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Adopting Smart Documents in the Age of the Remote Worker

Lacey Jackson
December 13, 2018
Min Read

There sure are a lot of reasons to support remote work. If your company is yet to embrace flexible work arrangements, it’s likely a matter of time.

Why? Because remote work opens the doors to tremendous benefits, from recruitment and retention to productivity and profits. According to recent studies and surveys:

• Turnover is 25% lower at companies that support virtual work environments.
• 57% of employees worldwide now have the option to work from home, and six in 10 say it makes them more productive.
• 90% of employees who have experienced the benefits of working off-site plan to work remotely for the rest of their careers.

Even if your employees are in the office, they’ve no doubt become accustomed to collaborating virtually.

Just think: Slack, the world’s leading online collaboration hub, is up to an astounding 8 million daily users across 500,000 organizations. Some 120 million workers have traded traditional documents and spreadsheets for the cloud-based version of Microsoft Office, and another 4 million rely on G Suite to collaborate in virtual environments.

In other words…

Employees don’t just want to work from anywhere. They expect that flexibility.

The virtual trend is spreading so fast, in fact, that many companies are doing away with dedicated desks all together. Unassigned seating is already the norm at 25% of companies, and it’s soon to become commonplace in twice as many.

When it comes to attracting top talent and staying relevant, this is the landscape you need to compete in. And that means it’s going to be essential to have all the right tools.

Yet despite the popularity of so much new technology—videoconferencing, messaging apps, project management tools, and the like—there’s one solution that many employers are overlooking...one that has the potential to save countless hours and boost output.

What is it? Smart documents.

What Are Smart Documents?

At the most basic level, “smart documents” refers to the process of automating document creation. It centers around dynamic templates that, once created, pull from various sources of data to autofill and complete any number of polished, professional business documents within seconds. These documents are then automatically shared via email, cloud storage, or third-party integrations.

Teams that rely heavily on Salesforce, Zapier, online form builders, and similar data collection tools are most likely to benefit from the power of smart documents.

If this is you, know that you have all kinds of information at your fingertips that can be used to create and collaborate on sales contracts, direct mail campaigns, event planning, and more.

Perhaps most importantly, smart documents reduce the risk of errors and eliminate many manual tasks. This, in turn, frees employees to focus on more strategic activities that grow the business.

Smart Documents in Action

The biggest bonus of using smart documents is that your employees can easily coordinate efforts and keep mission-critical projects running smoothly and seamlessly. Even when they’re not in the same location. Even if they go days or weeks without seeing one another in person.

For example, one real estate company used smart documents to transform a days-long property inspection process into a system for delivering professional reports within two hours.

Another services-oriented business turned to smart documents when employees were devoting hours each week simply to gather new client information. Now, with shared documents, the company can create those same documents in 60 seconds or less.

The applications for smart documents are endless. Whether you work in healthcare, law, finance, public service, technology, or any number of other industries, there are countless ways companies can use smart documents to boost productivity among remote and virtual teams.

If your team works remotely, you’re already familiar with cloud services. You probably have a project management tool (or two). And you no doubt live in chat apps.

But are you using smart documents? If not, the time to start is now. This one tool has proven to be a huge time saver and productivity booster—one that makes it remarkably easy for employees to get the information they need from anywhere, at any time.

Ready to save time with smart documents?  Check out the video below to learn more about leveling up your document generation process with Formstack Documents.


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Lacey Jackson
Lacey is a Product Marketing Manager at Formstack who is dedicated to creating content that showcases the power of the Formstack Platform. When she’s not creating Formstack Builders tutorials, she can be found reading, playing board games, or strolling with her dog. Lacey is a graduate of Franklin College.
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