After the seemingly endless disruption caused to our working lives by the pandemic, it would appear that the future may be looking a little more positive. With restrictions being lifted in the coming months and society gradually opening up, there has been much discussion around the future of the workplace. Phrases such as ‘the next normal’ and ‘hybrid working’ are heard frequently, even ‘the right to work from home’, but it would seem that businesses aren’t giving up on the office.
On the BBC Wake Up to Money Show, Paul Swinney, Director of Policy and Research at the Centre for Cities suggests that the five-day office week could become the norm again within two years. Recently, however, Asda joined other firms in making hybrid working permanent at its head offices. Jacki Simpson, Asda Vice President of People Operations, said, “We know [our staff] welcome the increased flexibility of remote working. However, they also acknowledge there is some work that is simply better done from the office, so as we move forward, a hybrid working model is the right approach for our people and the business.”
Getting ahead in the hybrid working future
It appears that at least some level of remote or hybrid working is going to be a fixture for some time, so how do businesses remain agile in this next normal? Seamless communication and flow of information will be critical. Organisations that fast-forward digital transformation projects and prioritise information management will stand to outperform the competition. Conversely, organisations that don’t will suffer employees not readily accessing the information they need to do their work, and significantly hampered productivity.
Outsourced document scanning will support hybrid working
According to a survey conducted by real estate advisor Savills, up to 89% of respondents believe that physical office space remains a necessity for companies to operate successfully, but the office is set to change.
Organisations want to retain five days per week access to offices. For all the support that Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Google Meet has offered, there is a genuine desire to come together again, to create and innovate and take advantage of spontaneous conversation where problems don’t have to be solved at a pre-arranged time. But this typical tenure will likely run parallel with continued hybrid working.
Our document scanning services are an excellent way to enable your organisation to step into the hybrid working future. Our clients have always enjoyed the benefits of digitally transforming their documents, such as saving valuable office space and saving time accessing documents. During the pandemic, however, we heard repeatedly that the key benefit was that it had made working from home and remote collaboration with colleagues far more straightforward, all without the need to go into the office to search for paper records.
Remaining compliant in the hybrid workplace
Following the dramatic shift to working from home at the beginning of the pandemic, hybrid working offers the same complications regarding information security and compliant handling of company data.
Physical documents, in particular, pose a genuine challenge. Successfully keeping track of where records are located, be it in the office, at a colleagues house or photocopied and in multiple locations, is a headache no organisation needs.
As a minimum, hybrid working colleagues should:
- Avoid printing files or documents at home
- If they absolutely must, store documents in a secure space until they can be returned to the office
- Not throw printed company records in the bin at home
Staff handling personal data are obligated under the GDPR to process it compliantly. The risk of data breaches increases with home working when the usual information management controls are not in place; there is also an elevated risk of unauthorised people accessing the data.
This risk can be significantly mitigated by digitising physical records, integrating them into company systems and having staff access them through secure remote platforms (our partners can help with that too). Ultimately, document scanning is a simple way to reduce the risk of sensitive company documents being held in unsecured home locations.
The transition to the future hybrid workplace
With some colleagues in the office and others at home, now is the time to get ahead and ensure everyone has the information they need to keep the wheels turning in your organisation while staying on the right side of data protection regulation.
We have the expertise you need right now to help you get into shape for long term hybrid working. We will guide you from start to finish, ensuring coordinated document collection, best-in-class digital transformation of your records, and, where required, bespoke integration with your in-house platforms.
To find out more about our document scanning services or arrange a consultation, either call us on 01733 895900 or get in touch using the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.