Remote workforces offer many cost-saving benefits for small businesses with growing teams. However, remote work can create challenges if your business relies on document sharing. Managing records for remote teams means ensuring a secure, streamlined system that allows workers to collaborate, access, and edit documents while remaining compliant and agile. Record management for remote teams can be easy with a record and document management system.
What is Record Management?
Record management is the efficient process used in the creation, storage, receipt, maintenance, sharing, day-to-day use, and destruction of records. It uses processes to capture and maintain business information related to daily activities, projects, and transactions across the entire enterprise.
What are the Common Challenges of Remote Record Management?
You’re likely facing several common record management challenges, including:
Reduced productivity: When your team works from multiple locations, it’s impossible to access records and maintain accuracy without a central hub for your records and documents. Trying to perform core tasks without access to required documents leads to lengthy email exchanges and phone calls to track information. This continuously disrupts workflows and holds up project progress.
Lack of collaboration: Real-time collaboration requires workers to access documents at the same time. Productivity is disrupted if remote workers have their own versions or aren’t working from a central system. This can require ongoing virtual meetings to ensure everyone knows who is doing what.
Data security risk: Working from various locations increases the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access. This can lead to compliance issues and an increased risk of unauthorized users accessing sensitive information.
Inefficient document workflow: Document workflows are interrupted, and steps are missed when team members work from different locations. Without a system that allows people to create, review, and approve documents, oversights happen, and tasks are overlooked. This increases the risk of errors.
Inconsistent access: Remote teams often need access to documents and records on the road. If they can’t use their mobile devices, it impacts workflow efficiency and holds up team projects and processes when review or approvals are required.
Inconsistent version control: Multiple versions saved at multiple locations lead to confusion, errors, and inefficiency. It also causes mistakes when people are using outdated information.
Burdensome paper documents: If paper records are stored at your main office, remote workers are at a disadvantage. As a result, they may need someone at the office to scan and share documents, taking them away from their core tasks.
Compliance issues: Accurate record-keeping and industry regulations can be difficult with remote workforces. This can lead to compliance issues when records aren’t properly maintained.
Accountability problems: When managing a remote team, tracking information and understanding where issues and mistakes occur can be complex.
How an Effective Document Management System Overcomes Remote Challenges
A document management system (DMS) is a solution that helps overcome remote challenges. A DMS will:
Facilitate productivity: A DMS provides centralized storage to organize and easily retrieve documents. Remote workers share the same source, saving time, improving accuracy, and allowing them to perform tasks without time-consuming emails. Plus, if someone is away or leaves the company, their records are available with the click of a mouse.
Leverage collaborative tools: Centralized document management improves communication and teamwork, allowing teams to collaborate effortlessly. The system tracks changes and will enable collaborators to leave comments that send notifications to those involved. You can eliminate the need for emails and time-consuming virtual meetings. Approvals/reviews are also automated with preset routing capabilities.
Improve security: File management using a document management system reduces the risk of data breaches. It also uses role-based authorization to ensure only those with permission can access data. Leading-edge access controls and encryption work together to create a secure system while making access easy for authorized users.
Automate document workflows: Document management software allows you to automate day-to-day records management tasks based on your step-by-step processes. You create more structure at every step, from document creation to automated approval and review routing to automated notifications and reminders when action is required—ensuring nothing is missed.
Optimize remote access: If team members are on the road, your DMS allows authorized users access to documents anywhere and anytime. As a result, workflow continues without disruptions, and everyone can remain connected to the documents they need, no matter where they are.
Strict version control: With a central hub, you know everyone works from the most recent version of every document in your system: no more confusion, duplication, errors, or poor decisions related to outdated information.
Eliminate paper reliance: Document management systems work hand in hand with data capture and scanning technology, allowing you to provide digital versions of all your records. This enables workers to share and access information to improve efficiency.
Improve accountability, compliance, and audit trails: Audit trails saved within your system ensure you always know who accesses what documents, the changes made, and the date changes were made, improving accountability. Audit trails and accurate records also make sure you can prove document compliance based on data protection regulations. Should you face an audit, you can present an audit report that shows you adhere to record-keeping requirements. You can also set notifications based on data retention policies telling you when records can be destroyed.
Facilitate remote training: As a bonus, a DMS provides training for remote teams, making the onboarding process easier. You have efficient workflows in place that empower new team members to jump into their jobs quickly with confidence and contribute to the productivity of your business.
Document Management Best Practices
A document management system allows you to embrace document management best practices, including:
- Eliminating siloed records
- Creating a centralized system combining paper and digital records
- Optimizing security for reliability
- Enhancing collaboration with version consistency
- Improving accountability
- Automating compliance
- Facilitating remote training on records management protocols
- Streamlining document management workflows through automation
Adapting record management practices is easy when you use a DMS that allows you to address the realities of remote work challenges. As a result, you can rise above challenges with improved productivity, security, and compliance for a stronger, more efficient team.
The experts at MES Hybrid provide a record management solution ideal for your remote team. Contact us to schedule your free consultation today.