With restrictions beginning to ease and the lockdown being lifted in the UK, it now seems that life is slowly starting to return to some form of normality. Friends and family are able to visit each other, schools have begun re-opening and trains and buses have become more frequent as more people venture out of their local area. This progress has resulted in some organisations choosing to re-open their offices giving staff the opportunity to work in the office environment again.

Although progress is being made, social distancing is still very much in place and will continue to be implemented for the foreseeable future. As a result, business leaders will need to find new ways to adapt to the changing office environment to adhere with government guidelines and to ensure staff safety. One way this can be achieved is by having the right print management system in place. By adopting the right print management system organisations are able to enhance office hygiene therefore limiting the spread of COVID-19, enable staff to continue being productive in the office, as well as ensuring collaboration between remote workers and office workers. But how?

The right resources will enhance collaboration

While remote working has generally received positive feedback, it does have some drawbacks. Those who work remotely will have to pay for many things most people in the office take for granted, such as printer ink and notebooks. But this burden can be reduced. Take printer ink for example – the right print management system can allow those in the office to send across a print job to a colleague’s home printer. Having unique pin codes or cards for every staff member allows organisations to see who is printing what and gives employers the opportunity to reimburse employees for printing costs.

Likewise, those who do not have the resources to own a printer are still able to print documents from their own home and collect them when they get into the office. This means those who prefer remote working won’t be at a disadvantage and can collaborate effectively with colleagues in the office. Not only does this ensure companies continue to collaborate but it also allows staff members to stay efficient no matter where they are situated.

Faster and more productive

Over the years printers have evolved drastically and are no longer devices that just simply connect to a computer and print a document. Innovation in technology over the past several years has allowed print management systems to provide multiple features that have allowed workers to become more productive by not wasting time doing mundane tasks. By adopting the correct print management systems, a company can rely on a printer to do an array of tasks that would usually take time and training to achieve. For example, once a document has been printed off it can be converted into a PDF automatically or sent to a specific email address straight away. Although this can be achieved manually, teaching employees these skills takes time that can be better used elsewhere. In turn transforming the post COVID-19 office into a more productive workspace.

Maintain a clean workplace

With government guidelines around social distancing not changing anytime soon, it’s important that businesses who do choose to re-open offices have a system in place where all staff are kept two metres apart from one another and contamination is kept to a minimum. To help combat this, some printing providers have developed mobile apps to use with their printers. Conventionally, when using a printer often you have to touch the screen – which everyone else has touched – to command it to do something that cannot be achieved on the computer. Pre-COVID this wasn’t an issue but now contamination is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Using an app that is connected to the printer can help combat this problem. The right app is able to release a print job and allow the user to pick advanced options like the colour and size of the document, with no need to use the printer’s control screen.

Having the right print management system in place won’t completely help organisations adapt to the changing office environment, other steps will also need to be taken, but it will play a significant role in bridging the gap between remote and office workers. It will help employees to collaborate with one another even though they might not be in the same building, street, or even city.