PDF: The Secret Weapon for Remote Employees

From 2005 to 2016, the United States saw a 103% increase in the number of non-self-employed individuals who regularly worked from home. These statistics are unsurprising when we consider the many benefits of working remotely—greater autonomy, a more flexible schedule, and freedom from a time-intensive commute, just to name a few.

Yet the surge in working remotely has also created its own share of complications. Maybe your team’s collaboration tools are incompatible with your devices. Or the time difference means you won’t receive a response until the next day. Perhaps the audio and video freeze during your conference call (well, that’s a given for every call). With remote employees scattered across the country and globe, new challenges arise for effective collaboration, communication, and technology.

While video conferencing programs and messaging platforms are powerful ways to keep employees connected, there’s another secret weapon that companies may often overlook: PDF. The most prolific document format type in the world, PDF can seamlessly improve collaboration and productivity for remote workers in five unique ways.

Consistent Formatting
Whether you’re sending a form or a graph-filled report, a PDF file preserves the document’s unique formatting and layout. Every time you send a PDF document or image, you can rest assured that your file will look the way you intended it—a fact that becomes vital when working with a variety of hardware, software and operating systems. Since PDFs can also be easily converted to over 300 other file types, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, your recipient also has the freedom to convert your document into a format that works for them.

Better Collaboration 
A recent study revealed that over 50 percent of IT leaders face challenges stemming from inconsistent workflows and collaboration processes, while 35 percent grapple with a lack of visibility into document activity, such as sharing, viewing, and editing. When it comes to working remotely, this lack of visibility and collaboration becomes even more detrimental to the team, sometimes roadblocking productivity altogether.  A powerful document productivity tool like Nitro gives you the ability to add edits, markup, and comments that are standard and compatible with other PDF programs. You can combine all comments into a single PDF file for easier reading, or compare two versions of a PDF file to easily spot discrepancies.

Around-the-Clock Connectivity
Today’s modern workforce doesn’t operate on a 9-to-5 basis anymore. Remote employees, differing time zones and sporadic schedules all intensify the need for companies to offer a way to be productive beyond the desktop. Choosing PDF software that includes a cloud component is crucial to ensuring your employees can stay connected anytime, anywhere. Nitro’s cloud-connected features enable employees to convert, combine, or edit PDFs from any web browser, as well as securely save, share, and review documents. Thanks to real-time notifications and activity tracking, teams can always stay in the loop, regardless of time or location.

Reduced Costs 
From maintaining hardware to restocking paper and other supplies, office-related expenses can quickly accumulate for remote employees. A simple way to reduce these costs while enhancing productivity is to eliminate paper-based processes like printing, scanning and copying. When companies replace these outdated practices with digital documents and workflows, they immediately cut the hefty price tags that accompany printer maintenance, paper, ink, and toner. Another area to consider is the time inefficiency of paper. When remote employees face a paper jam or printer malfunction, there’s no in-house IT team to come to their rescue. Removing those frustrations altogether can lead to a more efficient, cost-effective way to work for remote employees and the company at large.

Enhanced Security
In a world where hacking and security vulnerabilities are daily news, we are constantly reminded of the important role of security in our documents—especially when sending files back and forth between remote employees. PDF files help mitigate risks of data leakage and unauthorized sharing with features that protect your sensitive information. When communicating with remote employees over non-secure platforms like email, you can easily redact sensitive data, text, and images from your PDF files. Or, control individual user permissions and set secure passwords to help prevent unauthorized copying, editing, extracting, and printing of your document.

Interested in keeping your remote employees connected through the power of PDF? Learn more about Nitro’s features or talk to us about a managed trial for your team.