5 Print Workflow Tips for a Post-COVID-19 Workplace
The Impact of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many businesses to a stand-still and the vast majority are focusing on surviving and emerging intact. Some of the changes made during the crisis could potentially be permanent with many companies continuing to support and encourage the new flexible working arrangements.
Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 25% of workers will be expected to continue to work from home, leaving some offices less populated and prompting a reduction in office space. So, what role will the office multifunction printer (MFP) play in this new world, where remote working is further accelerating a shift to digital technologies.
Changes that we are likely to see post-pandemic include a decrease in open-plan offices, which could encourage the shift to more distributed print environments away from centralised print deployments. in fact, we’ve already seen an increase in the demand for multiple devices in their office spaces, in an attempt to divide their office spaces.
With many remote workers not using or having access to home office printers, it is likely that this will also shift the inclination to digital collaboration. This could open up new requirements from businesses to rationalise their current print infrastructure.
1. Provide Secure Home Print Solutions
New research reveals that around 30% of UK employees who are now working from home, do not have access to a home printer. Even those that do are unlikely to have a device that matches the high-security standards that are expected in a business environment. Most people don’t realise how vulnerable copiers and printers are, but many of the large data breaches you’ve read about on the news were actually because of insufficient printer security.
A recent COVID-19 study showed that print users had concerns around home printer security. At Woodbank, we consider the provision of home printers with all of our MPS contracts for those that need them, as well as tracking usage for accounting and security reasons.
2. Integrate Collaboration for Office & Home Workers
The crisis has created many opportunities for the use of collaboration platforms. Post COVID-19, more businesses will need to support collaboration across both office and home workers.
3. Introduce Cloud-Enabled Digital Workflows
Our print industry is gearing up to address growth in the need for cloud-based workflow services, such as an increase in demand for the digitisation of paper-based processes. The digitisation of paper-based processes can be expanded further, such as smart MFPs for document capture and the introduction of automated workflows.
4. Support Cloud Print Infrastructure Transformation
Cloud scalability has demonstrated its worth during the pandemic. This provides the right amount of confidence for those businesses who may have been considering this move towards a cloud-based print infrastructure. By managing networked printers and MFPs in the cloud, businesses will see a reduction in capital expenditure and operating costs.
Cloud-based MPS can include management and control of decentralised printer environments, incorporating employee home-based printers.
5. Maintain Sustainability
As businesses design a new work environment, it is important to include sustainability factors in infrastructure decision-making. Inspired by the leafy suburb of Woodbank, Stockport, we decided to adopt the name Woodbank Office Solutions.
Our love of nature and respect for the environment drives our business ethics to this day. We are fully committed to supporting our customers to become environmentally friendly and be more flexible.
Technology and service partnerships are a cornerstone to the Woodbank Way and are now becoming the foundation of an effective response to fast-tracking digital transformation. This will become even more imperative as the shape of the new business normal becomes apparent.
We are expected to see an increase in the desire for more flexible working bridging the gap between home and office workspaces. The office will be reinvented, and we have reimagined our print service offer from the ground up, to remain relevant in the post-COVID-19 workplace.