Skip to main contentClick to view our Accessibility Statement or contact us with accessibility-related questions.
Woman sitting at desk, on her computer in her house with her child on her lap.

Top Tips for SMBs to Make Hybrid Work, Work

Securely connecting workers wherever they are

From competing to attract and retain talent to leveraging cost and efficiency benefits, accommodating a hybrid workforce is a priority for today’s employers. However, small-to-midsized business (SMBs) face specific challenges in this new workplace flexibility, especially without the expansive resources of larger corporate counterparts.

You need to find a way, for example, to help employees working at home achieve the same productivity as they do in the office - but without the benefit of the same in-office tools, access, and capabilities. Mobile workers need secure access to data and documents so they can work efficiently from anywhere. And your company needs to seamlessly connect your remote workers with those working in the office with collaboration and document-sharing capabilities.

The good news is there is an ever-evolving array of tools, technologies and strategies that can help your small-to-midsize business master the hybrid work environment. Solutions can range from a reliable home printer with advanced scanning capabilities to applications that will simplify workflows, automate steps, and bolster security.

A look at top challenges

Pete Munday, Global Marketing Manager for Xerox® Workflow Central, singles out two primary challenges that SMBs face.

"The top challenge is security. Smaller companies may require employees use their own laptops due to lack of resources. They don’t necessarily know the details of the home network or security practices. Employees, for instance, often leave their routers on default passwords or rely on overly simple passwords. Workers may not use VPN."

— Pete Munday, Global Marketing Manager

On another remote front, workers utilizing mobile devices to work from anywhere, may use a variety of web-based solutions to access and process data and documents without proper security protections or company oversight.

The best ways to prevent these security risks depend on the needs of your particular company. Pete advises a close look at how and where team members are working and start by launching a security awareness strategy. There are a growing number of affordable and effective options to address identified security needs.

Solutions to keep hybrid workers connected

Xerox has an expanded portfolio of software and hardware solutions, Pete notes, that offer security-enhancing capabilities. These include document encryption features, password protection tools, and software that prevents the spread of confidential information, and an application that allows IT to track what team members are printing – ideal for tracking print volumes in home offices.

Consolidating web-based tools that employees are using is another key step your company should take. Pete advises that your company begin by analyzing the needs of employees at home, on the road and in the office and select solutions that will address the needs of all three scenarios. This will help deter employees to seek out their own internet solutions, which could make it difficult for companies to manage security tools, devices and flow of information. For guidance, he suggests you talk to your preferred Xerox partner for more help on how to manage a hybrid work environment.

The right tools to rev up worker productivity

Are workers productive at home?

The second major hybrid workforce challenge for your small-to-midsize business is productivity, notes Pete Munday, Global Marketing Manager for Xerox® Workflow Central, which is something of a two-sided issue.

While there is some indication that home-based workers are more productive because they can be on the job faster without losing commute time and often work expanded hours, there is also a concern that home distractions can make them less productive and there is less management oversight.

Then there is the challenge of working without the same level of resources that are readily available in the office but not at home.

So, when you work from the office, all the tools that you need to stay productive are at your fingertips. What you need is on a server or a shared drive somewhere. Or you could move to a PC that has everything installed on it ready for you to go.

Getting it all when out of the office

"Businesses need to ensure workers can be as productive at home as they were in the office but with less equipment and limited physical space. That means using smaller, reliable devices that are easy to use and won’t require IT support. For example, home printers are being used more and more as essential business tools for smaller businesses."

— Pete Munday, Global Marketing Manager

There are an increasing number of productively-enhancing applications that help home-working and remote employees as well as those in the office. Xerox Workflow Central, for example, provides cloud-based tools that bridge the gap between physical and digital documents. Users can upload and digitize physical files and then choose from multiple time-saving options: summarize long reports, translate documents into multiple languages or convert documents to audio files for easy listening. They can even create automated workflows to simplify these processes and seamlessly share data more securely.

Another solution is Xerox® DocuShare®, a content management platform that digitizes and manages your content and automates business processes. It can be deployed in the cloud or locally to support the business need, while offering secure access to users in any location.

These standardized tools help keep workers on the same page, no matter where they are working. An employee on the road may convert a document to audio so they can review it while driving to a sales meeting, while a home-based worker may use the audio option to screen out home-based distractions (children, deliveries, barking dogs).

With the right solutions and strategies, your business can embrace hybrid working to ensure all your employees have access to the right tools and solutions, while improving worker satisfaction in the process.

Talk to your preferred Xerox partner for more help on managing a hybrid working office.

Busy office with a Xerox VersaLink C505 MFP

Xerox Small and Medium Business Solutions & Services

Find small business solutions for printing and printer management, insights into solving workflow and printing efficiency for small and medium businesses.

Hands typing on a laptop with digital symbols and specks of light floating above

How to free up your time to make a more efficient workday

We’ve pulled together some of the best tips we’ve learned from various small business owners through the years.