Internal communication channels

Last changed: 20 September 2018
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There are several channels to use when communicating internally within the university. Here is an overview.

Do you have something you wish to communicate internally? Who would you like to reach and what do you want to say? Give it some thought and then see which channels best suit your intention.

  • If you have any questions on how to communicate internally, please contact the Internal Communication and Management Support Unit: ikls@slu.se.
  • If you have any questions on how a tool/channel works, please see the contact information at the end of each section.  

Click on the heading you want to read more. 


Notice boards and flyers

Description: Traditional notice boards are still very useful. At SLU, they can often be found at every department or division. Printed material (flyers) can also be placed in e.g. lunchrooms.

The notice boards and digital information screens complement each other; notice boards are sometimes easier to find. 

Target group: Employees, students and (to a certain extent) external visitors.

Criteria/guidelines: Notice boards can display local news as well as information on SLU’s operations at other sites. 

Flyers work best for local information, e.g. seminars.

Conditions: External collaboration parties such as restaurants, public transport or property owners may also put up information. Be sure to take down material that is no longer current. Someone may need to check and clear the board every now and then.

Any remaining flyers must also be removed from tables, counters, etc., when they no longer fulfill a function (the content is no longer current and/or most people have seen it and no one is reading it anymore). Flyers should be removed by the person who first distributed them.

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SLU blogs

Description: A blog is a website where you can publish posts in chronological order. Others can comment and ask questions about your posts, and you can reply to them. 

SLU employees, researchers and students can blog through the university’s own blog portal blogg.slu.se. Please use the portal instead of external options. The portal is run with the blog tool Wordpress. 

Target group: E.g. staff at your unit/department/faculty, research colleagues and prospective students. 

Users: Employees, researchers and students. 

Criteria/guidelines: If you want to blog for SLU, there are instructions and things worth thinking about: https://internt.slu.se/en/support-services/administrative-support/communication/channels/slu-i-sociala-medier/use-of-social-media-in-their-work/. 

When not to use the channel/options:
If you do not want to allow comments on your blog, we recommend that you instead publish your texts as columns somewhere else on the SLU web, or as newsletters. 

Contact/how to:
Do you want to start an SLU blog? See https://internt.slu.se/en/support-services/administrative-support/communication/channels/blog/ for more information. 

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Facebook groups

Description: Facebook has three types of groups:

  • Open Facebook group: Anyone can see the content and view all group members.
  • Closed Facebook group: Anyone can view all group members. In order to see the content, you have to ask to join the group. A group administrator approves or denies your request.
  • Secret Facebook group: You have to be invited to join the group – it cannot be found unless you are a member. Only the members can view the content and see who the other members are.

More information on group secrecy: https://www.facebook.com/help/220336891328465#What-are-the-privacy-options-for-groups.

SLU also has public Facebook pages aimed at an external audience. They are not appropriate for internal communication and are not described here.

Target group: Internal target groups such as separate units, e.g. departments, students within a programme or a research team.

Criteria/guidelines: If you want to create a Facebook group for internal purposes, think through who the target group is, the purpose of the group and what type of information will be posted. A Facebook group for internal information should be closed or secret. Never publish public authority information such as personal data and other important/sensitive information on Facebook. 

When not to use the channel: If there are other possible solutions for internal communication, you should consider whether a Facebook group has any additional benefits. Other options: The staff web, Skype or Sharepoint (virtual workplace). Facebook is not an appropriate channel to share documents or publish public authority information such as personal data and other important/sensitive information.

Contact/how to:

  • Contact SLU’s social media specialist mia.peterson@slu.se.
  • Create a personal account at www.facebook.com.
  • On the bottom left of your Facebook page, click on Create group.
  • Follow the instructions.

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Information screens

Description: Information screens can be found in many of our campus buildings. A study made in 2015 recommended PlayIpp as the standard solution for all new installations of digital displays at SLU.

PlayIpp screens can display a number of file formats such as pdf, ppt, mp4, etc. Other display types are more limited. Find out more at each campus.

Target group: Students, employees and external visitors.

Criteria/guidelines: The digital information screens display news and provide good service to visitors in the building.

  • Information aimed at all of SLU.
  • Local information.
  • Room-specific information, such as booked teaching rooms.

There may also be a need to display information from e.g. restaurants, public transport or property owners.

When not to use information screens: The channel should not be used if the target group does not include all employees and/or students in the building.

Contact/procedures:

Ultuna

Ulls hus and Undervisningshuset (the Teaching Building)

VHC

The MVM building 

Uppsala Biocentre

Ecology Centre

  • There are two PlayIpp screens; one with information from the Ecology Centre building and one with information from SLU.
  • To display something on the Ecology Centre’s information screen, please contact Anna Lundmark, anna.lundmark@slu.se, 018-67 23 35.

Lövsta Research Centre

  • There are three information screens (not PlayIpp screens – these are connected to Windows computers).
  • Contact: eva.rundlof@slu.se.

Skara

  • There are currently no information screens in Skara (3 April 2017).

Alnarp

Alnarpsgården and Navet

Umeå, the “Skogis” building

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In-house events

Description: An in-house event can for example be a faculty day, division day, a staff gathering before the start of a semester or a larger meeting held regularly but not frequently, e.g. annually. Events should be special and allow a break from everyday work life. 

Make sure to decide what the purpose of the event is. Is it to create a pleasant atmosphere, for continuing professional development or something else?

Target group: The staff members who belong to the group which the event is meant for. 

Pros: You can accomplish a lot during an event. There are many benefits – staff comfort, group solidarity and work efficiency. The opportunity to have personal meetings is a large pro. 

Cons: As a rule, arranging an event involves a lot of work – often more than you think. Make sure that there are staff resources in order to avoid putting too much pressure on a few people. 

When to arrange an event/criteria/examples: Plan and carry out an event to do something special – take a break from everyday work life.

When not to arrange an event: Do not arrange an event if there is not enough time for planning or spreading information about it.

Contact/how to: Planning well and in advance is key to a successful event. You can always ask colleagues with experience organising events for help. 

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Faculty webs

Description: The staff web has a heading/tab called “Targeted info” where you can find information for specific, internal target groups. One such target group is the staff at each faculty. Under “Targeted info”, there are internal faculty pages that contain information aimed at the particular faculty’s staff members and which is also adjusted to this target group.

The faculty communications officers are responsible for their faculty pages.

Target group: Faculty employees

Criteria/guidelines: The pages act as an entry on the web, to ensure that staff members can find relevant information that concerns their daily work but not all of SLU. All essential, faculty-specific information affecting their staff members must be available on the faculty pages.

Conditions: Not everyone is aware of what information can be found on the faculty webs. Please spread important information as links in emails or newsletters.

Since the user has to actively visit the pages to read the information, it helps to use other channels to spread it. Please include links to information pages on the faculty web when sending out faculty-specific information, e.g. in emails. This is done to reduce the amount of information in the email and to increase knowledge of the faculty pages on the staff web.

When not to use the channel: Do not publish something twice. If there is information elsewhere on the staff web, the faculty pages should link to it.

Contact/how to: Contact your faculty communications officer if you want to publish something on the faculty web. 

LTV: https://internt.slu.se/en/targeted-info/faculties/ltv-faculty/

NJ:   https://internt.slu.se/en/targeted-info/faculties/nj-faculty/

S:    https://internt.slu.se/en/targeted-info/faculties/welcome-to-faculty-of-forest-sciences/

VH: https://internt.slu.se/en/targeted-info/faculties/faculty-of-veterinary-medicine-and-animal-science/

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Web news

Description: Internal news is a function in the SLU web publishing tool and can be used to communicate with SLU employees. Anyone can read the staff web news. News can be published on the start page and/or at unit or project level. 

Target group: SLU employees.

Users: All web publishers can publish news. The web publisher selects categories/tags. By doing so, they decide where the news will be displayed. The web team must always approve news on the start page.

When to use the channel/criteria/examples: You want to spread information necessary to work or in-house events that affect many, e.g. board decisions (policy documents), changes to agreements, awards, etc.

When not to use the channel/options: Internal news can often be relatively short and include links to documents/other websites. In-depth or longer articles or portraits of people should be published in the staff magazine Resurs.

As a rule, news on the external web should not be published on the staff web, in accordance with current guidelines. All employees are expected to keep track of news both on the external and internal web.

Contact/how to (information in Swedish): internt.slu.se/riktat/administrativa-roller/webbpublicerare/episerver/sidtyper/nyhetsartikel/.

Comment: If relevant, internal news should be available both in Swedish and English.

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Web events calendar

Description: The internal events calendar is included in the SLU web publishing tool, and is used to share information. The staff web’s calendar is open to everyone. Events are displayed at different levels: on the staff web start page, or on individual unit pages.

Target group: Everyone at SLU.

Users: Anyone with access to the publication tool. Exceptions: Public defences of doctoral theses/licentiate lectures – these events are only published by the faculty offices.

When to use the channel/criteria/examples: You wish to spread internal event information that affect many.

When not to use the channel/options: The calendar should not be used for events that only affect a few. As a rule, the staff web calendar should not be used for external events, unless someone from SLU is lecturing, etc. Also, events from the external web calendar should not be published on the staff web. For example, a public defence of a doctoral thesis should not be displayed on the staff web start page. It belongs on the external web.

Contact/how to (information in Swedish): internt.slu.se/riktat/administrativa-roller/webbpublicerare/episerver/skapa-floden/skapa-kalendarium/.

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Start page of the staff web

Description: The staff web is the place for employees to see and share information and services necessary for their work. The start page consists of a static part with main access to information pages, access to general tools and systems, support shortcuts as well as buttons for the most used tools or services.

The changeable part consists of internal news, the internal events calendar and space for teasers (image buttons) for various current topics. It is this part of the staff web start page that can be used as a channel for internal communication.

If necessary, more fields can be added to the page, e.g. in connection with lectures by honorary doctor or other current events that require more space. The aim is to keep the start page as short as possible in order to minimise scrolling on the page.

Internal news and the internal calendar have their own headings on this page. Below, teasers are described.

Target group: All employees.

Users: Teasers are image buttons in the web publishing tool Episerver. They are primarily added by the main editor of the staff web. All employees can suggest teasers.

When to use the channel/criteria: You want to display something that is relevant to many employees which will benefit from being highlighted and will act as a complement to other channels. The teaser must lead to a web page with more information.

Example: Various nominations (the Educational Award, SLU Medals for Distinguished Service), application deadlines and events. The vice-chancellor’s blog and Resurs have fixed teasers to help employees find them.

When not to use the channel/options: Teasers should not be used for things that are relevant to only a few.

Contact/how to: Suggest a teaser by emailing webbredaktionen@slu.se. Enclose a useable image (at least 880x660 px), suggest a headline and include a short text (a minimum of 30 characters and a maximum of 125, including spaces) as well as an URL for the page the teaser should link to. Teasers can be created for both the Swedish and English start pages.

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Email all SLU employees

Description: You can send an email to all SLU employees by using the address alla.sluare@slu.se.

Target group: All SLU employees, regardless of position.

Users: Authorised editors, primarily from the Division of Communication.

When to use the channel/criteria:

  • You have urgent and/or important information that must reach all employees. The email content must be relevant to a large part of those who receive the email. 
  • The email must be written in both Swedish and English. 
  • It must have a short, clear subject in order for the recipient to easily see what the email is about. The subject must be written in both Swedish and English.
  • The email must contain a link to an SLU web page that contains more information.
  • It must contain the name of a contact.
  • It cannot contain attachments or images.
  • This function must be sparsely used and in a coordinated way to avoid recipients being overwhelmed with emails.

Example: Security alerts, academic ceremonies, nominations, large university events, requests to manage invoices, new travel agency agreements, etc.

When not to use the channel: This function should not be used instead of other communication such as publishing information on the web. It is a complement to use when necessary.

Option: Create a news item or calendar event on the staff web.

Contact/how to: First consider whether your message meets the criteria above and therefore should be sent to everyone at SLU. Also ensure that there is information on the SLU web that you can link to. Then contact mia.grondahl@slu.se or li.gessbo@slu.se

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Email all SLU sites

Description: Send an email to all SLU employees at a main site. The following addresses can be used: uppsala-alla@slu.seskara-alla@slu.sealnarp-alla@slu.seumea-alla@slu.se.

Target group: Everyone at a main SLU site, regardless of position.

Users: Authorised editors of the various addresses, primarily from the Division of Communication or specifically appointed people at the SLU sites.

When to use the channel/criteria:

  • You have urgent and/or important information that must reach all employees at a site. The email content must be relevant to a large part of those who receive the email. 
  • The email should be written in both Swedish and English. 
  • It must have a short, clear subject in order for the recipient to easily see what the email is about. The subject should preferably be written in both Swedish and English.
  • The email should contain a link to an SLU web page that contains more information.
  • It must contain the name of a contact.
  • It cannot contain attachments or images.
  • This function must be sparsely used and in a coordinated way to avoid recipients being overwhelmed with emails.

Example: Events at the campus, events at the site, inquiries, etc.

When not to use the channel: This function should not be used instead of other communication such as publishing information on the web. It is a complement to use when necessary. 

Option: Create a news item or calendar event on the staff web.

Contact/how to: First consider whether your message meets the criteria above and therefore should be sent to everyone at an SLU site. If possible, also ensure that there is information on the SLU web that you can link to. Then contact:

alnarp-alla@slu.se: anette.neldestam@slu.se
skara-alla@slu.se: vanja.sandgren@slu.se
umea-alla@slu.se: servicecenter@slu.se
uppsala-alla@slu.se: marten.granert@slu.se

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Email other email groups

Description: Complete email lists for various units can be found in Idis (the staff database). Outlook also contains email lists for various categories of staff and organisational units, e.g. heads of department, doctoral students, faculties, departments, administrative divisions, etc. The faculties, departments and other units also have their own lists.

Target group: Employees with the same position, or who work at the same unit.

Users: All employees have access to these lists, but please decide who should be allowed to send these emails within the organisation. Do not contact a larger group than is necessary. 

When to use the channel/criteria/examples: You want to reach a group of employees quickly. Using emails is an easy way of sending information to your colleagues.

Please remember that our visual identity also applies to internal emails. Use the font Arial. There are also guidelines for email signatures

When not to use the channel/options: Please remember that the content must be relevant to the recipients, otherwise the lists risk less important.

Options: If the group works at the same location, it can be better and more efficient to hold a meeting and meet in person. Skype meetings also work well. Could you perhaps publish the news on the web? Or do both. Do not just email people because it is easy. Be ambitious and focus on the target group and the effect.

Contact/how to: Email addresses of everyone at a specific unit can be found at Idis reports. You can also search for an email group in Outlook; open a new email, click on “To”. Please note that Outlook groups must be managed in order to be kept updated – check that the group you selected includes everyone you want to reach.

Contact IT support if you have any questions on using email lists: it-stod@slu.se, 018-67 66 00.

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Analogue meetings

Description: There are several types of meetings: Information, discussion or decision meetings. The varying meeting types require different setups. 

Pros: There are many pros to arranging a physical meeting where the participants come together. From a technical standpoint, communication is easy, and it can be a simple and comfortable way to achieve results. 

Personal meetings with everything from two to hundreds of participants can be a very effective way of communicating and establishing camaraderie.

Personal meetings are the best way for managers to communicate with their employees. Employees value personal meetings with their manager. It is the best communication channel and should be used as much as possible.  

Cons: Since SLU has operations at many different locations in Sweden, physical meetings can involve a lot of travelling, high costs and climate pressure.

When not to use the channel/options: Perhaps it is possible for a small group to discuss the primary issues to avoid holding a larger meeting? It is also possible to use another information channel. If the meeting is primarily about informing others, emails are sometimes an option.

How to/support/manuals: There are many reasons to review procedures when arranging a meeting. A few things:

  • Always ensure that the meeting has a clear purpose. Communicate this purpose to the participants. 
  • An agenda is often necessary. Send it to the participants a day or two before the meeting takes place. Perhaps someone suggests another item.
  • Appoint a chair of the meeting. The chair ensures that everyone gets to speak and keeps track of the time. 
  • If there is reason to criticise an individual, this should be done after the meeting and in private.
  • Beforehand, it is good to appoint someone to take notes or minutes. 
  • Be sure to sum up the meeting before it ends and quickly repeat what decisions have been made, who will do what and when the deadline is. 

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Digital meetings 

Description: Digital meetings are a good complement to physical meetings, especially considering that the university’s operations are spread all over the country.

There are two kinds of digital meetings at SLU: Skype for Business and video conferences.

Skype for Business involves participants sitting at their connected computers. They communicate with each other through a headset and computer camera. Sometimes, a few participants will sit in the same room and watch the others on TV or computer screens. You can invite anyone to a Skype meeting through Outlook. More information about Skype for Business. 

During a video conference, various meetings rooms are connected to each other while the participants sit around a table and communicate through a camera and microphones in the room. Set up video conferences by contacting AV support. See below.  

Target group: Employees who need to have a meeting despite working at different locations. 

Pros: The greatest pro is not having to travel to the meeting. This means that the process takes less time, costs less and reduces climate pressure. 

Cons: When several people participate in a meeting via a screen, even small things can disturb the communication. It can take time to get the technology to work. Set aside time for this. If you have to add twenty minutes in order to contact everyone, the meeting will not go off to great start.

Users: All employees. 

When to use the channel/criteria/examples: Digital meetings are most suitable for

  • meetings within the organisation;
  • meetings that are two hours long at the most;
  • situations when the participants have met before and preferably know each other;
  • regularly recurring meetings concerning e.g. reporting, presentations, follow-ups, shorter discussions. 

When not to use the channel/options: The agenda includes complicated or sensitive subjects and there are external participants.

How to/support/manuals:

If all participants need to connect to the meeting through Skype for Business, you can easily arrange the meeting yourself by using the meeting function in Outlook. 

Contact AV support if you need help: by phone extension 6600 and press 2 or email videokonferens@slu.se.

Suggestions:

  • Digital meetings require different things from the participants than analogue meetings do. Plenty of regular communication will be lost in a meeting where participants cannot make eye contact with someone across the table. 
  • Ensure to book a video conference meeting that starts 15 minutes before the actual meeting. That way, connections can be checked and adjusted in time. 
  • Those sitting at their computers must wear a headset and turn on their cameras. It is not enough to just use the microphone.
  • The microphone should preferably be turned off when you are not speaking – otherwise, you might make disturbing noises even though you think you are sitting there quietly.
  • A smooth digital meeting requires practice. It is perfectly fine to practice and hold digital meetings even when the participants work at the same location.

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Newsletters

Description: Newsletters can be produced as regular emails, as text and image files in Indesign, Word or other programs. Specific newsletter tools such as Apsis also work well.

SLU can offer Apsis, where support is provided in the form of training and designing a newsletter heading. Apsis is described below. 

The technology is based on publishing a text in Apsis and linking to a page on the SLU web for the rest. The newsletter is then sent out in an email designed in accordance with a template with texts and images in various modules.

Target group: Various internal and external target groups. 

Pros: A benefit of Apsis is that you can include many images, and the email has a nice layout. It is easy to link to web pages and films, and it also provides statistics on how many open the letter and click on the links. You can add Facebook for more (external) distribution. It can be viewed on mobile phones and tablets.

Cons: You cannot print the full content if the letter includes links to web page content. The design is not responsive design. 

Users: If you want to create a newsletter in Apsis, you should be an experienced writer and have knowledge of Photoshop/image management. 

When to use the channel/criteria: 

  • A unit/project wishes to communicate about their work.
  • Ensure that you set aside enough production time.
  • Also remember to follow through and publish newsletters continually. 

Examples:

When not to use the channel/options: Do not begin writing a newsletter unless needs, target group, purpose, resources, etc. have been analysed.  

How to/support/manuals: Start by contacting the Division of Communication. A newsletter must be based on SLU’s visual identity. This sometimes means that the newsletter must have a header that complies with the identity. The header is produced by the Division of Communication. You have to take a course on the tool held by Apsis.

All you need to know about starting an Apsis newsletter, as well as contact information, can be found here: https://internt.slu.se/en/support-services/administrative-support/communication/channels/newsletter/. The page includes subpages.   

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Staff magazine Resurs 

Description: Resurs is SLU’s online staff magazine. Articles and news items are written and published continuously. The published material is compiled in a newsletter which is sent to all employees and subscribers every six weeks. (Not in December, July and August.)

The head editor leads the work. Resurs has five editors at SLU’s four sites: Umeå, Uppsala, Skara and Alnarp. They produce and publish material. This provides a local campus perspective that connects SLU all over Sweden.

Writers are recruited from the communication network at SLU. Other employees are also welcome to contribute with material. External writers are employed when necessary, e.g. for columns.

Target group:

  • Primary target group: SLU employees. 
  • Secondary target group: SLU students and alumni.
  • Others.

Guidelines: Resurs is there to engage and encourage participation. It is possible to leave comments on the content. Resurs is open to dialogue and debate. It strives to answer questions or criticism.

All content, including comments and posts, must follow SLU’s general core values, web publication and social media principles.

The Resurs editors welcome submitted material. Reusing material from other channels is allowed. Resurs material can also be reused in other channels. Resurs, the staff web and other channels should work together to create efficient and clear internal communication.

Contact/how to: Would you like to write or suggest material? Contact the head editor
vanja.sandgren@slu.se or the editorial staff resurs@slu.se. You can also contact the site/faculty editors

Read Resurs here: resurs.slu.se.

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Sharepoint

Description: Sharepoint, or the virtual workplace, is a function to store, share and access information and documents. You do not have to be an SLU employee to access Sharepoint. Through the Division of IT, SLU has a central agreement to use Sharepoint.

Target group: All SLU units and projects.

Users: All SLU employees can request a Sharepoint account. It is free to store up to 10 GB. The costs for storing more must be approved by a manager.

When to use the channel/criteria/examples: A unit has the need to store and/or share documents and want to control who has access to the documents. This also ensures that only those authorised can access the documents.

When not to use the channel/options: A Sharepoint page can be difficult to survey. If your target group is large, or you need to provide continuous, current information/bulletins, it is not for you. Social media or a SLU web page might work better in that case.

Contact/how to: Contact IT support to request a Sharepoint account – it-stod@slu.se. Sharepoint can be added to all units and projects at SLU. Manuals can be found here (only in Swedish): arbetsplats.slu.se/Delade%20dokument/Forms/AllItems.aspx.

Skype for Business

Description: Skype for Business is a communication tool that allows you to work with your colleagues regardless of where you are. Skype for business is integrated with Outlook, which makes it easy to see when a contact is available.

Target group: Employees and students.

Conditions: Skype for Business uses AD logins to give SLU employees and students access to video calls, chats, voice calls and the possibility to show/share documents with other users.

You can use Skype for Business on your computer, tablet and smartphone (it must support Windows, Mac iOS, Android or Windows Phone).

Contact/how to: 

  • Read more about Skype for Business under Digital meetings
  • Please contact IT support or your IT coordinator with any questions. You may need specific help with installing and using Skype on Mac computers.

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Skype for Business

Description: Skype for Business is a communication tool that allows you to work with your colleagues regardless of where you are. Skype for business is integrated with Outlook, which makes it easy to see when a contact is available.

Target group: Employees and students.

Conditions: Skype for Business uses AD logins to give SLU employees and students access to video calls, chats, voice calls and the possibility to show/share documents with other users.

You can use Skype for Business on your computer, tablet and smartphone (it must support Windows, Mac iOS, Android or Windows Phone).

Contact/how to: 

  • Read more about Skype for Business under Digital meetings
  • Please contact IT support or your IT coordinator with any questions. You may need specific help with installing and using Skype on Mac computers.

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Contact
Page editor: mia.grondahl@slu.se