3 Ways to Keep Home Workers Connected
Written by: Tim Myatt
Publish Date: May 4, 2020
Read time: 3 minutes
Working remotely is a “new normal” that the majority of our global workforce has never before experienced.
Teams need at-the-ready, secure access to business-critical information to perform their jobs in the same capacity as if they were in their traditional office environment. Let’s explore how organisations can use technology to keep remote workers connected to their customers and to each other.
1. Identify new ways to receive and route business-critical information
If the employees who typically receive, open, organize and route inbound physical post are no longer on-site to perform those functions, of course, the incoming communications cannot simply be ignored.
Establishing a digital mailroom is a solid solution to enable collaborative working and generate operational efficiencies. Emergency digital mailrooms can be set up quickly in the case of the unexpected—typically in 5 working days or less—and are oftentimes an organisation’s first step on a digital transformation journey. We find that most of EDM’s clients decide to keep a digital mailroom in place even after a crisis has passed.
When researching a vendor to provide a digital mailroom solution, be sure they demonstrate a substantive depth of experience and can serve as a reliable partner. EDM processes 3 million mail items each month, including all HMRC and central government post. Several large clients in the US also trust EDM to handle their digital mailroom needs, inclusive of paper post and electronic communications.
2. Enable secure, remote document access to key data and files
Think about a typical file storage room where hard copies of Human Resources’ documents, legal contracts or patients’ medical records might be stored. When a remote workforce is unable to reach this information in its paper form, lack of physical access can cause workflow bottlenecks and unanswered customer inquiries.
Now, imagine that same remote workforce has immediate access to the information they need through a secure, hosted document management system. Sharing data and files across locations through an appropriate system allows for more efficient workflows, but also deters default behaviors such as sending sensitive data through unsecured mediums like email and text messages or saving documents to individual hard drives and machines.
Security is vital. Platforms like EDMonline™ enable remote workers to share and access documents easily with appropriate safeguards in place. An internet connection is the only component needed to enable remote document access, but many organisations choose to use additional protective measures such as VPN connections. In the case of EDMonline, a whitelist IP protocol and double-verification process is in place to validate entry into the system and a full audit trail of actions taken per document—whether it’s been viewed, downloaded, shared, removed, etc.—is traced.
Disaster recovery is an emergent bonus benefit of any hosted document management system. Think about those same Human Resources documents, contracts and medical documents we referenced above. Just because physical records are kept under lock and key doesn’t eliminate risk of inappropriate access or even losing the records completely due to facility damage or disaster. Housing original documents and files in-house oftentimes exposes an organisation to more risk than outsourcing document management through a trusted partner. Moving key data into a private cloud-based platform ensures it can always be accessed by the appropriate people when needed, even if original files and/or hard copies are inaccessible or destroyed.
3. Take a critical look at existing workflows and re-think manual processes
Every organisation has certain manual processes in place that have been performed the same way since its inception. Take for example, the complex and, oftentimes, clunky process of onboarding and exiting employees. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, we will likely see even more transition in the workforce, especially within specific industries. Some employees will be furloughed, some will leave their jobs completely and some will join organisations that are aggressively hiring to keep up with increasing demand.
How could your organisation automate its employee life-cycle processes and workflows? Interviewing, completing background checks, enrollment into benefits programs and off-boarding may come to mind.
EDM has helped many clients in the financial sector integrate decision automation and build positive customer connections in lieu of personal meetings. A relatively fast decision and response time leaves a positive impression—an important piece of the puzzle for larger brands focused on long-term customer engagement.
Whether your organisation is in the early stages of exploring digitisation solutions or has a strategic plan to go paper-free, EDM can help unlock the power of your business through digital transformation.