Empty Boardroom

10 Intranet features that really should exist

We learned yesterday that JP Morgan have an online resignation tool as part of their employee engagement programme. We expect there’s more to it than a big red “sod this, I’ve had enough, I’m off” button on the homepage.

But it got us thinking: as well as an ‘I resign’ button, what are the features that an intranet really needs?

1. Office greeting card platitude generator

We’ve all been there. A birthday card goes round the office, and all your usual preferred greetings have been used already.

This tool allows the user to select occasion (birthday, leaving, baby) and how much you like them (like, dislike, meh), and ping! “All the best mate!”

2. “Booked Meeting room not being used” alert


Movement sensor in the meeting room checks if the booker didn’t turn up and details made public on the intranet so others can take the room. Future development could include a ‘name and shame’ league table of those selfish bastards who book out rooms just in case. Those on the list get low priority on future bookings.

3. Who’s free for lunch button


A feature that scans your team’s calendars, figures out who’s free and books the time. Advanced features could allow you to blacklist people you don’t want to have lunch with, creating convenient appointments whenever they invite you to join them.

4. Office Cake and Chocolate Alert

Find out who’s bought Krispy Kremes into the office today, so you can just happen to swing by. Can also be used in reverse if you’re keen to avoid temptation (as if that has ever happened)

5. Advanced stationery ordering

Keeps user informed of stock cupboard levels – no more trips down there only to find they’re out of pens. Particularly useful for klepto-colleagues.

6. Canteen alert

Lunch menus are always amongst the most popular content on the intranet. But there are plenty of advanced features that we need right now. Canteen alert allows you to set up alerts on those dishes you can’t get enough of, so you don’t miss out, you cottage cheese and potato fiend.

7. Canteen Cam


Is the canteen busy? You need a webcam or other splendidly over-engineered function that allows you to pick your moment to go to lunch.

8. Emergency Animals

baby otters

Having a bad day? This cute/amusing animal picture engine delivers instant cheer. (There’s already a Pinterest board for this)

9. Meeting cost calculator

Tired of meetings where no decisions get made? This handy web app pulls in salaries from the HR system to give you the cost in staff time of any meeting in your calendar. No better way to demonstrate the true pointlessness of it all.

10 Alternative stock price holding

Doesn’t show price but interrogates your stock holding details and displays an alert: “Retire Now! / Rich / Hang on a few more years / Depressed / Retire in 3 decades”. Let’s be honest, it’s all we really care about.

What intranet features do you think need to exist? Let us know in the comments. A second instalment of “your dreamy intranet future” coming soon!

EDIT: See the second installment, ten more intranet features that should exist, here

There are 8 comments

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  1. Sona

    Ha! Great list Sharon, I’d love an alert for anyone who’s been idle for long enough to make a round of warm beverages… 😉

    Look forward to the second instalment! Boehringer Ingelheim actually has an app very similar to number 3 for new starters – no reason why it couldn’t be used for the rest of us lunchtime loners! It’s called Lunch Roulette, read about it here http://bit.ly/1g6XPPL

  2. Drew Stephenson

    We actually have the meeting room booking thing here. You have to check-in to the meeting room using your swipe card. If it’s not done within 5 minutes of the meeting start time then the room becomes free again (and you get a note telling you off). I don’t think anyone pays any attention to the note but the room becoming free is useful.
    How about a buzzword bingo generator though?
    Or a “This time in English/insert natural language of choice…” app that you can apply to any corporate annoucement and it will translate it to normal English?

  3. Reg Lewin

    We’ve had a Canteen Cam for years at Which? Considering a ‘don’t come down, the soup’s minging’ phone alert.

  4. charles fenoughty

    Jesting aside we’ve done a few of these on some client projects.

    The cake’s in reception is very popular.

    Emergency animals or cute pics of the day and of course the stock price…

    Stock price isn’t quite as cool as yours but a “you may not trade your shares” vs “Trading open” during acquisition phases, to help prevent accusations of insider dealing – very useful.

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