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Should You Let Your Employees Work from Home?

Telecommuting is on the rise. Some 3.9 million U.S. employees, or 2.9% of the total U.S. workforce, work from home at least half of the time—a 115% increase since 2005—according to the 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce report from FlexJobs. And for every employee who currently telecommutes, there are many more who wish they could do so: just 7% of U.S. employers offer flexible workplace options for the majority of their employees. Benefits of telecommuting for small businesses Telecommuting has many benefits for telecommuters, such as better health, more job satisfaction and improved quality of life. But employees aren’t the only ones who stand to gain from telecommuting. Here are a few ways telecommuting can boost your business. Helps you attract and retain workers: Some 62% of employees have left or considered leaving a job because it didn’t have work flexibility, and 79% say flexible options make them more likely to stay with an employer. With larger businesses more than twice as likely as small ones to offer telecommuting options to employees, FlexJobs reports, offering this perk can give your small business a real edge in attracting and retaining skilled employees. Saves you money: When employees telecommute, it reduces your business’s expenses for utilities, office space, parking space, storage space and more. It’s estimated that each employee who telecommutes just half their time saves their employer $11,000 a year. Plus, employees themselves save an average of $4,000 a year—the equivalent of getting a raise without you having to increase their wages. Increases business productivity: Time saved commuting can be spent working, making telecommuters more productive than in-office employees. A two-year Stanford University study found telecommuters were more focused and productive, were less likely to stop work early or start late, took less paid time off and took shorter breaks. All told, the average telecommuter gains back the equivalent of 11 workdays per year that would otherwise be spent on the road, according to FlexJobs. Is your business ready to make the switch to telecommuting? Smallbiz expert @Rieva explains why you should and how to get started…

How to Choose the Right Printer for Your Small Business Needs

Printer selection is wider than ever before, offering something for every business, of every industry and size. Yet rather than making your printer purchase easier, the scope of selection can feel overwhelming. In this post, we’ll advise you on the most important features to look for in your next printer. It should help you manage your costs Whether you’re ready to put a managed print program into place today or down the line, the printer you choose for your small business should be equipped with tools that give you the ability to track how your printer is being used. Apps like the Universal Printing Assistant can monitor all of your networked printers automatically, from anywhere, right on your smartphone or tablet. You’ll know when your printers are online, alert, or in need of toner. Understanding your printer usage can help you cut your print costs by reducing the number of documents you print and preventing documents from being left sitting in the printer tray, a move that is not only wasteful but also a security risk. It should have security features built-in A 2017 report from smallbiz.com showed that 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses. One of the most surprising vulnerabilities? The office printer. When making your next printer purchase, ensure it has these security features built-in: Authentication options ensure that the printer will only release documents when users enter their PIN or swipe their badge at the machine. Print encryption protects your data as it moves, ensuring it is safe from creation to destination. Password protected scanning allows you to password protect your PDFs so that only authorized people can access the data they contain. Xerox’s AltaLink® and WorkCentre® EC7836/EC7856 multifunction printers come bundled with McAfee Embedded Control software so you can rest easy knowing that your MFPs and any data associated with them are safe and secure. Common Criteria Reports are available for all of Xerox’s hardware devices, so you can be assured that every device you purchase meets or exceeds industry security standards. With so many different printers and multifunction devices on the market, how do you know which one…

Six Ways to Growth by Thinking Differently about Your Business

In the age of digital disruption, every company needs to think differently about their business – both to grow beyond their core markets, and to head off competition from new entrants. But often the exact skills that helped companies succeed in the past prevent them from finding success in the future. At Xerox, we have reinvented the company multiple times as technologies and markets change over time. While today’s chapter in our history is still being written, we have found several ways to think differently about our business. These six insights may be helpful to other companies with a similar need to transform and grow beyond their core business. Focus on what your customers want, not what you make Your customers buy from you for a variety of reasons, the most important is that you help them achieve the outcomes they want. But it’s all too easy to lose sight of that, and focus only on improving your product or service to keep up with competitors. This tunnel vision can prevent you from helping your customers achieve their outcomes in new and better ways, and exposes you to new entrants that have figured this out. With this mindset, you focus on how to deliver your core value to your customers in new ways. For instance, auto manufacturers will still be around in the future, but they are starting to define themselves as “mobility services companies.” They will increasingly deliver transportation as a service that meets the needs of young people who have little interest in car ownership. When you think about Xerox, it’s not wrong to think “Xerox makes printers.” But Xerox is not just a printer company. Fundamentally Xerox has always helped customers with work – using or inventing the best technologies of each age. Printing, scanning, and managing documents are key components of work, but only a subset of all the activities that define work. It is critical for us to understand how our customers define work. Our office customers don’t just want to print; they want to automate workflows and accelerate decisions and revenue. So we created…

4 Things Your Remote Teams Wish You Knew

Innovation isn’t always about the tools we use at work. Just as often, it’s about the way we work. As more and more businesses begin to appreciate the benefits of enabling their employees to work remotely, the size of the remote workforce is approaching record numbers. It’s easy to understand why. The idea of breaking free from the 9-to-5 mold is the goal of many an office worker. Being able to work where, and in many cases, when they want makes for a happier and more satisfied worker. Millennials, in particular, are embracing this change to the status quo, so it makes sense to consider this option when recruiting them (and you should definitely be recruiting them). But with rapid growth like this comes an inevitable learning curve. There is no handbook for how a remote office should operate; no precise guideline for what percentage of the team should work this way, or for what percentage of the workweek. Business owners who embrace flexible and remote work options are pioneering a new way to work. Due to the innovative nature of remote offices, best practices for managing remote teams effectively are constantly evolving. At Xerox, we spend our days talking to business owners, managers and employees just like you. Don’t you forget about me! Here’s the innovative technology you need to stay connected to your virtual teams & provide a full in-office experience from anywhere Here are the top four things your remote workers want their teammates to know: It’s Any Time, Not All the Time The flexibility of working remotely is one of the largest draws for most employees. But their in-office counterparts would do well to remember that simply because today’s mobile work tools make it possible to work from anywhere, at any time, doesn’t mean that virtual employees don’t struggle to balance work and home life just like anyone else. It makes sense that they want the same freedom as other employees to say no to meetings, phone calls or emails that take place well outside normal working hours. They also have the reasonable expectation of being able…

How the Right Supplies Can Maximize Productivity and Print Performance

Business owners and managers are faced with big decisions day in, and day out. They’re also faced with big challenges. Reducing overhead. Increasing productivity. Which MFP is right for our office? Should we let our teams work remotely? That’s why it’s such a relief to find that every once in a while, a decision comes along that is easy to make – and which yields big results, with little effort. In this case, the magic word is toner. That’s right: toner. The supplies you choose are as important to the productivity of your office and the cost of running it as the equipment you choose. It’s a gospel we’ve been preaching for years, but not everyone has gotten the message. That’s why we’re talking about it again today, to give you a detailed look at just what choosing the right supplies can do for your office productivity, and for another critical element of your office output: your print performance. Often overlooked, toner is the unsung hero of the modern workplace, having undergone significant changes in recent years that has made it easier to use and also less expensive at the same time. Not many office products can say the same. Here’s how today’s office supplies can help you build a better office, starting with everyone’s favorite: Lower costs. While cost isn’t everything, it is a driving factor for many office purchases. While genuine supplies are always a better investment in the long run, most people would be surprised to know that quality toner is more affordable than ever before. Technological advances in toner design have resulted in better, less expensive, and safer materials, as well as machines that operate faster and cleaner. An excellent example is the EA (Emulsion Aggregation) toner from Xerox. Because EA toners melt at a lower temperature than other toners, EA toners adhere to paper better without building up inside the machine. Because toner build up eventually leads to a service call, EA toners make for greater dependability. And because they melt at a lower temperature, they also result in lower energy consumption, saving you an average of 20%…

Declare Your Independence from These 5 Things

More than 240 years ago, our nation’s founders turned 13 colonies into a new country when they threw off the yoke of the King. Are you ready to declare your own independence? Here are five things to free yourself from for a more successful business. Declare your independence from the office. Take advantage of warm summer days by getting work done outside the office. Yes, those stock photos of businesspeople with a laptop in hand and toes in the sand can be you and your employees if you enable remote work. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, or simply working at home or a nearby coffee shop, using cloud-based software, file storage, and collaboration apps allows access to everything you need wherever you are. With a Xerox® ConnectKey® Technology-enabled MFP, you can even print documents from the cloud for added convenience when working away from your office. Worried about printing sensitive documents in a public environment? You can require user authentication in order to print, scan or copy to protect your data. Download the Xerox® Mobile Link app to your smartphone or tablet, and you can scan, fax and print from your device by connecting with Xerox® MFPs. Xerox Mobile Link App – 3-in-1: Capture It, Manage It, Send It Xerox® Mobile Link is a mobile app that can scan, fax and print from your phone or tablet by connecting with Xerox® multifunction printers (MFPs). Declare your independence from out-of-control printing costs. Did you know that printing eats up 15 percent of the average SMB’s IT costs? One look around your office and all of the discarded sheets of paper in trash cans or recycling bins will confirm that fact. Set yourself free from excessive paper and ink costs by storing documents in the cloud whenever possible. You can rapidly scan existing print documents into popular cloud storage apps, like Microsoft 365, Google Drive and Dropbox, when you use Xerox Versalink® printers with ConnectKey technology. Even for those times you still need to use paper, there’s no need to waste money. You can save by choosing Xerox® printers that print…

What Does a Good MPS Offering Look Like?

If you’re yet to engage with a managed print services (MPS) partner, you may be wondering what to look for. Equally, if you’ve had a bad experience with a partner, you may be wondering what qualities they were missing. What Every Business Wants from MPS Printers and scanning devices still play a major role in businesses of all sizes. Whether you use them for internal documentation or for heavy-duty promotional work, the devices you rely on day-in, day-out need to deliver on quality and cost savings. And for that, you’ll need help from an MPS partner. When you consider your print environment as a whole, there are three key challenges an MPS partner should be able to help you with: reducing costs of hardware purchases, consumables, and stationery; raising productivity throughout the organisation; and obtaining a single invoice and the ability to recharge business units. If you run a multi-site operation, the above challenges are multiplied, but even if you’re a single-site SME, you’ll benefit significantly from an MPS provider that has a proven track record in building strategies, achieving cost savings and basing their work on solid industry experience. Xenith’s 3-Step Methodology In order to solve the challenges notes above, Xenith works with a 3-step methodology: Understand: A Business Analyst will work with your Account Manager to understand your people, processes and business requirements before designing a print strategy. Execute: Any changes to your existing system must be introduced carefully with user buy-in. Our Business Transformation Team will work with you to accomplish this. Improve: We continually improve your infrastructure during the lifetime of your contract and stay responsive to changing business requirements. A good managed print services (MPS) partner should be able to do these 3 things No More Sweating the Small Stuff The closer an MPS partner works with you, the more their efforts will benefit all areas of your business. For instance, by implementing analytical solutions, they’ll help you put an end to guesswork with data-driven analysis of your print environment. By acting as the conduit between your business and suppliers, they can also ensure you benefit from transparent…

How to Set Up the Perfect Remote Workspace

The number of businesses who are empowering their employees to work from home is growing larger every day. In fact, the size of the remote workforce is approaching record numbers. It’s not only a sign of the times, it’s proof that business owners are ready to embrace the benefits it brings, even when it means a brand new way of doing things. It’s a move that is succeeding. A recent Stanford study found that remote workers were more productive, got more done, worked longer hours, took fewer breaks, and used less sick time than their in-office counterparts. And those aren’t the only benefits. If you’re ready to reap the same rewards for your business, or if you’re an employee who is about to make this shift yourself, we’ve got a simple guide to help you get started. Choosing the Right Space If you’re reading this from your sofa with your laptop balancing on your knees, you’re not alone. Plenty of remote workers start their journey unsure of what they’ll need – or where they will put it. Not every remote worker will have four walls and a desk dedicated exclusively to office space. If you don’t, keep in mind that all you really need are just a few vital features: Quiet. Your remote workspace should be free from distractions when it’s time for a conference call or video chat. A neat, uncluttered, quiet corner will do. When it comes to getting the job done, if noisy neighbors, the doorbell, or your lawn care crew make it difficult to stay focused, try a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Light. Offices are beginning to recognize the benefits of having plenty of natural light in the workplace. Try to find a space that includes a window, and if that isn’t possible, try one of these alternatives. Comfort. Whether you’re there from 9-5 every day or you only visit your home office part time, it should be a comfortable space, and one you look forward to occupying. The great news is that a functional, stylish desk doesn’t have to take up a lot of space…

How to Put Powerful ConnectKey Apps to Work Even in the Smallest Office

ConnectKey® Technology transforms and adapts to the office and anywhere employees work, giving them the freedom to be more productive and solve new business challenges as they arise. “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” While Shakespeare obviously wasn’t talking about application technology, he could have been. The size of a fingertip, apps pack a mighty wallop when it comes to the impact they have on our lives. From helping us find a restaurant to managing our banking, connecting us with friends and family, and even putting movies and television shows right in the palm of our hand – from anywhere – apps have completely transformed the way we live, and the way we interact with the world around us. With the launch of its ConnectKey®-enabled family of desktop printers and multifunction printers, Xerox unleashed the power of apps in the workplace, giving businesses the power to simplify their workflows, enable remote teams, translate documents and more, with just a few simple clicks of a button. But too many businesses have dismissed ConnectKey Technology® as being just for the big guys, when in reality, there are right-size devices for even the smallest office. Apps: Your Roadmap to Digital We’ve long evangelized digitization as a better way to work. One of the easiest ways to get started is with simple to use scanning apps that live right on your ConnectKey®-enabled printer or MFP. Some of the most popular scanning apps include: Xerox Scan to Cloud Email makes it easy to scan and email your documents without any email setup. Best of all, it supports virtually every format you’re using, including PDF, PDF/A, XPS, TIFF and JPEG. Xerox Scan to Cloud Email – Scan and email your documents. This simplified scan services requires no email setup. Supported scan output formats include: PDF, PDF/A, XPS, TIFF and JPEG. Xerox Mobile Link App puts a scanner right in your pocket. Mobile Link allows you to easily configure jobs and initiate them directly from your phone. You can even capture images using your smartphone camera when you’re on the go. Xerox Mobile Link App –…

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