If 2020 was the year of remote work, 2021 has been a year of figuring out how to go forward when it comes to how we work. Some companies have discovered numerous benefits to remote work and have opted to stay with that model or adopt a hybrid-model. Others have been anxious to have employees return to the office.

When transitioning back to an in-office model or hybrid model, it’s important to have a concrete plan when it comes to controlling and securing data across the office and employees’ homes. It’s paramount that businesses have a system that can do all that, while providing uninterrupted access to the business’s essential documents.

Cloud-based document management is an optimal solution for document-heavy processes that take place between coworkers, spread across several locations. It’s rare to work with any company that isn’t using some form of cloud storage, whether it’s for simple file-sharing or long-term document storage.

As businesses grow, so does their workload of organizing and filing paperwork. It’s becoming less and less sustainable for larger businesses to do it all with physical documents and filing cabinets. The convenience and intuitiveness offered by cloud storage are usually too good for any company to pass up.

Despite some people’s mistrust of storing data on the cloud, and the sentiment that physical records are more valuable and legitimate, digital documents are exponentially safer than paper documents for a variety of reasons.

When compared to a digital document that’s backed up to multiple locations and secured with bank-level security, a paper document is far more vulnerable. Without a viable backup, disasters such as fire and floods are all but guaranteed to destroy your records, with no chance of your business recovering.

Also, tangible documents have no inherent security tied to them like digital documents do. The best you can hope for is to keep them under diligent lock and key, otherwise, they’re susceptible to be taken by anyone who can gain access to your office.Ironically, a paper document doesn’t leave its own paper trail, so unless you have a consistent check in and check out system, you have no record of who has looked at it, made alterations to it, or made copies of it. With digital documents, it’s possible to attach an audit trail to each one, allowing you to see who has viewed the document and at what date and time.

Establishing Your Work Policy

The swift transition to telework with little understanding as to how long it would last, forced everyone to make quick decisions about how it would work in their organization. HR was no exception. But now that remote work is here to stay, it’s imperative that HR makes changes to work as smart as possible from anywhere. Here are our top five tips for HR professionals managing a remote workforce.

Setting HR policies keeps every employee on the same page about what is expected of them. Remote work can be more flexible than in-office work, so you should clarify your expectations specific to remote workers. What works for in-office employees may not be realistic for remote employees.

Setting clear guidelines about what employees should expect in their remote roles is a key HR duty for companies that have any telecommute positions. Clarify who is eligible for remote work, set expectations for the methods and frequency of communication, work schedules, and how you can work with employees to keep company information secure.

Technology can greatly increase overall employee productivity and keep team members’ goals aligned. It’s already extremely helpful for improving work in the office, but it’s completely essential for remote workers.

Technology can fill in the gaps of remote work shortcomings like a lack of communication or accessing important company data securely, while away from the office.

There is endless software available that will improve your company’s remote work strategies. Just a few examples of things that technology can simplify are communication, project management, benefits management, and data storage. Using this technology for yourself and your employees will help the whole company to run smoother than ever before.

Regardless of whether you go with a hybrid model or a complete return to office, it’s essential to create a digital environment that all employees can be comfortable working within.

It’s important to take the positive lessons learned during the pandemic and continue applying them when you return to the office. Not only will it result in better outcomes, but you’ll also be prepared in the event that your organization needs to return to remote working.