By Sharon Varalli, senior field marketing manager, Nuance Communications
With improvements to technology and network speeds, working remotely is becoming more common among the workforce. The New York Times reports 43 percent of employees in the United States reported working remotely at least some of the time.
Even though working at home is convenient, employees are still expected to maintain productivity levels. As workers race to meet faster turnaround demands from clients, tighter deadlines from supervisors and collaborate with colleagues working in other geographic locations, businesses need to equip their employees with tools to reliably, efficiently, and securely share resources. Paper documents are especially difficult to share while working remotely. This means companies should take stock of the document capture technology available to them to help their workforce quickly and safely share and exchange document-based information.
One technology capable of meeting this need is mobile capture, which enables users to capture documents with the camera of any mobile device, and send documents and electronic files directly to core business applications with that same device. Employees also are able to access files and complete forms on-the-go, and securely print documents to network printers from their devices.
The following are three ways that businesses can leverage this technology to help their remote workers:
Capturing Documents Remotely
Employees do not always have the same office hardware in their home as they do at work. This can delay expense reports, billing, or the filing of documents until employees are able to physically bring in receipts, invoices or paper forms. With mobile capture, workers do not have to put the brakes on internal processes and can simply snap a photograph of the relevant paperwork with their mobile device and securely route the image to the appropriate department within their company.
Even employees who are working on-site can benefit from mobile capture given that there are numerous occupations that require workers to be on their feet and on the move. For example, a warehouse manager on the shipping floor is able to log paperwork from shipments and deliveries without having to retreat to the office, while a health care provider meeting numerous patients throughout a hospital can capture patient health information on her device and share it securely via her network.
Print From Anywhere
Law firms, government agencies and educational institutions have an obligation to protect sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) such as client social security numbers or copies of government issued photo IDs. For companies with large offices, hundreds of employees, and multiple printers, printing documents containing PII puts clients’ information at risk of being forgotten on printer trays or mistakenly intercepted by an unintended recipient.
Mobile capture can protect documents containing PII from falling into the wrong hands. Employees can send documents to a secure print queue from their mobile device, and then release the documents from the multi-function printer (MFP) by scanning a corresponding QR code from their mobile device at the MFP. This ensures that no one other than employees permitted to access the PII can physically retrieve the documents.
Offer Employees More Flexibility
According to a 2017 Gallup Poll, 51 percent of employees cite increased flexibility as a top priority when selecting a job, with 37 percent of employees willing to leave their current company for one that offers them the ability to work off-site. While mobile capture can help businesses improve flexibility and retain top talent, it is also a solution when employees cannot get to the office due to bad traffic or weather conditions.
Using data collected by the United States Census Bureau, the Washington Post estimates that approximately 3.6 million Americans spend over 90 minutes commuting to work just one way. Those commuting times can leave employees drained before they even get to the office and frustrate teams that can’t reach a colleague stuck in traffic. Compounded by bad weather, the effects of long commute times can begin to have large impacts on a business’ bottom line. Technologies like mobile capture can be instrumental in helping companies give employees more opportunities and flexibility regarding when and where they work.
Today, many employers recognize the need to make their documents more accessible for their employees. Whether it is sharing documents quickly and easily on mobile devices, securely printing sensitive information when outside of the office, or allowing employees to access documents from remote locations, mobile capture can help businesses perform those functions quickly and effectively, wherever employees may be working.