When millions of workers were relegated to their homes during the Covid-19 lockdowns, many SMBs initiated digital tools because it was the only way to maintain their operations.

But something else happened.

By enabling remote teams through the adoption of digital tools such as business process automation, they gained numerous advantages too. Many realised how much of an asset automation could be, by eliminating low-value repetitive manual tasks from employee workloads and giving them the time and opportunity to focus on higher-value and more meaningful work.


Remote work is here to stay

The pandemic has proven to employers and employees alike that work conducted remotely can be done efficiently and productively. In fact, according to a Gartner HR Lessons Webinar Poll, conducted in December 2020, 44% of employees said they were slightly, to significantly more productive than they were before the pandemic. As a result, the best employees are demanding that flexible work continue to be part of the picture in the future even when Covid-19 restrictions ease.

Quadient asked attendees of a webinar dedicated to small to medium businesses to project where they see themselves working by 2022. The percent of time they saw themselves working was relatively evenly split. As the events and environment of today continue to unfold, it seems employees are keeping their options open. Several global studies have predicted that employees whose work is primarily done on a computer will be working remotely at least one day a week by 2025.


Hybrid work environments are becoming the new norm

To continue to attract talent SMBs will need to consider offering employees a hybrid work scenario–one that is a combination of office and remote working. There is no reason why hybrid models can’t work if they are supported and empowered by the correct business process automation and electronic document management tools that are optimised to deliver hassle-free processes.

When it comes to implementing the correct tools, Quadient offers these two tips for SMBs.

  • Focus on anytime anywhere access, which means deploying SaaS solutions to empower your staff.
  • Leveraging turnkey, out-of-the-box solutions can remove a lot of the headache that comes from attempting to completely overhaul and optimise business processes.


The benefits of digital solutions for SMBs

SMBs that adopt business process automation, mail management software, document workflow software and other digital tools are helping drive new competitive advantages for their organisations, including:

  1. Enhanced visibility and tracking of customer communications from desktop to delivery and beyond
  2. Eliminating manual document processes saves costs and provides operational efficiency gains.
  3. Automated mail management software enhances the speed of the process and removes human error from the picture entirely so the right documents go to the right person every time.
  4. Having remote workers cost less because companies can maintain a smaller office footprint, reduce electricity bills, and do not need to buy as much furniture and equipment.
  5. Streamlining business processes through automation frees up time for employees to work and collaborate to their fullest potential and deliver a better customer experience.

Some SMBs, who have yet to adopt business process automation and other digital collaboration tools, may be hesitant about making the full commitment and as an alternative are considering taking a “partial automation” approach. Automation experts concur that this is not a good idea, recommending a fully automated system.


Because often when one part of a process is automated but not the end-to-end process, there is a possibility that human error can be automated into the process, which can exacerbate inefficiencies.


Build for the future

While the initial focus of implementing digital transformation initiatives was a response to mandated work from home requirements, digital solutions have enabled SMBs with better insight, visibility, and control over critical business processes, helping them make quicker and sounder business decisions.

By adopting a hybrid workforce your operation is building for the future. Once you have a cost-effective, flexible, and scalable solution in place you’ll be able to support your employees wherever they are, ultimately empowering your employees to be as productive and engaged whether they are working from home or in the office.  Discover how SMBs are optimising processes for the future of remote work.

Guy Clack

Guy Clack

Director of BPA Product Marketing at Quadient UKI

Guy Clack is the Director of BPA Product Marketing at Quadient UKI. Guy is a passionate product leader with over 20 years’ experience in Marketing, Product Marketing and Product Management across global software markets and brands. Guy helps organisations to transform their approaches to communications (physical and digital) and how those are received by their customers. Simplifying the complex, maximising efficiencies, and aiding a better customer experience.

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