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The Value of Knowledge Management: Improving Remote Team Efficiency

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The Value of Knowledge Management: Improving Remote Team Efficiency

May 04, 2023   |  By
KMI Guest Blogger Amanda Winstead

As a project manager, you’re in charge of a lot of people and a lot of data. You’ve got to ensure that everyone on your team can gather the information they need as quickly as possible. It can be a complex task that used to be easier when everyone was in the office. The employees could walk over to an associate to ask questions and get a quick response. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, many project teams are now working remotely from home, so the idea of sharing information has become more of a challenge than it was in the past.

The solution is to implement knowledge management techniques and make a database of information your team can use and contribute to from wherever they’re currently operating. Let’s look at how knowledge management can improve your remote team.

Knowledge Management And Remote Work

Knowledge management allows anyone in your team to collect, organize, and share any information they need about anything, from HR policies to product roadmaps to holiday calendars, with very little fuss. This information can be stored anywhere, from a server at corporate to the cloud. Basically, it’s where anyone can get to it quickly.

When you think about it, a knowledge management information database is perfect for a remote project team because they can still work to their full potential without sitting in the physical office. On top of that, when the information they need is at their fingertips, your employees can get what they need without stopping their current tasks to seek out the information. Studies show that it can take 25 minutes to get back on task after a distraction, which can be devastating when you’re on a tight deadline. After all, it’s easy enough to get distracted by noise and family when working from home as it is.

Many remote employees, especially those who work as part of a project management team, may try to work varied schedules, which could be early in the morning or sometimes at night. Online knowledge management allows team members to access the information they require whenever needed, which provides maximum flexibility. Employees can often be more creative when they work on their own schedule. So, this tech can allow them to reach their full potential for the good of the team.

Why Knowledge Management Is Ideal for Remote Teams

A good knowledge management system is excellent for any company, including those in brick-and-mortar stores. However, these types of databases are ideal for remote teams because it helps to meditate on some of the challenges of this type of work environment.

In addition to the lack of face-to-face contact with co-workers, working remotely has other surprising health risks, including those that have to do with mental well-being. A common side effect of working from home is an increased risk of burnout, which can occur when employees are unable to properly manage stress at work.

One potential cause of workplace stress is if an employee needs information that they cannot find. If this occurs continuously, and the employee is not able to receive the help they need from managers or co-workers, burnout symptoms can ensue. You can avoid this potential issue by building a knowledge management database that is easily accessible to employees and promoting its use.

The other great benefit is that knowledge management creates an even playing field where everyone on the team has the same access, and they don’t feel left out. Sometimes, team members may believe that asking for information they should already have can look like incompetence. The ability to drop in and easily find the necessary information can prevent that scenario.

Getting Started With Knowledge Management

Now that you’ve started a database, it’s time to get the employees in on the act so they can provide their own valuable information. Ask your associates to document key experiences and compile materials that will help other project team members and add them to the database. Since this task is so essential, instead of just making a request, make it a part of the employee’s job description so they understand the importance of what they’re doing.

With the knowledge management database created, the project manager should remind their teams of its existence when an employee asks for a particular piece of information. If they don’t use the database often, it can be easily forgotten and defeat the purpose.

Since the ability to find data quickly is so important, it’s wise to ensure that each member has a strong Wi-Fi connection and access to quality internet. If possible, consider using 5G Ultra Wideband or something similar. A strong connection will allow employees to web-conference and easily use tools like Office 365 to compile their information so they can share it with the team. As a remote team, fast internet, with no lost connections is key for delivering quality work and saving their sanity.

In summary, it’s ideal for every project management team to have a knowledge database that can be accessed immediately, especially if they work remotely. Consider the perks and tips provided here and give your team the power to manage their work seamlessly from the comfort of their homes.

Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Northwest US area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. She has been following Knowledge Management for several years and it's one of her favorite topics to explore.  Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts.

If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn or check out her portfolio.

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