First, we must understand that not all business functions can be done out-of-office (remotely). For example, remote cleaning has never taken off! However, with thought and investment, you can certainly open up the possibility of remote working for key roles.
As a recent example, I was with a customer and one of their service engineers came in to the office to see what work he had on that week. They have a large whiteboard with employee names in the first column, and where they are going each day in other columns, and notes in the last column. I pointed out to the boss that this was a perfect place to start with going paperless. Replace the whiteboard with a large monitor, and the person who is responsible for booking jobs in, can be based anywhere. That’s not all though. I suggested having a tablet next to the monitor where the service engineers can make their own notes / questions. Also, by having a tablet, next to the work planner screen, a service engineer could see only jobs assigned to them, and over a longer time period than a week, offered by the current whiteboard. Much food for thought for my customer.
That’s just the start though, and I always say “you’ve got to start somewhere!” Each process that is converted to web based will make your business more efficient and ultimately save you money. If your business gets into the habit of scanning all job related paperwork, all of those files can be accessed by anyone in your organisation, if they have permission of course. Your service engineer in the field may have a question about the order. Why not make it easy for them to get the answer to any question related to the job? If you make it part of the workflow, and there are clear benefits, employees are usually happy to make their colleagues lives easier.
Does your business have an over reliance on whiteboards? Have you considered the benefits of replacing them with remotely updateable screens?
As always, get in touch if you’d like some advice on remote working and going paperless.