a one-stop hub for the start to completion of all projects.
  6. Employee Engagement: An intranet helps to keep a good level of employee engagement within an organization, which improves company culture and brings home company values. This could be in the form of real-time messaging and video calls. 
  7. Knowledge Sharing: Organizations use the intranet for knowledge management to store their policies, processes, and best practices. Assembly’s knowledge base template is the perfect knowledge hub that allows teams to organize and access information efficiently and quickly.
  8. Discussion Forums: Benefits of an intranet include employees exchanging ideas, seeking advice and collaborating on projects in the intranet. 
  9. Automation: Team activities can be automated in the intranet. Employees get reminders about repetitive activities and sessions. In addition, they can set their current statuses through various integrations.
  10. Internal Communication and Updates: Organizations use the intranet to share company updates and announcements, keeping employees updated and involved with company values. With Assembly’s News Feed template, keeping employees informed and up to date in the most fun and engaging way becomes a walk in the park.
benefits of an intranet

How Can an Intranet Benefit a Company?

Implementing an employee engagement intranet within an organization helps teams through:

  1. Increased Productivity: Intranets allow employers to connect through a centralized digital workspace and access a wide range of services and resources, increasing productivity.
  2. Improved Employee-generated Content: Employees will likely express their opinions and share appealing content within their teams. Since the intranet fosters transparency, internal communication becomes more engaging, and employee satisfaction will increase.
  3. Accessibility: The intranet content management system (CMS) streamlines the distribution of information and announcements to the whole organization. Compared to bulk emails, the sender has to deal with reply-all threads to keep track of all comments. An intranet builds a culture of open communication inside your organization and fosters employee trust. 
  4. Employee Advocacy: Social intranet tools allow internal social media teams access to the consolidated social networks of their employees. They can rely on staff to communicate information about events, job openings, etc. And personal posts on social media typically do better in terms of interaction.
  5. Enhanced Security: With intranets, data security is assured, and teams are not worried about threats. Teams can hold private discussions in mini-groups that won’t involve the whole department, enabling streamlined security and confidentiality even within an organization.
  6. Simplified Employee Onboarding: An Intranet enables hiring teams to simplify the onboarding processes through templates. Employees feel more confident from day one when equipped with the right information. 
  7. Accurate Analytics: Intranets make it possible to work with data for better decision-making. Hiring teams can measure employees’ interest in a particular topic and test new ideas.  
  8. Transparency: An intranet helps create a relaxed workplace culture with fewer bottlenecks. Since employees can express their ideas openly, they tend to feel empowered to forge better bonds with their peers and contribute immensely to the organization’s growth.
  9. Faster Project Timelines: With intranets, companies can keep track of ongoing and completed projects, improving project timelines and efficiency. Cross-functional roles can also communicate ideas and operate more seamlessly.
  10. Documentation: Employees won’t need to specially record documentation. Since most modern intranets are backed or integrated with third-party cloud applications, organizations can pull up previous information on ongoing tasks for reference and better coordination. 

Essential Features an Intranet Should Have

A good intranet can greatly contribute to a productive workplace through seamless communication, collaboration, employee engagement and information management. To achieve that, these are some of the essential features an intranet should possess to help your entire organization: 

  1. User-friendly Interface: Employees should be able to easily traverse an intranet and get to relevant information on a user-friendly layout. A simple, well-organized design encourages user adoption and guarantees efficient use throughout the company.
  2. Secure Access Controls: Since intranets include private enterprise data, security is paramount. Strong user permissions and access controls shield data from unauthorized access and potential breaches, preserving the organization's confidential information.
  3. Mobile Compatibility: Employees should be able to access an intranet from their smartphones and tablets. Mobile responsiveness is important in using an intranet to drive organizational change. Also, distributed remote teams will perform better with a mobile-friendly solution and boost productivity. 
  4. Document Management System: Team members should be able to store, organize, search for, and retrieve files quickly using a dependable document management system. This reduces time wasted searching for essential documents.
  5. Collaboration Tools: An effective solution enables team members to connect and streamline processes regardless of their geographical location. Also, the modern company intranet should feature social tools, such as real-time texting, video conferencing, and discussion forums, to promote effective employee communication and cooperation.
  6. Employee Directory: An employee directory makes finding and engaging with colleagues within an organization more accessible. This promotes team bonding through a streamlined search. 
  7. Task Management: A good intranet facilitates efficient task management by allowing staff members to assign work, check progress, and keep tabs on new employees and project developments. This functionality improves project management and team coordination.
  8. Analytics and Reporting: Intranet analytics offer insightful data on user behavior, intranet usage trends, and the popularity of content. Organizations can use these metrics to understand better how staff members use the company news intranet and to guide improvement choices.

Assembly's intranet solution design focuses on simplicity and efficiency and encapsulates all the essential features listed above. Assembly offers a user-friendly, mobile-ready interface with secure access controls, ensuring your data's integrity and enabling seamless access and collaboration for teams, regardless of their location.

You'll streamline your organization's internal processes and communication with an integrated document management system, employee directory, and task management features.

Assembly is more than an intranet solution with key features. It's a well-rounded tool that embodies these features, fostering a more efficient, secure, and collaborative work environment.

Best Practices for Using Intranet in an Organization

Applying the best practices for intranet usage is the best way to harness all its exciting benefits.  It allows the company to create relevant impacts that promote employee engagement and customer experience.

  1. Employee Experience: Intranet solutions need to be interesting to encourage user interaction. They should frequently mimic consumer apps that prioritize usability and the user experience. You can customize the interface to fit their respective departments across the organization. 
  2. Regular Engagement: User involvement on intranets fosters a sense of belonging among employees. Based on their interests, you can form smaller groups to enable peers to complement each other on a job well done and partake in similar activities. 
  3. A Safe Environment: Ensure employees are confident using your intranet to have conversations that will lead to real action. If your employees feel that communication on the intranet is one-sided, they might likely go silent, defeating your intranet’s aim. 
  4. Cultivate a Community: Create an atmosphere for employees to discuss casual and work topics. Finding the decision-makers in your company is one strategy to encourage intranet usage. These are often the users who are most active on your intranet and are crucial for encouraging participation from their coworkers. The secret to sparking active debates and attracting coworkers to the dialogue is to publish well-researched, well-liked items on your intranet.
  5. Easy Navigation: Employees shouldn't have to go through a maze of fruitless file folders and decade-old pages to find crucial documents. Uploading and retrieving documents should be simple and intuitive. However, the document permissions, approvals, and security clearance procedures must remain functional. 

Build a Better Workplace 

Intranets are essential tools for effective teamwork and communication at work. Implementing an intranet can result in better decision-making, higher levels of satisfaction, and overall improved employee engagement. When user experience is a priority, regular interaction increases its influence on organizational performance. 

As organizations strive to remain competitive and agile, investing in an own intranet platform is a strategic move that leads to a more efficient and cohesive workplace. Build a better workplace with a modern intranet solution today!

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

Explore Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

Could find the answer you are looking for?

Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered