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3 Dangers of a Stale Intranet

An intranet can be an effective platform to help streamline organizational effectiveness. By enabling communication and document management, users can save time and effort. However, sometimes intranets stagnate. Not only do these intranets fail to help a company, they can further harm it. These sites have sat still, have not been governed, and they have not been updated. As more information has been dumped into the site, they have slowly become unmanageable. If you have a stagnant or stale intranet, here are some things that it can lead to.

1. Overuse of Email

 One of the main purposes of an intranet is to steer employees away from email.   When employees cannot effectively use an intranet, they find ways around it. The most common means of avoiding the intranet is through email. 

50% of the average employee's workday is spent managing email. This means that half of the workweek is used up. Basically, employees check their emails up to 36 times an hour. It can take them up to 16 minutes to refocus on work after checking. This is a major problem that only gets worse as the need to communicate worsens. Stagnant intranets encourage email instead of discouraging it.

2. Inefficient use of time 

Another key driver of an intranet is to have a place to store and locate documents. However, over time, more and more files are added. In a dynamic ( not static) intranet, this content is governed. People decide what is needed and what is not needed to prevent crowding. However, with the addition of documents, pages, and sub-sites, stagnant intranets break under the pressure.

Overall, employees waste 20% of their workweek looking for information. These intranets are difficult to navigate and hide important information. Although finding content is a major part of any intranet, stagnant sites cannot effectively do this. Because they have remained largely unmanaged for so long, there is too much clutter to accurately do anything.

3. Employees become disengaged 

Finally, stagnant intranets are frustrating. Picture someone trying to use an intranet. They're trying to perform a simple action on the site that they know how to do but they quickly run into issues. Hard-to-find information, unnecessary permission restrictions, slow loading times, and confusing site layouts aggravate employees. What should have been an extremely easy task is suddenly impossible. Stale intranets create frustrated, stressed users.

Both frustration and stress are universally seen as the main causes of disengagement. Employee disengagement is an epidemic running rampant in the global workplace. Workers who are disengaged are either not adding any benefit to a company or actively hurting it. This constitutes 67% of the workforce. 67%. This means that more than half of employees in the US don't help a company. Additionally, companies lose about $605 billion per year due to disengagement. Stagnant intranets create an environment which fosters this widespread issue.


Stale intranets hurt companies because they have run unrestricted for so long and they are unmanageable. If you think that your intranet could be even somewhat stagnant, it is essential that you determine the severity.

For a quick test, try reading our article that covers 4 Signs of a Stale Intranet. Once you have determined how stagnant a site is, you need to see if it is salvageable. Although some sites may be with proper governance, many will not. If you determine that your company may need to invest in a new, dynamic intranet, take the steps needed to start the buying process.



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