Jason McMillan, Epson - socially distanced - TECHx (2)

Smart technology can enable the socially distanced workplace

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By Jason McMillan, Sales Director, Epson Middle East

As Middle East organizations move toward a “New Normal” with a mix of remote work and offices re-opening, smart technology services, especially in printing, can enable the socially distanced workplace.

Among Chief Financial Officers in the Middle East, a recent PwC survey shows that 76% of them are implementing workplace safety measures, including 85% of respondents in the UAE. More than half (54%) of Middle East organizations are driving automation and new ways of working, the survey adds.

Middle East offices that adopt these simple but effective office solutions, particularly when it comes to printing, can reduce touch points, help make employees more efficient, reduce servicing, and optimize overall printing costs.

Contactless printing technology reduces touchpoints

In offices, often employees gathered around printers to wait for their documents to be printed out. Many organizations adopted contactless printing solutions, such as Epson Print Admin to control paper and ink wastage, as printing is only completed when an employee swipes their card to release their print job.

Now that same contactless printing technology can help to control the gathering of people at printers, and also reduce the number of touchpoints as people swipe cards, not needing to touch the screen or buttons on the printer while also avoiding touching other people’s documents. Cloud-based solutions, such as Epson Connect, can allow employees to remotely print documents from their mobile devices instead of going to a printer to scan or copy documents.

Remote servicing and Heat-Free technology reduces multiple repair visits

One of the biggest concerns for bosses across the Middle East is having unexpected people visit their offices, potentially presenting health risks. In case printers need repairs, which used to be based on on-site visits can now largely be done remotely. Channel partners can use software such as Epson Remote Services to reduce on-site repair visits, increase first-fix success, and costs in servicing printers and business downtime.

Middle East organizations are starting to show strong interest in Epson’s Heat-Free technology, which can deliver productivity and print quality equal to that of laser printers, but without the preheating and fusing of toner to paper. This core technology allows inkjet printers to reduce users’ TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and environmental impact as they require infrequent servicing and generate less waste.

Larger offices de-centralize printing, scan and email documents

With the Middle East home to many conglomerates and regional headquarters, these larger enterprises can similarly adopt safety measures such as de-centralizing printing fleets. Rather than having one large printer that everyone uses, opting to place smaller printers around the office to reduce the gathering of people. Many offices can also scan and email documents as PDFs rather than handing them out – further reducing the number of touchpoints and continuing to foster the socially-distanced office.

Projectors and document cameras make space for social distancing

As Middle East workers return to offices, business leaders are leveraging projectors and document cameras to safely bring people back together and maintain social distancing while still able to see the material being presented in meetings.

Projectors offer a more flexible, inclusive, collaborative, and memorable solution than flat panel screens. For example, projectors leave no visible finger marks, and screen sizes can scale up to 350 inches. Employees working remotely can also annotate, share ideas, and add to group work. Document cameras can also share projected live views of 3D objects without people crowding or passing objects.

Investing in technology now leads to a safer, more innovative future

Futurists are predicting different forms of the return to work – from socially distanced desks to socially distanced circles on floors. Middle East organizations that adopt innovative printing technology now can enable the socially distanced office to meet government guidelines and to maintain business continuity.

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