We all know how challenging the past year and a half has been. With all of the changes that we’ve had to get accustomed to, working from home was probably one of the biggest, and for some, the most challenging (parents, teachers, etc.). Others, however, enjoyed the flexibility and comfort of working from home and found that they were more productive or that it was more convenient for them.
Now that the country is opening up again, many businesses are calling their employees back to the office. But with the benefits of working from home so apparent for some, and inconvenient for others, it’s hard to find a solution that caters to everyone’s individual needs. That’s where a hybrid work schedule comes into play.
A hybrid workspace is described as a “flexible workplace model that is designed to support a distributed workforce of both in-house and remote workers” (Source: Mersive). It usually involves either:
Employees being able to choose their own schedules, and which days they work from home or in the office
Some employees working in the office full-time, while others work at home full time.
Certain designated days for the employees to work in the office, and certain days for them to work from home
The challenges that come with maintaining a work environment that is supportive of both in-office and from home employees can be a challenge for some businesses, especially those who are new to the concept of a hybrid workspace. Luckily, there are a few ways to help the transition.
Where Does Printing Fit?
There’s a big misconception that printing is on its way out. With everything around us becoming digitized, and hybrid workspaces becoming more common, it might seem like the need for a copier/printer is diminishing.
The truth is, that being able to copy, print, and scan is just as important in a hybrid work environment as it is in a regular 9-5 office and can make a lot of your everyday office processes much easier. We’ll be talking about Xerox devices and programs in this next part because that’s what we know best, but a lot of these can be applied to other brands as well.
Xerox ConnectKey Technology is the platform that Xerox products use, similar to Apple’s iOS or Windows operating systems. ConnectKey allows Xerox users to set up their own personalized profiles, set limitations on certain functions, and it’s also home of the Xerox App Gallery, which hosts a myriad of different productivity-enhancing apps.
Xerox App Gallery
Having apps embedded onto your device can make a world of difference when it comes to managing workloads, especially from home, where you might not have the same resources or technology as you would in the office. There are apps that can do just about anything, like the Translate and Print app which can instantly translate documents to over 40 languages, all while keeping the original format.
There are also apps that allow you to immediately access cloud repositories like Google Drive, Dropbox, and One Drive, making it easy for you to scan and upload documents for your team to collaborate on. There’s even the personalized application builder program, which allows you to submit ideas directly for new apps and build them yourself.
Scanning directly to email or a shared location has become the most popular use of a home multifunction printer. A lot of people underestimate the amount of scanning that happens on a regular basis, and while you may be able to scan a couple of pages with your mobile phone, having an actual scanner with you will be a big help if you’re scanning 10+ page documents at once.
Working from home or in a hybrid workspace means you’ll need to be able to access important notes, contracts, and documents both from home and in the office, and the easiest way to do that is to scan and upload them directly to the location of your choice. To learn more about scanning, read our article 4 Ways to Scan Documents Using a Multifunction Printer.
Easy to Manage for IT Personnel
If the device provided for you at home is managed with the fleet of printers in your office, then IT staff will have no problem in solving issues and installing updates, since all of the machines will have a consistent look and interface.
Cloning is a feature that allows IT to easily set up machines from any location and establish a set of standards, push this set directly to a home device connected to the network, drastically reducing the setup time of each machine. The reason why it becomes difficult for IT when everyone has different devices is that there are different setup processes and support requirements, not to mention, different supplies. It’s unrealistic to ask an IT department to support individual selections across both in-office and at-home technology.
Of course, there’s nothing more discouraging than having your own in-house unit, and then something breaks, and you have to ship it off for repairs. Luckily, we here at STPT and Xerox have several ways of ensuring customers are eligible for on-site service repairs, as well as automatic toner shipments, so you’ll never have to worry about running out or going to buy toner yourself.
Having an At-Home Copier/Printer Makes Life Easier
The fact of the matter is, that while our world is becoming more digitized, printing is not going away anytime soon. And not having the proper tools you need to complete your job as efficiently as possible will only set your employees and organization back.
Having a small multifunction printer with all of the benefits listed above can keep you and your coworkers focused on the parts of your job that are most important, and not worrying about the details. If you’re not convinced, read our article on 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Printer for Your Business.