The Future is Ripe for Digital Proofing


Workfront just released their annual State of Work report, and the findings confirm what many of us have long suspected. Technological advances—including digital proofing—are changing when and where and how we all work.

Some of these changes will have employees dancing in the cubicle aisles, for as long as those aisles may last.

Here’s what we found:

Remote Working is Rising

A surprising 52% of the 600+ respondents believe that most workers will be working remotely in a few years. Most. More than half.

Such a scenario could be more likely than we realize. After all, Gallup recently pegged the number of workers who telecommute at 37%, a figure that has quadrupled since 1995. Just another 14% to go to hit the majority tipping point.

And when you consider how rapidly tech has progressed in just the last few years (group video conferencing via Google hangouts debuted in 2013), it’s clear that the pace is accelerating.

For creatives and marketers in particular, remote working would be all but impossible without cloud-based digital proofing. The inherent problems of passing around physical copies (via the mail?) or emailing proofs out and trying to aggregate comments and changes are only exacerbated by greater physical distance between team members. Digital proofing effectively brings everyone into the same virtual space, in real time.

We’re Dreaming of a Meeting-Free Future

I don’t know if it’s wishful thinking or deeply held beliefs that influenced 36% of those polled to predict that “in a few years, the number of meetings in the workplace will decline drastically.”

The wishful thinking scenario is supported by the large majority (59%) of respondents who blame “wasteful meetings” for getting in the way of their productivity. But if we’re truly drifting farther and farther away from traditional 9-5 office jobs, and it appears that we are, then in-person meetings will naturally decline as a result.

Digital proofing has its own role to play in the diminishing of in-person meetings. As one creative director recently said:

“[With digital proofing], we’ve been able to speed up our approval process by at least a third and enable our designers and writers to do what they do best, which is designing and writing, instead of tracking down questions and holding extra meetings trying to get stakeholders to weigh in.”

The Future is Now

It appears that the U.S. workforce is dreaming of being less tethered to a central office, and spending less time in wasteful meetings when they are physically present.

Why wait for some far-off day? With so many robust collaboration tools available in the cloud today, start untethering now. Even if it’s just for one day a week, let your team join those “digital nomads” who have become less tied to the physical workplace. U.S. recruiter Upwork polled a group of them and found that 92% were happier, 79% were more productive, and 59% reported an increase in income. So, what’s the downside?

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