How to ensure effective collaboration in the new office/remote working hybrid
Is your organization ready for this shift?
We’ve written about the impact of COVID-19 on the way we work multiple times, and arguably one of the largest impacts has been on the way we collaborate.
In data published by Statista, the three biggest struggles when working remotely are not being able to unplug, loneliness and difficulties with collaboration and communication. When collaborating prior to COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions, booking an in-person meeting to share and discuss ideas was a common occurrence but this has now changed.
Organic collaboration is almost impossible when working remotely and even planned sessions can be impacted by many factors including technical issues, dominant personalities and screen fatigue. Businesses are now heavily reliant on applications and software such as Microsoft Teams to ensure colleagues can work together as easily as possible. In 2020, Microsoft Teams added 95 million users making it one of the fastest growing apps of the pandemic.
Even with the recent easing of lockdown across the US and UK, there is strong evidence pointing to the post-COVID working future being a mix of remote and office-based work. For the success of this balance, it is key for businesses to ensure enough importance is placed on collaboration. Studies have shown organizations that promote collaborative working across departments and seniority levels can help with performance, as well as lead to higher engagement and lower fatigue levels.
One way that businesses could support a collaborative working environment is by implementing a document management system (DMS). A DMS is used to receive, track, manage and store documents (you can find more information here), and helps to make daily business processes more efficient. Find the ways in which a DMS can help with collaboration in your organization below:
Fast document and information access
When the UK government advised the people that could work from home to do so last March, there was a lot that businesses needed to organize within a short period. A major cause for concern was a reliance on documents being stored physically in the office.
Prior to lockdown, employees could easily go to a filing cabinet in the office to find an invoice or print out a document and hand it over to a colleague, but with remote working this is not possible. A DMS ensures that everyone across an organization, regardless of where they are in the world, can quickly access key information with ease.
With announcements last week from major employers across the world (including KPMG, employing 16,000 people in the UK), declaring staff to work in the office for two days a week, this may be a perfect time to switch to a DMS. It may not be certain when particular colleagues will be in the office to hand documents over to or know when they’ll have access to physical documents, which could cause roadblocks if quick action is required. Ensuring people have immediate access to these documents can help overall team collaboration and the speed at which teams work internally as well as across departments.
Our solution Zetadocs uses a central electronic archive to remove the inefficiencies caused by documents being spread across different systems and locations. This central archive could be on a SharePoint server, on SharePoint Online (Office 365) or in network folders on your file server. This allows documents to be stored in configurable folder structures to reflect your company’s work processes. Indexing information (metadata) is applied automatically making the search and retrieval of these documents quick and simple.
Build better relationships
As well as immediate access, a DMS ensures that people across departments are all looking at the same version of a document. Whether it’s finance, account management or customer services, everyone will have access to up-to-date information. Not only does this make working together easier, it reduces the chance of miscommunication and helps to keep departments away from individual silos.
A DMS not only ensures efficient internal collaboration but also enables better relationships with external stakeholders such as suppliers. This is true for our supplier invoice processing solution, which automatically splits and securely files scanned batches of invoices – giving direct and immediate access to suppliers’ invoices. In the case of any potential disputes or disagreements with respect to these invoices, our solution provides speedy resolution by ensuring that more staff have access to the information they need to answer queries. Again, this makes the lives of your suppliers simpler and allows for quicker decision making. Find a short demo of our supplier invoice processing solution below:
Overall increase in efficient business processes
Having a good DMS in place will also help overall efficiency of business processes. For example, when delivering and archiving electronic invoices, our solution not only reduces document delivery costs, it supports faster invoice payment. This managing of batch processing of documents helps finance teams to stay on top of payments and gives instant access to important information which can result in quicker decision making.
A system will also have an audit trail of who viewed/edited a document and when, guaranteeing accountability across teams and departments. A DMS also removes the issue of documents being misplaced or misfiled, again reinforcing and helping efficient business processes.
Future-proof your organization today with a DMS for the new working hybrid of office and remote working to guarantee collaboration stays an important and supported part of your organization. Collaboration can be an integral part of innovating and growing as a company so facilitating this is key.
Zetadocs can assist you with this, helping you to streamline your business processes.
Book a demo or get in touch with us today to discover more about how our tools can help your business.