Over the last couple of years, it’s become clear that the office is not the only place work can get done productively. Today’s technology has enabled employees of many firms to successfully keep pace in their job duties even while working from home during the pandemic. Even as offices have reopened and welcomed back workers, a large percentage of employees have made it known that they would like to continue to work remotely at least part of the time. Commercial firms and government agencies alike have realized the hybrid office, in which some employees are in the office full time, some split their week between the office and home, and some are permanently remote, is the new normal work environment. Continuing to leverage technology that maximizes hybrid office efficiency, especially when it comes to document management and workflow, provides a firm with significant advantages as they adapt to this new normal.
In a recent survey, 41% of respondents said that since they began working remotely, the way they communicate and collaborate has changed the most – think Zoom or Microsoft Teams types of technology. However, only 10% said they changed how they DO their work. This means workers’ needs for access to and easy-to-use document management solutions, business process workflows, printing, scanning, and even faxing, remain in place whether they work in the office or remotely. Here are just a few ways technology in these areas can maximize hybrid office efficiency.
Document and content management solutions from M-Files and Square-9, or similar to Ricoh’s DocuWare, enable the conversion of paper documents to electronic forms and allow for easy and quick capturing, storing, sharing, and managing of any electronic document between employees in the office and those working remotely. Workers can access documents in the office using a PC or laptop or from anywhere using cloud technology, and even through smartphone applications. These solutions can create and manage digital workflows for business processes such as accounts receivable, accounts payable, or new employee hiring and onboarding, removing time-consuming and error-prone manual paper-based processes. They can integrate with other enterprise applications and be configured so that authorization and data security protocols are in place to protect company data and ensure compliance across the hybrid office environment.
While the digitization of paper-based processes has accelerated, a large percentage of organizations see print remaining as an important part of work through at least 2025. Design and technology improvements in multi-function devices (MFD) that print, scan, and fax now deliver formerly office-centric features into compact equipment forms that are a perfect fit for remote work-from-home offices. For those workers needing to print, scan, or fax as part of their job when they work remotely, the experience of accomplishing those tasks is no different than when they are in the office. An organization can use cloud-based print, scan, and device management solutions to monitor device usage and manage devices whether they are on-site or in remote locations. These solutions make it easy to manage and control print costs, identify underutilized devices, simplify supplies ordering and service reporting, push out device and driver configurations, and set up security features including user authorizations that improve security and compliance.
A variety of mobile apps including HP’s Smart App and Ricoh’s Smart Device Connector enable workers to use their smartphones or tablets to initiate a scan or to set up and release a print job at a print device. These add convenience for remote and on-site employees who increasingly find using their mobile devices a simple gateway to getting many of their job tasks done. Additionally, as workers come back to the office, these apps and other solutions like the voice-activated Sharp MFP Voice solution offer a way to use the office shared MFD without the need to touch its operator panel. Technology solutions like these help a firm mitigate the safety and health concerns their workers may have when arriving back at the office.
The technology solutions that enabled so many organizations and their employees to productively function during the recent pandemic continue to provide advantages as the new normal of the hybrid office is set into place. The Centric Business Systems specialists in document and content management, workflow solutions, managed print solutions, and mobile solutions are here to review your unique situation and advise you on the best combination of products, solutions, and services that will support your organization’s hybrid office needs. Visit us at www.centricbiz.com or contact us at (877) 902-3301 to schedule a free consultation.