Due to the ubiquity of emails, many people believe that fax has become obsolete, especially in businesses. But in reality, it’s still very much alive, and for several reasons.
One, fax has become available online, much like what happened to mails. Two, since fax has existed for a reasonably long time, many sectors, such as law and healthcare, have already gotten used to it. Three, apart from emails, it’s one of the fastest ways you can communicate. Simply put, faxing can be comparable to emails depending on the situation, which begs the question–if you’re focusing on boosting your productivity, should you use an online fax service?
To answer that question, you’ll have to consider several things. Also, if you haven’t used a fax machine before, the concept can be difficult to understand. On that note, it’s best to start this guide by discussing what faxing is or at least what it was in the past.
Introduction To Fax Technology
Fax is a unique process of sending a document from one fax machine to another. The process starts with the sender preparing a document and feeding it into their fax machine, much like how you feed a document to a scanner. By doing so, the fax machine would record every detail of the document. Once it’s done, it’s now ready to send to another machine.
To ‘fax’ the document to another machine, for example, to your friend’s fax machine, you must first enter their fax number into the machine’s keypad, just like how you would call their phone. After doing so, they must accept your request. Upon accepting the fax, the sender would slowly send the details it’s recorded into the receiver, which would sometimes take a while.
What makes faxing inconvenient is that you have to stay beside your fax machine throughout the whole process, just like how you keep your smartphone in hand when calling someone. But faxing technology has come a long way since then–there are now online fax services.
What Are Online Fax Services?
The concept behind online fax services is pretty much the same as traditional fax technology–it allows you to send a physical copy of a document to other machines. But, of course, there are a few differences. For one, rather than staying beside your fax machine entering the fax numbers manually, you can connect to other machines virtually instead. Additionally, you no longer have to use or own fax machines to fax a document; a printer should already suffice.
These are the two main characteristics that make online fax services convenient. But online fax services consist of many other elements that play a massive role in boosting productivity:
1. Sending Large Files, Will Become Incredibly Faster
One of the struggles with traditional faxing is that sending files can take time. On average, fax containing mostly texts would take a minute or so to send, while those with graphics will take five minutes per page. These figures can also become higher depending on the phone line.
If you’re sending a document with countless pages, it might take hours to finish, which isn’t ideal, especially during rush hours. So, you need to find a way to make it faster.
One reason why online fax services are excellent for productivity is that the internet can transmit data faster than how electronic signals can travel from one phone line to another. In short, online fax services are generally much quicker than traditional fax.
Moreover, you can immediately print the document upon receiving the digital file, unlike emails where you have to convert the attached file to a document first.
2. You Can Send To Multiple Recipients At A Time
Suppose you want to send the same document to multiple recipients. In that case, you have to dial each of their numbers individually, which would require a great deal of manual labor, especially if that particular document consists of numerous pages.
However, that only applies to old-school fax machines. One of the many advantages of online fax services is that you can send a document to multiple recipients with just a click of a button. After doing so, you’re free to perform other tasks while waiting for all pages to go through. This can play a vital role in boosting the entire workplace’s productivity.
3. Boasts Complete Automation
If you sent a document to 30 recipients, if one of them fails, in theory, you have to click the Send button again for the remaining recipients. This can be highly inconvenient if you’re planning on leaving your desktop once you set it up. This is where online fax services enter.
Certain online fax services are capable of automatically retrying failed fax attempts. So, even if you don’t come back for a few hours, you can expect to see the entire batch of fax finished by the time you come back. Moreover, even if the receiving machines are currently busy, online fax services would automatically queue the document you want to send.
Simply put, online fax services pave the way for automation, and you can’t go wrong with automation, especially if you’re aiming to boost your productivity.
4. Does Not Have Phone Call Interference
As previously said, both old-school and modern fax devices can fail to send documents to their designated destinations. There are several reasons for the machine to blunder. One of the most common reasons being phone interference. This event occurs when you send a document to a fax number the same time someone uses that same number for a telephone call.
As a result, the machine would struggle to determine which to prioritize, slowing down or even completely stopping both processes. But that’s not the case with online fax services.
Since online fax services rely mainly on your internet connection, operations concerning the phone lines won’t interfere with your attempt to send a document. While it may not seem that helpful for productivity, eliminating one possible cause of the problem is always a good idea.
5. You Can Store Sent Documents For Future Use
When sending documents through fax, you’ll eventually encounter cases where you’re forced to completely give up on faxing in the meantime. For example, if you run out of paper or toner, you’ll have to stop faxing for a while, at least until you’ve dealt with everything on your side.
Usually, whenever this happens, the sender would have to do the same things they did before–feeding their document into the machine, entering the numbers in the keypad, and the likes.
Repeating these tasks can be pretty detrimental to your productivity, not to mention discouraging. The good news is online fax services are capable of storing sent documents for future use. In short, once you receive the data from the sender, even if the initial attempt was interrupted, you still keep the data, which means you can print the document whenever you like.
6. Online Fax Services Are Accessible Through Mobile Devices
One of the most well-known disadvantages of fax machines is that they’re pretty heavy, so carrying one in your backpack wouldn’t be a viable option. This can be highly inconvenient in various scenarios. For instance, if you’re outside and a client wants to see the contents of a document you have in hand, you have to go back to the office to send the document.
However, with online fax services, you can send the document to their fax machines using only your smartphone or any mobile device. Not only will this improve productivity, but it also makes you and your team a lot more efficient than they would initially be.
7. Reduces Noise Pollution In The Workplace
The ideal workplace would be one with as little noise as possible. That’s precisely why you’ll rarely see an office on the first floor of a building–it’s the place where you’ll be exposed to a lot of noise. Unfortunately, fax machines are extremely noisy, both when sending documents and printing documents. So, having one in the office can be distracting.
Since online fax services don’t necessarily require the presence of fax machines, by opting for such services, you’re effectively eliminating a source of distraction in the office. This could go a long way in boosting the workplace’s productivity.
8. Online Fax Services Offer Modern User Interface
Faxing involves many steps, so there’s nothing wrong if you still haven’t fully grasped the concept of faxing. This is yet another problem online fax services can help with.
For starters, an online fax service usually offers their users a platform in which they can do whatever they want with just a click of a button. If you want to send a document, for example, you don’t have to match your phone line with the receiver’s phone line.
In short, things are a lot simpler with online fax platforms. With a simpler process, learning how to use them would naturally be easier. This can contribute greatly to your productivity.
Times have changed, and technology has developed quickly. Mails have evolved to emails, and instant messaging was introduced as a successor for SMS messaging. Of course, fax won’t be left behind by the times. However, it can be difficult to determine whether it’s worth investing in considering the many other technologies that are equally helpful. Nevertheless, this guide should give you a better idea of how useful online fax services can be to boosting your productivity.