Touch Less - How COVID-19 Has Changed The Office

mobileprint2With the advent of smartphones and tablets, the rise of the touchscreen was everywhere. Whether at the grocery store when checking out or in your car to control your stereo and navigation, all aspects of our lives were simplified with a touchscreen. The touchscreen took the copier world by storm, replacing LCD displays and removing all of those buttons. Touchscreens made copiers look and feel more like the smartphone we all know and love to use. While that technology allows us to create personalized experiences with our office technology, it also created the potential for another high-touch surface in our businesses. Germs are obviously nothing new, but COVID-19 has created an amplified awareness of all of the ways in which touching shared surfaces could be a bigger risk than we realized.

While working from home meant offices didn't have as many people inside physical locations, now across the country offices are reopening, and workers are concerned about the need to use shared surfaces. Touchless technology has been a part of our offices for awhile. Lots of everyday items have sensors that limit the use of hands - faucets and toilets, doors and lighting. So how do we make our offices more "touchless" to alleviate the concerns of employees and help everyone stay safe and healthy at work? Of course, we're all following all of the CDC's cleaning and sanitizing guidelines, but what if we didn't need to touch those touchscreens again? Check out these touchless solutions for a healthier office.

In 2017, Sharp was the first MFP manufacturer to work with Amazon when they introduced MFP Voice with Alexa. While many thought it was a clever feature to have, most said it wasn't really necessary. Today, MFP Voice isn't a nice to have, it's a need to have! With workers returning to the office and needing to use the shared MFP (yes, shared MFPs are still alive and well in business!), they need to be as safe as possible. Being able to control your MFP with just a few voice commands means your hands stay off the touchscreen. However, maybe you're one of those folks that just isn't down with Alexa (I said PRINT Alexa, not MINT! Are you trying to tell me something Alexa?). 

Controlling the shared MFP is pretty simple with Synappx™ Go from Sharp. Synappx™ Go is an app that can be installed on your smartphone and with a few simple taps, you're ready to roll. With its simple setup wizard, you can release prints from the MFP from your smartphone screen. You can also scan documents and set up personalized scan settings and cloud storage access to get your documents where they need to be quickly. Synappx™ Go uses a small NFC tag that is placed on your MFPs. When you want to copy, scan or print, just tap the NFC tag and follow the prompts from the app.

You may think that your staff isn't going to be thrilled with these new ways of operating the MFP, but with COVID-19, SO MANY THINGS have changed! New technology pushes employees out of their comfort zones, but studies show that people can and do adapt to change. Utilizing new technology that keeps your employees safe from high-touch surfaces shows them you care about their well-being. Managing the change by providing some simple training on the technology will help them gain comfort, and soon these methods become second nature.

As workers continue to return to the office, in whatever capacity that is, health and safety has to remain a top priority for everyone. You've moved workstations to six feet apart and asked all employees to wear masks. You are social distancing and conducting meetings with online platforms like Teams or Zoom. Consider MFP Voice and Synappx™ Go the next evolution in your office technology. Your employees will thank you for protecting their health.