Life’s been in lockdown; but what about recovery?

By Epson Blog Team

We’ve spent months in lockdown trying our best to continue under difficult circumstances, but my thoughts were never far away from recovery and life ‘after’.

I think it’s fair to say that few of us believe things will become ‘normal’ over night and recovery is likely to take time, but in some markets we’re starting to de-confinement, with school and essential businesses opening first.

So how will things unfold, and what can we and our channel partners do to help the process?

For one, most people expect that social distancing will remain a requirement, or at least an advisory, for some time. In an office or school that’s designed and laid out to accommodate many people working or learning together, physical changes will need to be made. Ideas about alternating days for classes or teams are circulating, as well as thoughts on how meeting rooms can be adapted to accommodate two-meter distancing.

As experts in technology used in work and learning spaces, we and our channel partners are well placed of offer thoughts and ideas on how technology can be used to support these approaches. And an immediate thought for me is of course the printer.

Like the coffee machine or the water cooler, the printer is often a place that people gather, and while that was a social positive for many, now it’s a big no-no. Working with our channel partners, we’re able to advise end users on simple ways to reduce print queues, either by amending the print fleet set up from centralised to a more distributed structure, or by turning on or enforcing the use of available software.

Look at the print fleet structure

For many organisations, a distributed fleet has been of benefit for a number of years, reducing print queues or reliance on a few centralised products. This structure can not only help improve employee productivity as there is less waiting around for prints to be delivered, but it can also help reduce product downtime overall.

Unlike with a ‘copy-room’ style set-up, a distributed fleet sees more, smaller units distributed around the business for use by smaller workgroups. As a result, fewer print jobs are queuing at any one product at any one time, and if an issue occurs with one unit, users can switch to another product for immediate continuity. This is particularly true if they are using ‘follow me’ style access software.

In the workplaces we’re likely to return to, where we need to be mindful of proximity to others, such a print set up brings additional advantages and will help make social distancing easier to comply with.

This is a simple, structural approach that we and our partners can help advise on.

Turn on software solutions

Simple software solutions, such as Epson Print Admin, equally offer benefits that will aid us in our ‘socially distanced’ return to work.  This type of solution likely already exists as an option within your existing setup and will be simple to activate or add if not already there.

Access cards that can be swiped at the point of print mean reduced contact is needed with the machine, and as prints aren’t sitting in paper trays waiting for collection, no one will be searching through or unnecessarily touching other peoples’ pages. Similarly, the ability to ‘pull’ prints from any machine within a designated group allows people to select the devise they want to release their prints from, meaning that if one machine is busy, they can opt to use a quieter one, avoiding waiting next to or near colleagues.

For the channel, solutions like our new Epson Remote Service software equally mean that remote print management and servicing can be deployed and reduce the need to send engineers to site.  Not only does this solution help improve print availability for end customers, it reduces the need for on-site servicing, and should an engineer need to be deployed, remote access and visibility of issues means that fist-fix rates can be increased. These are all additional benefits in a world where we’re working to increase proximity, reduce unnecessary product contact and of course minimise site visit requirement.

I for one am looking forward to getting back to the office.

It will be interesting to see what that looks like in the short term and how we can leverage the solutions we have available to us to ease the ‘back to work’ process.

About Epson

Epson is a global technology leader dedicated to co-creating sustainability and enriching communities by leveraging its efficient, compact, and precision technologies and digital technologies to connect people, things, and information. The company is focused on solving societal issues through innovations in home and office printing, commercial and industrial printing, manufacturing, visual and lifestyle. Epson will become carbon negative and eliminate use of exhaustible underground resources such as oil and metal by 2050.

Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the worldwide Epson Group generates annual sales of around JPY 1 trillion.

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Epson Blog Team

Our team of bloggers have a passion for how technology can improve your lives and want to share this with you.