Yammer enhances work collaboration

27 March 2014

Our staff Yammer network recently welcomed its 2000th member, showing how it has the potential to change the way we collaborate across campuses and work areas.

Yammer is about making connections between people, teams, faculties, campuses, information and ideas. Sometimes called 'Facebook for work', it is an informal work tool you can use to communicate and collaborate with colleagues across the University, but it's only as useful as you make it - the more staff join and use the network the more useful it will become.

"Yammer makes it easier for you to draw on knowledge and expertise from across the University," says Associate Professor Kai Riemer, Chair of the Discipline of Business Information Systems in the Business School, whose interests include e-collaboration and inter-firm networking. 

"You can ask questions, build new links, discover what others are working on, share your insights and achieve your goals by collaborating with others."

Associate Professor Chris Roberts is based at the Northern Clinical School and finds Yammer brings opportunities to connect with geographically disparate colleagues.

"In Sydney, health researchers and educators are distributed not just on campuses but in the suburbs, towns, and out in the bush. The great beauty of Yammer is that out of the blue interested people, including from other faculties, are getting in touch and sharing their expertise on new research or teaching ideas.

"You have to put interesting stuff out there and create a profile, in order to get this reaction. The downside is that until the group has a critical mass of contributions, you have to believe people are silently reading and appreciating your messages."

Kai agrees, "The best suggestion is to give it a go and see what ways of using Yammer work for you and your network."

Many other University colleagues are finding Yammer an invaluable tool for collaboration at work too, such as Amber Colhoun, Research and Projects Officer at the Charles Perkins Centre.

"Yammer groups based on particular interests or work areas are really useful ways to meet people from across the University, to find people to collaborate with on work-related projects and to ask advice of about working here in general," says Amber. 

"I've made new friends across the University, but it's also enhanced my work and provided a space to collaborate with colleagues."

One person she has met through the network is HR Redeployment Adviser David Scoppa, who has also found Yammer to be a great source of information for all sorts exciting things that are happening around the University.

"It's the perfect platform for people to share ideas and start discussions that can assist your work-life balance. For example, joining groups like the Bike2Work group gives me tips and updates on cycling around Sydney and the Sustainability Group is great for learning about new initiatives that are happening across the University.

"It's up to you how involved you want to be, but the more active users that participate, the more knowledge sharing and collaboration can occur."

Find out more about Yammer, including information on making the most of the resource.