According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS),more and more of Britain’s workforce are spending all or part of their working week completing business tasks at home.
Statistics reveal that 4.2 million people now work at home and the vast majority of them hold professional, management roles. In fact 73.4% of them “hold some of the highest skilled roles in the economy.”
This shift in working practices can be attributed to two main factors:
Firstly, the recession has encouraged more people to become self-employed. Since the economic crash of 2008, the number of workers officially registered as self-employed has increased by 10%.
Secondly, new employment legislation which gives all workers the right to request flexible working practicesmeans that employees are entitled to structure their working week in ways that suit their lifestyles; for many, this means completing administrative tasks at home.
However, many are finding that working from home, which has long been romanticised as the easy alternative to dealing with rush hours, office politics, overbearing bosses or irritating colleagues, presents a number of new challenges.
Working in isolation, staying motivated, separating work from family life, keeping informed about the developments in a professional industry and having access to all the technical tools necessary to get the job donewell, cancombine to make even the most driven individuals miss the office.
Investing in the right technical equipment can address most of these issues.
Almost every home worker has internet access and free programs like Skype and Google Drive make it easy to communicate and collaborate on projects remotely and remain connected to colleagues and aprofessional industry, regardless of work location.
But, in terms of developing or maintaining a professional reputation and levels of productivity, the abundance of software available online needs to be supported by hardware off of it and one of the best technical tools for that is a multi-function printer.
Modern multi-function printers (MFPs) now offer business users a range of features that complement home-working perfectly.
Compact, desktop or floor-standing printers from the likes of Lexmark, Kyocera and Konica Minolta have a number of features. For the worker who splits their working week between the home and office, the most useful ones are:
Users can print colour or monochrome documents directly from the Cloud via a wireless or remote source, so individuals can connect to a business printer and run print jobs from home, the office, or in transit between the two.
When personnel take work out of the office there is always an increased risk of confidential information being compromised, but data can be securely stored on an MFP hard drive which can then be remotely accessed when necessary.
Storing data on an internal hard drive not only enhances security, it relievesmemory space on home networks to increase their operating speeds and ensure that work, wherever it’s carried out, remains efficient.
Integrated third party software such as Adobe Echosign allows workers to secure legally binding, digital signatures. This means that employees who work from home can remotely request and secure signed documents from office-based management or third-party business clients.
With the right MFP, those who take the opportunity to spend part of their working week at home can continue to be an efficient and effective member of the office team.
To find out more about the range of printers that support home-working and compare the merits of each one, contact the UK supply partners of Lexmark, Kyocera and Konica Minolta printers at Copylogic.