I don’t know about you, but I’ve been impressed by the ongoing ingenuity and adaptability of workers and companies alike during the ups and downs of the pandemic. In the beginning, we saw dining room tables, kitchen nooks, and garages quickly converted into fully functioning home offices, while companies converted to almost 100% virtual overnight. (FastCompany captured these times in meme form for us.)
We then settled into a groove, buying more permanent chairs and desks and decorating those carve-out spaces with potted plants and pictures to make our home offices seem more like “real” offices. Companies also doubled down on their digital transformation objectives, investing in technologies designed to make it easier for work to be done anywhere at any time. We all did good - as productivity remained stable, and in many cases actually rose during these times.
What About Work Now?
Now, as things start to open back up, we see the role of the office differently. The 9-to-5 in-office mentality is gone. We all want more control and flexibility over where and when we work, which means how we work is going to have to continue to change.
Many companies have already acknowledged this shift and adopted or are looking to adopt hybrid work models. This is why it’s time to take a step back, to get out of reacting to changing pandemic conditions, and proactively figure out how we want remote work to really work for us all, long-term.
The reality is when most companies look out over their hybrid environment, it’s made up of a hodgepodge of technologies and vendors. Each were likely chosen out of necessity to solve a particular problem or need, at a specific moment in time, versus part of an overall strategy. This piecemeal approach to digitization and automation can add unnecessary complexity and risk to operations, which can slow progress, add costs, and generate frustrating experiences for everyone.
We feel it as a remote worker when we have to switch between two to three different tools to get something done. Or when we have to try to find workarounds to problems that we simply don’t have the tools to easily solve. A Deloitte study workers have to toggle between different workplace apps 10 times an hour, which translates to 32 days per year of lost workplace productivity.
These 4 Capabilities Can Improve the Productivity and Efficiency of Remote Work
To make sure we can truly transform how work is done takes a holistic strategy that defines what we really need, so we can choose the solutions that will best enable success. To power these hybrid workplace strategies, we are going to need to work with technologies and vendors that can transform all our document workflows to better meet the needs of both employees and the business. The top four capabilities needed in solutions to deliver optimal productivity and efficiency include:
1. End-to-end digital experiences
A productivity solution that provides an end-to-end experience should be able to support the entire content creation process, from initiation to completion, to provide a truly unified workflow that can accelerate our business and optimize our digital experiences.
To meet our ever-changing needs takes a productivity solution that can work across operating systems (e.g., Windows and Mac), devices (e.g., mobile) and regions of the world to make sure we can get work down anywhere, at any time, with whatever we are using.
3. Security and compliance
Our workflows are powered by data, which needs to be secured and handled in a way that reduces risks and complies with all relevant industry and global regulations. There can be any number of legal and regulatory guidelines to adhere to, many of which can change based on where business is being done and what type of data is involved. A productivity solution should be able to navigate them all to keep us working wherever we need to conduct business.
4. Quick time to value
Time is money, so making sure productivity solutions can help us get more done, faster, and easier than ever before seems like table stakes, but is actually something we need to deliberately look for. A solution that is intuitive and easy to use, as well as simple to incorporate into existing workflows can ensure a quick ramp and broad adoption for maximum value. A single, centralized approach will provide us the visibility and control over the entire content creation process that we need to generate significant cost and time savings.
For more specifics on what to look for and how to evaluate productivity solutions to make sure they are the best for your needs, check out this report.