Posted By Ash Conversions International
While no one ever wants to consider the changes we have recently experienced as a result of the global pandemic as ‘normal’; there are several consequences of Covid-19, now being referred to as ‘new normals’, that have forever changed the workplace landscape. One of these ‘new normals is employees either being allowed to, or required to, work remotely. Here is a sampling of familiar companies that are household brands which have all created remote work policies to some degree: Twitter, Square, Facebook, Amazon, Google, LinkedIn , Shopify, Coinbase, Upwork, Lambda School, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Capital One, Zillow, PayPal, Salesforce, Thomson Reuters, Adobe, Gartner, Mastercard, Neilsen.
In a recent Forbes article entitled “Here Are The Companies Leading The Work-From-Home Revolution”, we read that many companies are adapting remote work policies, but many are being a bit hesitant to make this move. “There are some other companies taking the middle ground. Aaron Levie, the CEO of Box, a cloud content management and file-sharing service for businesses, wrote in a blog post, ‘Today, we’re excited to share that we’re taking further steps to enable a unified digital workplace, with increased work flexibility for Boxers. As a part of that, we’re announcing that all Boxers can work from anywhere until the end of the year, providing increased flexibility and peace of mind for our nearly 2,000 employees globally.” Similar to Apple, Levie recognizes, “At the same time, we know the power of having office hubs where in-person communities, mentorship, networking, and creativity can happen… That is why our future is a hybrid one.’ This trend is gaining momentum and is likely to become the new norm post Covid-19.”
A reality that many companies have had to face is that they just aren’t positioned to make a full and immediate transition to a ‘virtual workspace’ model. Not only is there a fear of risk to company culture, but there are practical protocols that just haven’t been implemented. One of these protocols is documentation automation. Many companies still handle much of their documentation in a physical manner. Whether it’s AP Invoices, AR transactions, HR files or various other important and regular documentation, having a paper-based environment has severely limited their ability to create an effective remote workplace model. There are many great communication tools that have in fact grown immensely in their popularity, that help reinforce a remote model. Solutions like these include Zoom, Slack, Monday and many others that are very easy to implement. However, solutions that allow for the automation of things like AP and AR workflow processes are not as easy – and can in many cases be much more costly to implement. One of the reasons the companies above were able to move quickly to implement remote workspace solutions and protocols is that they had already implemented business process automation in departments where it made fiscal sense to do so. When the pandemic hit, these organizations quickly realized that by having already automated – they could leverage that automation to implement remote transition strategies more rapidly than those who had yet to automate.
ACI has developed AP Automation & AR Automation solutions that are some of the easiest and most cost-effective to implement. Whether you are a Multinational corporation, an SMB – or anything in between – ACI’s automation solutions can get you to your Virtual Workspace goals in record time – and continue to add efficiencies over the long haul. Even your Travel & Expense receipt processes can be automated.
In an article entitled, “How People and Companies Feel About Working Remotely”, we see that the ability and willingness of employees to work from home isn’t an issue. “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly one-third of the U.S. workforce, and half of all ‘information workers’, are able to work from home. Though the number of people working partially or fully remote has been on the rise for years now, the COVID-19 pandemic may have pressed the fast-forward button on this trend.” What it really comes down to is both the investment in process solutions that enable the ability to effectively work remotely – and the willingness of companies to ‘trust’ their most valuable assets – their employees – to be productive in a less supervised, remote environment. For companies dragging their proverbial feet with respect to implementing a remote workplace model, here is an article from Forbes with some great tips to consider on the productivity side: The Art Of Working Remotely: How To Ensure Productivity. “Working remotely isn’t a new concept. People in all kinds of career fields have been doing it for years. But most people are accustomed to one day of work at home, once in a while or never actually working from home. With the current state of the COVID-19 coronavirus causing many companies like Twitter to require all of their employees to work from home or the likes of Amazon, Google, LinkedIn and others asking a portion of their staff to work remotely, a large portion of the workforce are now expected to be skilled at the art of working remotely. If you’re one of the many starting to work remotely for the first time or engaging in full-time remote work for the first time, you are probably discovering that it’s not as easy as you may have thought. Most of us have been conditioned to work and focus because of outside constraints. Meetings force us to adhere to certain schedules, office hours dictate our start and end time and a manager’s watchful eye keeps our internet surfing to a minimum, for the most part…”
Large ‘enterprise-level’ companies like Siemens have led the charge with respect to adopting a mass ‘Mobile Working’ policy for office personnel. Siemens rolls out ‘mobile working’ plan for more than 140,000 employees. As a result of automating the most important processes in their Finance departments, Siemens was able to transition to a remote workplace environment at a very swift pace. Where it just wasn’t possible – like in manufacturing, Siemens developed a unique ‘Workplace Distancing’ solution: Siemens introduces workplace distancing solution to manage “next normal” manufacturing.
One of the areas of documentation that is still the ‘Achilles Heel’ of any remote workplace transition strategy is the ability to distribute the regular, physical mail that is delivered daily to the offices of every company. One of the ‘best-kept-secrets’ available to vastly assist with this issue is what is known as ‘Mailroom Automation’. Automating the mailroom is one of the pieces of a remote workplace transition plan that many companies overlook. ACI specializes in the automation of your mailroom. Having all your organization’s mail redirected to ACI’s secure Mailroom Conversion Data Center is a very simple step that will allow for the final step in transitioning to a fully effective remote workplace environment. All mail is opened in a secure environment where it is scanned and stored in the secure cloud – and notification routed to the addressee’s email inbox with a link to each piece of mail in PDF format. With all of the main departments automated, this final mailroom automation step will close the loop on document automation, allowing for a complete and effective remote workplace environment – and more importantly – business continuance.
There are a significant number of companies that are following what many refer to as a ‘trend’, in implementing remote workplace strategies. But just as many organizations are looking at it from more of a permanent perspective:
Jump on a call with one of our Virtual Office Transition experts to see how ACI can help you with your Virtual Workplace strategy.
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