For many companies, remote working was hastily introduced at very short notice when the COVID-19 pandemic began, and then hybrid models began to emerge as offices gradually began to reopen again.
While a short-term contingency approach was understandable at the time, companies are now having to consider how best to adapt their technology for a long-term future where hybrid working will be commonplace. This blog explores what this means for businesses developing a hybrid working strategy, including:
- How to bring office-based and remote work together
- The importance of a strong partnership with a software solutions provider
- How to cut inefficiencies and modernise operations with document and digital mail services
- Taking processes off-site when a physical office is no longer required
Joining the dots of hybrid working
Hybrid working gives employers and employees alike lots of flexibility in how, when, and where they work. However, making it all run smoothly needs careful consideration.
For example, with different people working from the office and at home on different days, how easy is it for them to communicate? How easy is it to combine in-person and virtual attendees for meetings? Do people feel connected to company culture when working at home, or do they feel isolated? Can employees easily access all the data and applications they need to do their jobs, but without compromising security?
All companies pursuing hybrid working in the long-term need to make sure the technology they put in place answers all these questions. That way, wherever people work, they can operate and collaborate efficiently, securely, and with a close bond with their colleagues.
Why a strong software solutions partner is important
Of course, all of the above comes in a climate where businesses are looking to find cost efficiencies wherever possible. The investment that is required to make hybrid working operate successfully can, at least in part, be mitigated by reducing the expense of on-site hardware that is no longer required, such as large-scale printer fleets. At the same time, businesses should be looking for technology services and solutions with more flexible payment structures, so that they aren’t locked into paying for hardware, software, and services no longer required.
This is where partnering with an expert in hybrid business technology is so important. As well as providing the right technologies and support, a good partner should be able to advise on which IT services to keep in-house and which to outsource, as well as how to make IT provision flexible and adaptable for whatever the future holds.
Reducing inefficiencies and modernising business operations
One area that needs close attention when devising a hybrid working strategy is document services. With more staff working at home, the need for paper-based documentation like in-bound mail or printed files is naturally much lower; instead, employees need easy access to digitised versions of the documents they need.
Two solutions can be especially beneficial for businesses in this area:
- Digital inbound mail: ideal for environments involving large volumes of documentation, inbound mail can be delivered to a specialist document production unit. There, mail can be received, securely scanned, indexed, and delivered to the recipient electronically, wherever they’re working from. This removes the cost of continuing to run (or adapting) an in-house post room that may not be adequately set up to deal with remote workers effectively.
- Process platform: a content and automated process platform can give businesses a single unified view of business processes. It enables the management of content, documents, data, and back-office processes through a cloud-based ecosystem that can manage information both within the platform and third-party systems. This can help businesses rationalise data accessibility with minimal disruption to users, and the platform can be evolved to meet the changing needs of hybrid workers and multiple departments.
Taking processes off-site
These services are just one part of moving towards a future where all document-related activity can be managed by a third party. These services can be deployed as a flexible package through one partner and can be run off-site at a secure facility, on-premise, or nearshored at a specific facility close by.
Whichever option is chosen, the key to making a success of digitised document services for hybrid working is flexibility, because it can:
- Boost productivity through easy, secure access to documents and information
- Enable hybrid working to operate seamlessly
- Cut IT costs by right-sizing equipment and in-house resource needs
- Stabilise cashflow by moving towards leasing tech instead of buying
- Support innovation through immediate access to new equipment and technology
- Better align costs with technology requirements
- Reduce wasted costs by returning equipment and licences early if no longer needed
SCC’s comprehensive suite of Document Services solutions is perfectly suited for any business exploring a long-term hybrid working future. Learn more about our market-leading offering here.