Key features of employee directory software for hybrid work
May 17, 2022
Hybrid work is here to stay after the pandemic. With the increasing number of companies going either fully or at least partially remote, the information about the employees, their skills, availability, and location gets blurred. And that’s where the employee directory software comes as a problem-solver.
According to the Remote working in Europe, the report issued by the Euro fund, the share of Europeans ever working daily from home has reached 40%, skyrocketing from a humble 15% working from home at least once in their lifetime. This can be considered one of the greatest experiments when it comes to remodeling white-collar work around the world.
Yet one of the most unique challenges comes with the blurring lines of the company itself, which can find the lack of office and keeping all employees in the same space diluting.
What is employee directory software?
Employee directory software is comparable to the phone book. It stores information about every particular employee in the organization. Sometimes, the software is enriched with additional information, for example holding the contact information of a net of freelancers and specialists who may come in handy. Whether the company needs support from a cybersecurity expert or a trustworthy plumber - the contact information is there.
The employee directory in its simplest form is a shared spreadsheet with the first name, second name, contact information, and the position. Or anything else the management wishes.
Employee directory in google docs? Bad idea!
Running the employee directory in a spreadsheet seems a no-brainer and an excellent way to save some bucks building an in-house free people directory solution. Yet there are some severe limitations of a spreadsheet that make this approach ineffective and sometimes dangerous for the company:
No security - a spreadsheet is easy to copy and modify, so all the information stored there is vulnerable to attacks or malicious actions;
Complexity - a spreadsheet is searchable and contains much information, yet the information there is stored in a non-friendly way. Thus, the key aspect of the employee directory software is lost;
Yet-Another-Spreadsheet - everyday work of a company of any size is composed of spreadsheets of multiple purposes, sizes, and functions. Adding another one contributes to increasing the overall mess and reducing the efficiency of the team.
That’s why companies tend to switch to the professional employee directory software.
Key features of the employee directory
A dedicated employee directory software like Calamari has multiple advantages over the typical spreadsheet or a homebrew solution. To fully support the company’s goals and needs, the best directory software needs to come with:
The software needs to be available on every device and for every employee. Using the smartphone needs to be equally convenient as using a PC with a panoramic screen. The need to contact a particular employee or specialist can come in multiple situations including:
A power shutdown in an entire building, with only battery-powered and own internet connected devices available,
In a remote location, when the salesperson needs to contact a particular employee,
During an emergency, when it is crucial to determine where the main power off-switch is,
Considering that, the information in the employee directory software needs to be easily accessible from any device given.
The sole accessibility is nothing without a convenient and intuitive way to browse the information stored in the system. The solution needs to provide the user with a set of filters to browse through only a desired set of employees. In a company with a headcount of a dozen, it doesn’t matter. But in a company with a headcount of thousands, multiple locations, and hundreds of roles, delivering filtering is crucial to avoid confusion.
Also, the information needs to be provided in an easy, scannable way, that requires the user little to no struggle to find the desired information. If all the required information is accessible at a first glance - that’s best.
There are no two the same companies, with each having a culture and style of its own. Considering that, there should not be two identical employee directory software tools. The system needs to be adaptable to the needs of a company.
The adaptability is mostly about the mandatory and non-mandatory fields with the information about the employee. If there is only one office - the information about the location is obsolete. Some companies may require one to provide a direct telephone while others may not.
Some companies may find it suitable to include the information about hobbies and interests in the employee directory software, while others may find this information irrelevant. There is no one-size-fits-them-all approach when it comes to the employee directory software and having a great dose of flexibility comes as a great asset.
Last but not least, the employee directory software holds personal data about sometimes thousands of employees and company’s affiliates like freelancers or external specialists. This data needs to be protected under nearly all legal systems, with European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) being the best example.
The professional employee directory software has several layers of protection and contains multiple types of accounts that limit access to the editing and information stored in the system. For example, the everyday user needs not to be able to export the list of employees to the CSV list.
Why the employee directory software is important
The features listed above provide one with the set-off tools. These are designed to support multiple goals and solve problems that haunt every company, especially the hybrid ones.
Scheduling the meetings
In a hybrid and distributed environment finding the time that fits everyone is challenging, sometimes for non-obvious reasons. It is easy to assume that one has free time so there is a space for a meeting, yet it can come with surprises - for example, one can be placed at a different timezone.
A good employee software also contains information about the preferred way of communication, to avoid, for example, the situation when one needs to install and configure Zoom right before the meeting.
Contacting and collaboration
Every time one needs some support, an employee directory software is the first place to check. Having all skills available at a glance, the software ensures that there is no situation when one engages freelancers unknowing that remote specialists are waiting to work.
This can be extremely useful in a hybrid company, where one may never meet his or her colleagues in person, having no idea about their skills or support they can provide.
The employee directory software can store information about interests, hobbies, and skills. This makes finding friends in the new company much easier. Work occupies at least eight hours a day, thus working likable people with matching interests can be a real blessing.
Understanding the organization
Last but not least, running a hybrid company is a gargantuan challenge regarding communication. The real structure, skills, and responsibilities can get blurred and unclear.
The employee directory software holds the answers to every question regarding the communication, preferences, and structure of the company. If anything gets lost in the jungle of the hybrid work, the employee directory is the map that holds the answers.
The employee directory is compared to the phonebook - and this is an accurate comparison. The phonebook used to be the first place of choice to find the right person to get the job done. And the employee directory software serves the same purpose - only in a more modern, elegant, and convenient way.
If you wish to talk more about the advantages of the employee directory software, don’t hesitate to contact us now!