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Tips for Secure Work From Home Printing

Former Product Marketing Director
Organizations rapidly shifted to a predominantly work from home (WFH) workforce. Now they are considering keeping part of their workforce as home office workers. This might present challenges for you in IT when tasked with keeping company information safe and secure. One such area is the print and scan environment. Consider the many features and extensions YSoft SAFEQ has to support you.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many business workers shifted to working from their homes. Others, such as essential office workers, have been assigned office hours to adhere to social distancing. This hybrid workforce trend is taking place across the globe.

While this change may not be a permanent shift, there are clear indications that there will be an increase in permanent working from home. Both technology and society has reached the point where home working is a realistic and viable option. Gartner’s survey of CFOs suggest that a majority intend to shift 5% of previously in-office workers to permanent remote positions post-COVID 19. Others indicate they will move at least 20% to permanent remote positions.

Ten tips for Administrating Print For the Hybrid Workforce

If this sudden shift has left you scrambling to ensure data security and privacy related to print services, Y Soft SAFEQ can help. Below are some practical tips and tricks within YSoft SAFEQ to support both you and your organization in making the adjustment to remote working while not forgetting those essential workers who are still needed to be based in the office.
  1. Safe collection of printing
    Using the Authentication module, the home-based worker submits their print job as normal. They can then be given a dedicated time to enter the office to comply with social distancing. Once at their multifunctional device (MFD) of choice, they authenticate the print job for collection. You may want to designate printers to particular users to reduce contact and keep staff safe or move a printer near the building entrance to reduce the risk of coming into contact with others.
  2. Delegating printing to others for safe collection
    This is for documents which need to be printed but may be collected by another user. When the print administrator makes use of the shared print queue in Print Roaming, users are able to give others access to print their jobs. For example, essential office workers can pull designated print jobs to save people coming into the office. As with Authentication, only those with designated access can print the documents.
  3. Delegating printing to others for safe collection - web interface
    Building on point 2, this delegation takes place using a convenient web interface rather than the print administrator’s SAFEQ dashboard; meaning users can manage the print queue themselves without needing print administrator assistance. This is an easy extension to SAFEQ that Y Soft provides at no charge.
  4. Temporary access cards for flexibility and contact minimization
    In situations where people are working in the field at short notice, such as in pop-up Covid test centers, there is not enough time to plan ahead and allocate authentication access and program access cards. In these instances, paperwork still needs to be printed and security & privacy must be high. By using self-assigned cards, staff may use temporary badges to self-register for access only during their shifts. This SAFEQ extension streamlines the amount of time taken to handle administration tasks to activate temporary use cards. The beauty of using time-bound authentication cards is that only the person using the card will touch it. Once the user has finished their shift, cards may be sanitized and refreshed for reuse or discarded.
  5. Track costs and keep documents secure using home printers
    For instances where a home-worker needs to use a printer at home, YSoft SAFEQ can still support you. The ability to re-route a print job to a home printer simply requires the user to be on your VPN. Using the Local Monitor application on the workstation, the job can be sent to the home device. By keeping this inside SAFEQ, you ensure that your documents are kept secure. Another benefit of this is that you can track the usage with reporting and reimburse staff for the cost incurred.
  6. No VPN access
    On some occasions, home workers may not have access to your VPN, perhaps because they are a contractor or a temporary resource, but they still need to be able to print. In this instance, the user can upload documents to YSoft SAFEQ by email or via webpage, for printing by those who have delegate rights under authentication and rule-based printing.
  7. Scanning at home with secure distribution
    To make life easier and more organized for your home workers, all print jobs can be automatically converted into a digital document and delivered securely. This easy to use workflow can be configured so that no additional training or effort is required by your users. The digital document will be stored in a predefined folder and emailed to a designated address. Using SAFEQ’s Rule-based Engine, you can set the time of day, users, type of job and various other parameters. You could even create an additional print queue just for print from home documents for easy recognition and management. This also works for in-office users to distribute documents to home users, using Microsoft Exchange.
  8.  Getting documents from the office to be usable in the home
    Our Automated Scan Workflows enable in-office workers to scan to email, to shared folders, to a cloud repository, or to 3rd party applications. This means that everyone can have access to the documents they need without needing to be there in person. 
  9. Using your devices 
    We have worked with the Mopria Alliance to create an Android mobile print and scan tool. This app enables scan and print to be initiated from a mobile device, email or browser. Making printing quick and easy, users can control print settings such as color, number of copies, duplex, paper size, page range, media type and orientation. This user-friendly tool helps you get all of the relevant paperwork from the home worker to the office, your CRM systems and cloud repositories. 
  10.  Contactless printing
    Using our YSoft SAFEQ mobile App removes the need for users to touch multifunction devices to print their documents. The app also gives the user options around what to print and add in finishing options. It acts as the main interface removing the need to touch the device itself and keeping your staff safe.

Looking to the future

Nobody knows what the future of work will look like, but YSoft SAFEQ can do its part to help transform your business into a resilient workplace of the future with a flexible, cost-effective and user-friendly print and scan solution.

Matthew Wrighton
Matt is a former product director of Y Soft. In that role, he led the product strategy and execution for YSoft SAFEQ, ensuring customer insights and our company’s strategy and goals are supported by those in product development. He's a family man with 3 children. He loves sports, both watching and participating, especially football. Outside of sports, he loves socializing and enjoying a nice glass of wine and good food.
View all posts by Matthew Wrighton

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