How mobile has changed the way we work with documents

In a relatively short span of time, humanity has moved from a life of working in the fields, to the factories of the big cities, and then to the air-conditioned offices of the growing service economy. But this is not the end of the human work story, and today a new chapter is developing, with the age of the mobile worker. Read on for an exploration of the things that you can do with your mobile phone to boost productivity, and get away from your desk into the bargain.
Business people using laptop at train station, working on mobile

By this point in the 21st century there can be no doubt that mobile phones have revolutionised the way we live our lives. Even things that we could previously do with the use of a desktop or laptop computer have been transformed dramatically by the small lump of plastic, glass and electronics that we keep in our pockets. The frequency with which we interact with our emails for example has shifted up a gear considerably, with 34% of mobile users estimated to only use their mobile device when checking email,  while many more mobile-specific channels of communication have opened up, such as WhatsApp.

But mobile has also had an intrinsic effect on the way that we work, specifically how we work with documents. No longer restricted to their office chairs, in 2015 60% of workers reported working outside of the office at least some of the time, and this is just the tip of a developing iceberg.

Capturing data on the move

    Imagine if you had a pocket-sized device which you could use to capture data of any sort wherever you are, and not only store it but transmit it instantaneously to your colleagues back in the office. Fortunately you don’t need to imagine this scenario, as you in fact already have such a device in the form of your mobile phone. Using mobile capture software you can effectively use your phone as a portable scanner when on the move – particularly useful when filing forms from customer appointments or engagement data from events.

    When scanning via mobile devices you can also capture not only an image but the actual data from a form or document, if you use software which has optical character recognition capabilities, such as Nuance’s Power PDF and OmniPage.

    Mobile printing

      For businesses with multiple offices and a highly fluid and mobile workforce, mobile printing can save a considerable amount of time and hassle, and help keep productivity high. If your business adopts a BYOD – ‘bring your own device’ – policy, visiting colleagues can simply print from their own mobile or tablet, rather than having to log in to a desktop computer to access and print documents. Once they have access to your Wi-Fi network they can send print jobs straight to the office printer, while on-demand release of print jobs can help to ensure that data stays secure.

      The convenience of e-signing

        Long gone are the days when you had to carry around a stack of forms for customers or clients to sign – today all the forms you need can be carried electronically within your mobile or tablet device. And because an electronic signature is just as legally binding as a physical one, you can carry out the entire process of letting them read and sign the contract digitally.

        Connected collaborating

          According to one study, 34% of people use smartphones to stay organised, and with so many potential tools that can be used for this purpose this is surely unsurprising.

          Once you’ve captured data and documents via your mobile device then you’ll inevitably wish to work on them further, and to do so there’s no need to leave your smartphone. Professional PDF software can make remote working feel like no more effort than if you were in the office, giving you the ability to convert to many different formats, organise within local file structures or the cloud, and edit or annotate as you see fit. When working via the cloud, you can also collaborate with many different people across multiple different platforms and even different time zones as needed.

          Securing your data in the cloud

            One of the first fears that many people will have when they first start working on important documents using their mobile phones is that they will lose their phone, and hence control of their data. But these fears can be easily allayed by a number of points:

            1. Data can be automatically backed up to the cloud, so that even if the device itself is lost, the data is not
            2. In addition to setting a pin code on your phone, you can also encrypt your PDF files with a password to ensure that documents are not compromised or accessed without authorisation.

            Mobile working is clearly the way of the future, and smart businesses are taking steps today to ensure that they’re making full use of the technology and software that is available to them. Find out more about Nuance’s mobile print, capture and workflow solutions that you can integrate into the way you work.


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