Over the past 12 to 14 months, organizations have had to address challenges associated with having most or all of their people spending most or all of their time out of the office. That has, in some cases, made it difficult to do some of the day-to-day processing of information.
“Take office mail, for instance,” says Curtis Verhoff, advanced solutions manager at Blue Technologies, Inc. “In some cases, information is coming in on a daily basis through the mail, and those documents have to be distributed to employees who are not in the office to receive it. Fortunately, technology exists that can help small to medium-sized businesses deal with these challenges so that they can continue to operate in much the same timely and efficient manner that they had when everybody was regularly at the office.”
Verhoff says these solutions have enabled employees to stay connected as well as productive — in some cases even more productive — than if everyone were at the office.
Smart Business spoke with Verhoff about technology solutions that facilitate information sharing, as well as how to work with a technology partner to identify and fill gaps created in the abrupt shift to remote work.
What issue have you seen give companies trouble in the shift to remote work?
Mail, faxes and other documents that are distributed from a company’s front desk physically to office staff are, in many cases, unable to be delivered as they typically would. Sometimes, if that information doesn’t reach the appropriate people, they’re unable to act on it. In other cases, that physical information needs the attention of multiple people, none of whom are in the office to receive and review the document.
One solution to prevent that information from stalling at the front desk is to capture those documents electronically and deliver them to those who need it, wherever they might be. That way, the right people can take action on that information, and they can do it remotely just as quickly as if they were there at the office.
What technology solutions can facilitate this?
Cloud-based workflow solutions make it easy to share, comment on and edit information. These technologies can also enable employees to share physical documents that arrive at the office by scanning them and then delivering them via the cloud to the appropriate people.
Additionally, document storage solutions — and there are many brand-name offerings — also facilitate the collection and distribution of documents, making them available to people at home, in the office, as they travel — wherever they’re at. They can also remotely work on documents, make edits and pass them on to another individual, even collaborate on a document with a colleague.
How can companies find the right solution?
Before choosing a technology, identify the workflow gaps or bottlenecks and determine what’s causing them. Where are the delays or challenges when moving documents and information back and forth among people who are in the office, working remotely or traveling? Dig in to understand the day-to-day challenges because, especially with so much of the workforce working remote, there needs to be an efficient way to deal with work that must be done while employees are outside of the office.
There are many cloud-based and workflow-based solutions that allow employees to view, manipulate and share documents in much the same way as they would if they were working in an office together. The right technology partner knows the best questions to ask in order to identify the source of any workflow gaps and delays. Then, with their knowledge of the options in the market, the partner can find the products that best address those challenges.
There are technology partners that can help companies big and small overcome their technology challenges through cost-effective solutions. But it’s up to companies to take advantage of that relationship to find the technologies that enable them to perform normally in an abnormal environment.
Insights Technology is brought to you by Blue Technologies, Inc.