For the past year, companies are still unsure how to handle the current business climate. Mainly, it’s a question of whether employees should continue to work from home or come back to the office. Now, with a new wave of health concerns, companies are again questioning where their employees should reside in order to be productive and safe as they work.
Most organizations moved swiftly at the start of the pandemic to set up temporary home offices for their employees. Now, with no certainty that an end to the pandemic is in sight, companies are searching for a more permanent solution. The office hybrid model opens the door to a best-of-both-worlds solution, whether working from a business office or home. And within this model, managed print service providers are helping to ensure employees can move from their business office to their home office fluidly, which optimizes productivity.
Smart Business spoke with Dale Bielek, major account manager at Blue Technologies, Inc., about how companies can enable employees to stay productive as they move seamlessly between home and work offices.
How is hardware being handled in hybrid models?
With the need to offer their employees a more permanent solution in an office hybrid model, desktop print technology now plays a major role in setting up a home office. Business IT groups now find themselves trying to manage a unique print environment outside the main office. Several companies are leaving it up to the employee to manage their own desktop print devices at home. That includes the purchase of hardware and consumables. That in many cases leads to an increase in print costs and a greater challenge in servicing a mixed brand of desktop print devices, as well as the consumables in an employee’s home.
What strategies does the hybrid model offer to combat cybersecurity risks?
Especially in a hybrid model, managed print service providers should have partnerships with cybersecurity brands that can potentially eliminate the risk of a security breach, even in situations where employees are working remotely. Managed print service providers should also bring a standardized approach to a desktop print strategy throughout the organization. This works together with a company’s cybersecurity partner to ensure remote operations are locked down, that everyone is printing on the same devices, are receiving the proper parts and are networked under one secure program. A uniform, well-managed program such as this will dramatically help reduce breaches.
How have managed print service programs helped facilitate productivity while maintaining security?
Managed print service providers give business leaders visibility into their organization — what’s being printed, where, how often and at what cost. That’s important now because many companies are shifting back and forth from home to work offices and must continue to offer dependable tools that their workforce can rely on. That includes a desktop print strategy that manages device acquisition, service and supply activity, produces volume-level reporting and draws in an effective cybersecurity plan to tightly integrate everything. Efficiency and cost control are high priorities and cannot be overlooked just because an employee moves their work environment to a home office or other remote location.
Whether at the main office or in a home work environment, managed print service providers can create custom solutions that help companies manage these new imperatives. The hybrid model is compelling business leaders to shift their decision making to accommodate a more spread-out workforce. Providing a more permanent solution that gives greater visibility managing print assets and workflows can ensure companies maximize the resources effectively. At the same time, this creates cost efficiencies within a secure hybrid work setting. That can go a long way toward making sure an organization is operating at peak performance while maintaining security. ●
INSIGHTS Technology is brought to you by Blue Technologies, Inc.