5 Ways to Move up the Digital Transformation Curve and Better Support Your Remote Workforce
Written by: Tim Myatt
Publish Date: May 9, 2020
Read time: 4 minutes
A successful remote workforce, whether for the short- or long-term, requires more than the obvious necessities of reliable, high-speed internet connections, laptops and printers. Business leaders can take an open-minded, yet critical look at their remote workforce’s evolving needs and move organisations from surviving to thriving.
Finding ways to improve workflows and better support remote work doesn’t have to be a monumental task. Identifying even one or two small steps to move up the digital curve can yield big results.
1. Ensure security of documents and data
This is always an important consideration whether employees are working from home or in a typical office setting. Firewalls, VPN capability and IP protocols are typically in place to ensure security of staff and customer data. Employees must always be mindful of how they share information; whether through email attachments, text messages or clickable links, it’s easy to get complacent. Additional suggestions to protect data include: using encryption (256 bit if possible); transferring information through File Transfer Protocol (FTP); and password protecting your files. Ensure you are communicating openly and frequently with remote employees about approved document-sharing channels and security protocols.
2. Enable access to physical files
When a process is reliant on accessing physical files or paperwork—like occupational health records or employee data—and teammates are now working remotely without access to that data, a scan-on-demand setup becomes an easy-to-implement solution.
If you are storing paper records offsite and you have an inventory of those records, a scan-on-demand service—scanning only what you need to access—could be feasible. In this climate, it may be time to rethink only sending ‘inactive’ records offsite and make use of this service. For active records retrieved and referred to on a regular basis, then digitising in bulk would be a more sensible option.
EDM’s “Scan-It” service is designed to handle data stored in 40 boxes or less—the equivalent size of a small department’s filing storage. Standard files can be picked up, scanned, indexed and made available electronically within a 5-day (priority) or 10-day (standard) service window. Low-volume scanning projects are an easy and immediate gateway into the digitisation space.
3. Explore outsourcing options
A company’s culture plays a significant role in adapting to a remote work environment. Accepting that our businesses and workforce have shifted in ways beyond our control is challenging, and changing behaviour even more so. Many times, key processes are managed in-house for fear of those functions going “outside” of an organisation’s walls.
Interestingly enough, it is oftentimes safer to outsource data management to a reliable provider than it is to maintain sensitive documents in paper form in-house under lock and key.
For example, rather than not knowing which employees are looking at stored paper documents at any given time, a hosted document management system tracks each user who accesses specific pieces of information and what actions they take—whether that be viewing, editing, printing or downloading.
Reputable vendors offering digital, cloud-based platforms for document management will be able to articulate exactly how your files will be secured and what steps are taken to protect key information. A vendor partner like EDM invests in up-to-date technology; ensures its staff are experts in the realm of compliance; and keeps abreast of requirements and security protocols so our clients don’t have to.
4. Handle physical inbound post and digital communications
A digital mailroom can do so much more than scanning and routing inbound post. Digital mailrooms intelligently capture data from hard copy or electronic communications and then automatically populate fields within software and/or in-house processing systems. In a basic accounts payable example, a digital mailroom can capture relevant data from the physical invoice received, transfer the data into an in-house system or software, validate a PO and initiate payment of the invoice. A digital mailroom transforms manual tasks into efficient processes, allowing your remote workforce to focus on more impactful projects and business initiatives.
5. Optimise workspaces for today and tomorrow
An unprecedented number of employees are engaging in remote working arrangements. Many cannot wait to get back into the office, and many are quite content and even more productive working remotely. Now is the time to plan for the future.
Picture your current office space: How many desks do you have? How many do you use? How many do you need? It may make sense for certain employees or specific job functions to continue with remote working arrangements. Optimising your working environment as a whole will allow for more productivity.
Digitising paper files in filing cabinets occupying valuable floor space and exploring continued, flexible working arrangements are great ways to create more with less. A filing and storage audit can further help you to understand the status of the filing you hold onsite—whether it be in active use, required to be kept for legal and compliance purposes (but could go offsite) or completely redundant and past retention.
Organisations are typically storing 50% more paper records onsite than required and if rationalized, this would free-up a substantial amount of office space, giving you more potential to shrink your office.
If you’re looking to learn more about how using an outsourced supplier can support your business case for document digitisation, download our eBook - Buyer’s Guide to Going Paperless to find 10 crucial questions to ask a document scanning supplier.