Checking email is how many of us start the workday, organizing our schedules around the messages in our inboxes. However, email overload often deters productivity in many ways, making tasks more complex and the workday longer than it needs to be.
But don’t worry. There’s an easier way, something that not only streamlines communication, but also makes it more meaningful. Knowledge sharing software is bridging the gaps email has left behind, enabling professionals to quickly find files, collaborate on projects, and efficiently transfer knowledge. Whether teams are offering commentary on a group proposal or searching for data from a previous project, knowledge sharing software is revolutionizing how we have conversations in the workplace.
Check out these four ways a knowledge management platform can supplement email and reduce the time you spend in your inbox.
Less Wasted Time and Greater Productivity
So, just how much time is email overload taking away from us? According to the Washington Post, we spend an average of 4.1 hours per workday checking and responding to email. That’s around 20 hours a week, which is half of our time spent working. Most inboxes are inundated with spam, sprinkled throughout the time-sensitive and important messages. Even inboxes with user-friendly search tools still prove overwhelming and difficult to navigate.
With a knowledge sharing platform, there’s no junk mail, meaning pertinent information is always at the forefront. Knowledge sharing software provides team members access to all their important organization and project information in an easy-to-search database. Department or project leaders can bring other team members into the conversation without composing an entirely new string of messages or forwarding endless chains of information.
Companies that use a knowledge sharing platform enable their team members to connect with each other more quickly and competently. Communication is streamlined and efficient, and essential information is easier to find. All of these attributes work together to increase productivity and prevent email overload.
When it comes to email, information often becomes trapped. It’s a password protected system, meaning only the account owner can search through the information within their inbox. Each email user organizes information differently, so a team must rely on others’ organization systems to access relevant information. Because of this barrier, progress is often slower than it should be.
Within knowledge sharing platforms, information can be made available to all team members. Leading platforms will allow you to search for data based on terms within documents or even video and audio files. When team members can access all the information they need for a project, they work more efficiently, saving time, and getting better results for themselves and the company.
Furthermore, storing important information in a knowledge sharing platform helps prevent knowledge loss when employees leave. Turnover is bound to happen in every company, and when someone leaves, their email inbox goes with them. This information loss can be detrimental to the rest of the team, potentially leading to more time spent searching for answers or unnecessarily repeating tasks. With a shared knowledge base, this kind of situation is completely avoided.
Meaningful Group Conversations
When a workplace conversation involves more than two people, email becomes not only ineffective, but also prohibitive. It’s simply not built for collaboration. For example, if you and your colleagues are working on a report together, email is insufficient for editing and adding information to a document. You may end up with a long thread of replies that are hard to navigate, or multiple versions of the same document floating between different people.
Communication barriers often impede projects’ success. Knowledge sharing platforms eliminate communication challenges by allowing teams to keep track of the latest versions of documents, while also providing a hub for team members to discuss progress in real time.
If email is an organization’s main mode of collaboration, communication is bound to remain confusing and inefficient. With knowledge sharing software comes immediate access to information and meaningful conversations that lead to organizational success.
Transparency and Trust
When information and project progress aren’t trapped within email inboxes, transparency increases across the organization, which in turn increases trust. Transparency motivates teams and encourages collaboration, while also holding team members accountable for their work.
While email is a convenient way to swap information back and forth, a knowledge sharing platform encourages participation between multiple team members. This type of collaboration keeps everyone up-to-date on their company’s projects and gives contributors to share their expertise with others in their department and beyond. When team members feel their contributions to a project or organization are valued, they become more engaged with their work, which can boost productivity and retention.
Let’s face it: email is unlikely to go away any time soon. But we can enhance this form of communication and fight email overload by implementing a knowledge sharing solution. Email may still be the go-to for quick one-to-one messages, but a knowledge sharing platform is better equipped to preserve important information–and encourage collaboration across your organization.