Knowledge workers are the problem-solvers of the world - they work diligently to refine current processes, create new ones, and extract value from data and information.
As such, they can be a huge asset to your team. But there’s a caveat: knowledge workers can’t enjoy the highest productivity levels if they’re fighting against counterproductive systems and relying on outdated tools.
In this guide we’ll address the most significant challenges knowledge workers face, and how you can help them reach greater productivity levels, unlocking their full potential.
Evaluate Current Work Arrangements
As many companies ask their employees to return to the office, it raises an important question:
How will knowledge workers readjust to in-office working?
While it may be easy to assume that the transition will be smooth, the evidence suggests that it will be anything but. For example, Slack’s Remote Employee Experience Index shows that knowledge workers will have to deal with higher levels of stress and anxiety in the office.
If there’s anything that hinders productivity more than stress and anxiety, we’re yet to discover it. Working remotely, knowledge workers have everything they need to do their job, and can also enjoy the freedom this flexible work model affords them.
Generally speaking, a healthy work-life balance leads to more productive knowledge workers.
That’s why one of the best ways to maximize your knowledge workers’ potential is to empower them with more autonomy and allow for flexible work arrangements.
How can you use an employee monitoring solution to evaluate in-office vs at-home productivity?
With desktop activity monitoring software Insightful, you can keep your finger on the pulse of your knowledge workers’ output, and compare productivity levels accurately. Automated time and attendance management will let you know if your remote team shows up on time, and at the end of each month you can sort employee tracking data using various filters to identify trends and establish benchmarks.
Identify and Eliminate Silos
Silos can work in certain circumstances, but they can also lead to organizational failure, as each team or department works to its own agenda. Organizational and individual productivity should have a close relationship, with each employee furthering the company’s progress towards its strategic goals.
So how can you break down these departmental walls while also empowering each knowledge worker to do their best work?
The solution is simple (in theory): open up access to knowledge by creating knowledge bases, wikis, or making it easy to learn from others.
Sharing knowledge can be broken down into learning from others and file sharing.
Here’s how to make it easier for knowledge workers to benefit from both forms of knowledge-sharing:
Learning from Others
One of the best ways to encourage internal knowledge sharing is through intelligence platforms.
An intelligence platform is a central hub which brings employees together and facilitates effortless information exchange. Say one of your employees has a burning question, they can engage with the platform’s smart AI which will connect them to the employee with the answer.
Aside from intelligence platforms, you can also put on regular meetings of the mind. Encourage employees from various departments to engage in conversation and share their latest findings to increase the likelihood of the cross-pollination of ideas.
The harder your knowledge workers have to work to get hold of the information they need, the slower progress will be. That’s why you should implement file sharing systems that make it effortless for employees to find what they need in a matter of minutes.
Information sharing can take various forms:
- Notes - To effectively distribute notes, an app like Evernote can help knowledge workers pull data from the internet and share their findings.
- Files - For straightforward file sharing, you can look to apps like Dropbox which can act as secure file storage systems. You can also use apps such as Google Docs to encourage real-time coauthoring and collaboration.
- Knowledge bases - Knowledge bases act as centralized hubs which can inform about various internal processes. Software solutions such as Notion let you create wikis and knowledge bases which you can then share with your team.
How can you use a screen monitoring solution to monitor collaboration and app usage?
With desktop tracking software tool Insightful, you can track each employees’ specific app usage. With this information from monitoring computers you can understand how frequently employees collaborate and whether or not each app subscription is worth the expense.
Create Ongoing Learning Opportunities
For knowledge workers to stay sharp and innovate, they need to consume high-quality content.
As IBM programmer George Fuechsel once said,
Garbage in, garbage out
It’s not the most poetic expression, but it’s steeped in reality: the quality of content you consume is closely related to the quality of your work. This is especially true for knowledge workers who have to take insights others have reached and blend them with their existing knowledge to create effective shortcuts and innovate new systems.
To encourage your knowledge workers to innovate month after month, it’s wise to help them sharpen their cutting edge with ongoing learning opportunities. In addition to offering courses, seminars, and other forms of professional development, there’s another step to helping knowledge workers reach their potential. And that brings us to our final point…
Foster Meaningful Connections
To truly understand and act on new information, it’s important to encourage knowledge workers to share what they learn with others. By inviting your knowledge workers to touch base once a week and share their latest insights you can keep them on their toes and hungry to track down the latest trends.
How can you use a laptop monitoring solution to ensure knowledge workers are seeking new information?
With Insightful, at any moment you can pull up the ‘Logs’ tab and see what your knowledge workers are up to. You can see what computer they’re on, which app they’re using, and perhaps most importantly what websites they’re visiting.