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Emma Burgess

Emma Burgess  ·  2 min read

How a UK Housing Association’s Internal Communication was Transformed Using Collaboration Tools

The blogging and collaboration tools on Affinity Sutton’s intranet have resulted in huge user adoption from all levels of the 1,500 staff within the organisation UK wide.

Before changing their intranet software provider in 2007, Affinity Sutton’s internal communication relied heavily on bulk emails, leading to large knowledge silo’s within the company. So when they introduced their new intranet cleverly named, ‘The Allotment’ (so-called due to their company vision, which is ‘Helping people put down roots’) the blogging, forums and collaboration features available were a surprise success for the company.

Affinity Sutton’s intranet manager, Jo Warburton explains:

Our blogging tool is on the portal page of the allotment, where the latest four posts are displayed. The topics are diverse and frequently changing.We believe that mixing social and business topics draw staff in to the intranet and reflect the Affinity Sutton culture. As well as being used regularly by authors, the blogs are always well read and authors perpetually receive great responses from posts.”


The open forums and document comments are other features that have boosted collaboration in Affinity Sutton’s workforce. The forums are used for corporate communications, congratulation pages and social events and the organisation has seen great user adoption with these. Comments on documents have been successful in increasing internal communication and productivity.

Jo continues:

The document comments are utilised in many ways by Affinity Sutton for example during head office meetings the comments feature allows people who are not office based or missed the briefing to ask questions or make suggestions. We then respond to the comments and questions and post them on the ‘Common Ground’ Forum for all to see.”

By embracing Enterprise 2.0 tools including blogging, micro-blogging and open forums, staff communication and collaboration has been transformed in Affinity Sutton. Internal email traffic has been significantly reduced and knowledge silos have been unlocked through the use of collaboration tools including the blogs and forums.

Read the full case study on Affinity Sutton’s success

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