3 Business Growth Strategies For A Hybrid Work Environment

As the coronavirus has swept through society and forced us to adapt to new ways of working, the trajectory of the workplace has shifted – and our business grwoth strategies must shift with it.

Experts are now predicting that the future of work will be domincated by hybrid work places – a combination of remote work and office/factory-centric work. With such a seismic shift in how we work, it will not be enough to simply adapt existing workplace models and strategies. Employers will need to challenge everything, from their business needs to current ways of working.

There are three strategies to help you establish an effective hybrid workplace that will enable business growth and agility into the future.

1. Define your hybrid working model

Many workplaces were forced to shift to remote working without a work from home policy in place to define processes, expectations, tools and KPIs. Now, however, businesses have an opportunity to prepare and plan for the “new normal”, and the first place to start is with new work processes and policies.

While it might seem easier to take what you already have and make amendments, you risk ending up with a confusing mixture of processes that don’t truly allow your business to benefit from hybrid working. Start afresh and challenge all of your current ways of working. Prioritise solutions that are flexible, agile and scalable as this will allow for easy business growth in the future.

Consulting with staff is absolutley key to establishing an effective hybrid working model. Understanding what is helpful for employees, what concerns they have, their preferred working styles and their lifestyle considerations, is critical.

Combine this information with your business needs (eg. do you get a lot of walk-in clients and need to maintain an office front?) and the hybrid working model that will be most beneficial for your organisation, as well as the technology and resources you need to achieve it, will emerge. Some examples include:

  • Employees having complete freedom to choose where they work
  • Employees booking spaces in the office as they would in a co-working space
  • Rotating teams between the office and remote working
  • Set days for remotr working across the company
  • Office space reserved for meetings, social events and in person collaboration
  • Limits placed on number of people in the office
  • Different solutions for different employees based on their job function

As you define your policies and processes, some aspects that you will need to consider are:

  • If you will allow your employees flexible work hours, eg. to catch public transport to the office off-peak or manage school drop-off and pick-up
  • What communication channels will you use and what rules you will establish for their use, eg. have your video on for online meetings
  • Do employees need to inform their manager or team of whether they’re working in the office or remotely each day or week?
  • How will you encourage a positive team culture across multiple locations?
  • What work set-up will you require employees to have at home or other locations, eg. you may have to provide employees with equipment for their home office, such as a home office friendly printer.
  • How will you manage work health and safety considerations across multiple work environments?
  • What expenses will you pay for remote workers? Eg. Internet, phone etc.

2. Reimagine your office space

There’s no point hanging onto office space that you’re not using. Once you’ve established your new processes and policies, it will become clear what your new physical space needs are. You may want to downsize as less people will be working from the central office, or a new fit-out may be necessary to increase the number of meeting spaces available for teams. It might also be time to think about co-working spaces rather tha continuing to manage your office independently.

Whatever your new office space looks like, there’s a good chance that you’ll find opportunities to save money through reduced square meterage or lower running costs. While some of these savings may initially go towards enabling your new hybrid working environment, over the long term you have the opportunity to put this money towards new business growth opportunities.

3. Use the right technology

Some of the key areas your technology platforms will need to enable for your hybrid workplace are communication, collaboration, file sharing and project management. The right technology is the difference between a hybrid workplace that is productive, efficient, collaborative and scalable, and one that isn’t/ For that reason, prioritise sophisticated tech solutions that can operate as a single source, rather than numerous cheaper platforms that don’t work well together. Working with companies that offer good ICT services and support is also important for remote workers who run into trouble.

Everything You Need To Know About Printer Total Cost Of Ownership

There are so many things in life that seem relatively affordable on the face of it.

A shaving razor for example. A perfectly affordable piece of kit. Well, until you need to buy the blades. When you add up a years worth of usage – which of course, nobody ever does – it  turns out to be a pretty pricey investment.

Similarly, a car is generally something we think about based on down payment and repayments over the term. What we often forget to factor in, howvever, is that this car can cost us up to 25% of the purchase price to run, year on year.

The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a concept that is therefore important for sound financial forecasting. Without it, we can find ourselves lumped with running costs for devices and equipment tha we can scarcely afford.

Did you know that printing, for example, is typically the third highest business operating expense, behind rent and payroll? You may be suprised to learn this, because, unfortunately, aggressive sales tactics based on discounted devices are frequently used to get buyers over the line. The isue is that buyers are then tied into a contract that sees them paying over the odds for consumables and related operating expenses.

So, how can you avoid the sting? Be aware of what the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of a print device includes, and ensure you’re comparing apples with apples based on it. Luckily, this post will give you a solid idea of how to get started.

Factors that affect a device’s Total Cost of Ownership

There are many factors that contribute to the operating costs of a printer or multifunction device (MFD), the main ones being:

  • Cost and yield of consumables (e.g. toner)
  • Electricity consumption
  • Paper consumption
  • Maintenance costs
  • Amount of user intervention required

Being able to calculate and compare each of these aspects accurately for your device’s lifetime can help you foresee any unnecessary expenditure before you make a commitment that will likely last for several years.

Calculating the total cost of ownership

Consumables are typically the largest component of your TCO, but there are also other factors that should be considered when calculating the TCO.

To begin, it makes sense to take a look at your business specific needs, so you can find the most appropriate device. Following this, look at aspects such as device costs, running costs, servicing, and typical longevity of the machine. If your company also has sustainability goals, it is worth assessing the environmental impact of the device or vendor as well.

Here is a list of typical questions you might start with:
1. What are the printing and copying needs of my business?
2. How much does the device cost to buy?
3. How much does the device cost to run?
4. What kind of service does the vendor offer?
5. How much user intervention is required? How much power does the device use?
6. What kind of impact does the device have on the environment?

Once you have these basics under wraps, you’ll have a solid overview of what you’re after.

If you want to get more granular than this, (and it is likely you will if you’re running any more than two or three devices), you’ll also need to understand how much power the device uses, how long you plan on owning the device, what delivery and installation costs are, how much they cost to service, and what kinds of warranties are offered by your vendor.

Other essential factors to consider

Another cost associated with buying technology equipment is tied to productivity, with most businesses running as lean as is possible. To this end, small to medium sized businesses witll often be drawn to a managed print service. This is where your supplier can manage all operational aspects of your devices for you.

This kind of service relieves your own employees from the administrative and support tasks required to keep the machines operational, including ordering toner, mainting the devices and keeping everyone productive.

When considering managed print services, make sure you review the levels of service that the vendor provides, compating vendor SLAs to ensure you’re getting fast, attentive service at a reasonable ongoing cost. Customer testimonials and online reviews are great ways to check out the service reputation of your vendor if you’re considering such an agreement.

Why bother?

With most of the technological feautures across vendor ranges and devices seeming similar, you could be forgiven for thinking that most comparable units come in at a similar cost. Fortunately, you now know that you can be clever if you take a good look under the hood, and calculate the longer term costs of your decision.

A printer of MFD is not just a one off purchase. It is an ongoing investment, and one that can have a significant impact on your operatonal costs, productivity and your office’s environmental footprint. Make sure you can make the best investment for your company by considering all of the factors that can contribute to a devices TCO.

If you’re interested in giving this a go yourself, check out this Ultimate Guide to Assessing your Printer or Multifunction Devices TCO. It outlines factors that can impact your device’s TCO, as well as a calculated example and some more in depth information that can help you plan for the best possible deal.

Find Out How The Medical Industry Saved Both Time And Money With Kyocera’s Help

With the medical industry working overtime right now, any time saved with better infrastructure can make health professionals’ lives easier. Find out how this health provider saved both time and money with Kyocera’s help.

BACKGROUND:

Formed in 1997, the South West Alliance of Rural Health (SWARH) is an alliance that focuses on the IT needs of acute public hospitals in the South West of Victoria, covering an aera of approximately 60,000 square kilometres.

THE CHALLENGE:

At the end of 2007, SWARH went through the tender process to select a supplier for all their printing and multifunction device (MFD) needs.

Among SWARH’s key criteria was lowered costs and reduced environmental impact. There was also the added challenge of delivering services to their remote network. “The tyranny of distance was a big factor! We have a lot of smaller, more remote places that we want to provide the same service to. Suppliers can say they will support these areas and then not deliver,” said contract manager Dennis O’Malley.

The shortlist was narrowed down to just three suppliers. In the end, however, Kyoceras’s experience and reputation helped to close the deal. “Kyocera’s experience with the Victorian Department of Education gave us the confidence they knew how to deliver across Victoria.” said O’Malley.

Kyocera’s monitoring services also gave O’Malley the added confidence that SWARH would have the resources needed to fully support their remote facilities. “Other firms competing for our business has an online monitoring service but Kyocera’s was the best we’d seen,” said O’Malley. The additional benefits Kyocera offered just couldn’t be ignored; it was an easy choice for us.”

THE SOLUTION:

Kyocera were signed on for a four year contract that involved replacing 250 of SWARH’s devices in a staggered roll out across Victoria. Right from the get go, Kyocera succeeded in exceeding expectations.

“It wasn’t part of the contract, but straight off the mark, Kyocera conducted an audit of all our major sites. This was really above and beyond what they had to do, and enormously helpful, because it told us not only what equipment was there, but what would be a more preferable configuration for us.” said O’Malley.

“It was a good exercise in making people aware that they can make significant savings by adopting the right strategy for their equipment. Even if you are looking at 10 to 20 machines, over four years, this can quickly add up to real cost savings.”

Kyocera recommended printers with the company’s unique ECOSYS technology, which dramatically reduces the total cost of ownership of its printer by up to 60 per cent.

“A big advantage of the Kyocera machines is the drums, which have a greater lifespan that other vendors, and that’s what leads to the cost savings. All your costs and potential savings are in the consumables. People may think they are getting a bargain on a $100 printer until they have to buy the consumables,” says O’Malley.

By using less materials and thereby diverting waste from landfil, SWARH can also dramatically reduce their environmental impact, fulfilling another of their key criteria.

Stop The Spread Of Covid-19 By Cleaning Your Printer Correctly

Health professionals and the government have placed a huge amount of emphasis on the importance of cleaning to prevent the transmission and spread of Covid-19. This means not only washing your hands thoroughly on a regular basis but also cleaning and sanitisig frequently touched areas that could be harbouring the virus.

Regardless of whether you are working from home, or are still able to work from your regular office outside the home – if you are frequently using your printer, or are sharing it with multiple people, you may want to consider the following steps to ensure your printer is free from any nasty germs lurking on its surface:

  • In order to kill Covid-19 germs, cleaning followed by sanitisation is required. This means reducing the visible soiling first so that the disinfectant can do its job effectively.
  • To safely clean your printer, turn the power off at the power point and unplug it.
  • Wipe any physical spills or dirt from the machine using a damp (not wet!) cloth with detergent. DO NOT saturate your printer in water, as it will damage it. Dry with a clean cloth as necessary.
  • Once dry, use an alcohol based disinfectant to kill any remaining germs. Disinfectant wipes can be used that have an alcohol concentration of 60% or more, however, they should not replace the manual cleaning process previously mentioned – they should be used together.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces should be carried out regularly to avoid the transmission of germs.

Add this cleaning procedure to your cleaning regime today!