Managing a team of remote workers can be challenging. The lack of face-to-face interactions makes it harder to communicate ideas and share knowledge with the rest of your members. As a result, this could disrupt your workflows and decrease your team’s efficiency in the process. This goes to show why effective knowledge management is critical for remote teams.
With 25%-30% of the workforce transitioning to remote work by 2021, it is high time that your company starts preserving knowledge and organizing your database digitally. This way, your workers can easily access crucial data and share important points within the organization, anytime and anywhere.
Table of contents
With that said, here is a list showing the value of effective knowledge management for remote work
1. Instant answers to your questions
When you’re working from home, you can’t just tap your colleague on the shoulder to ask questions. You have no choice but to send an email and wait for who knows how long to finally get your answer. And while the rise of instant messaging has made this process faster and more efficient, there is still a tendency for some questions to be overlooked and left completely unanswered. This could result in miscommunication, errors, and decreased productivity due to the waiting times in between.
Through a centralized knowledge management system, you can do away with the back and forth emails and messaging and get instant access to all the answers to your questions. By providing an accessible database of frequently asked questions (FAQs) or how-to articles, your remote workers can learn by themselves and resolve their own issues quickly and with lesser waiting time.
2. Creates a single source of truth
Knowledge can change as it passes from one hand to another. Before you know it, you might find yourself faced with several different answers for just a single question. And with your teams working remotely, it would be harder for you to regulate this flow of information going around. This could leave them even more confused than they originally were. Or worse, they might end up getting the wrong information from the wrong source.
You can avoid this scenario by investing in your knowledge management. This could be in the form of software that could help you compile all pertinent information and make it accessible for your employees. This way, you rest assured that your remote workers are getting their information from the right source despite working away from the office.
3. Standardizes best practices and procedures
According to Deloitte, 75% of organizations believe that creating, preserving, and sharing knowledge with team members is very important for their success over the next 12-18 months. This process allows them to capture the best practices within the organization and set them as prime standards across your teams. This way, your employees have something to fall back on to make sure that they are performing their duties well.
You can use the knowledge base to prepare a work-from-home guide for your remote employees. This would give your remote workers—both new and tenured alike—a basis for their own workflows at home. They could pattern their daily work routines based on the ones in your knowledge database, allowing them to work by themselves at home with minimal supervision from their team managers.
4. Stabilizes work structures outside the office
One of the major complaints among remote workers is the lack of proper structure when working from home. The transition from office work to remote work can be a bit of a culture shock for them. They would have to change their usual routines and schedules to accommodate the new setup. Likewise, they must now take into account new distractions and challenges that could pull them away from work. This could leave them feeling unmoored and unable to adjust properly.
You could help provide your employees with a sense of stability and structure by understanding the importance of employee monitoring software for remote teams with a corresponding knowledge management system. This would give them access to new (or old) policies regarding remote work, the various protocols in case they encounter some issues at home, and some tips on how to work efficiently at home. This way, they won’t be at a loss of what to do when they start working from home.
5. Saves time and cost from training
Normally, training new and regular employees alike would take time. And when everyone is in different locations, this might even take longer. Delivering manuals or handbooks door-to-door would be too costly and time-consuming. Likewise, forcing your employees to travel back to the office just for training could prove to be inefficient in the long run.
With the different types of knowledge management systems, you can find a more practical and effective way to train your remote workers. You would just need to compile, upload, and publish all the how-tos, manuals, and supplementary training guides into your database. And in turn, your employees can access them directly from home and study them at their own pace and time without disrupting their workflows.
6. Yields higher productivity and more efficiency
Having effective knowledge management can help improve your remote workers’ productivity and efficiency despite being outside the office. For one, it allows for self-service in case they encounter some issues while at home. They could skip the long, arduous process of reporting to their supervisors, sending tickets to the proper department, and waiting until someone could get back to them. And with remote work, this process could be even slower than usual.
Most importantly, it can seamlessly integrate learning and training into their own workflows. Having an accessible knowledge database means they can easily do it in between their own tasks and responsibilities.
7. Reduces chances of errors
By preserving knowledge and standardizing processes, you are making sure that your remote employees can carry over the best practices and most effective procedures of your organization into their respective homes. As a result, this could reduce the chances of errors and problems in the long run.
In the end, this won’t just be a guide for them. These best practices would be their normal as they go about their duties at home. This, in turn, could make your company run like a well-oiled machine despite having remote workers.
Knowledge is power
Working remotely has its own ups and downs. As business owners, you must be prepared to give the support your workers would need to be able to work productively and efficiently at home. Start by investing in effective knowledge management software that could assist your employees as they work remotely.