Mailroom management is far too often not a workplace priority. After all, you have a long list of work to get through each day—company events, vendor meetings, urgent requests … the list goes on. But with so many folks relying on this part of workplace operations, chances are your mailroom could use a little love.
Don’t stress! There are plenty of things you can do to transform your workplace mailroom service. Let’s take a look at some mailroom management best practices.
1. Allow employees to have their packages sent to work
In 2022, US e-commerce sales will reach $1 trillion USD. More than half of consumers (54%) actually prefer to shop online. That’s a whole lot of deliveries!
Allowing your employees, many of whom likely shop online on the regular, to send their deliveries to the workplace can take stress off of them. Porch deliveries are often returned because there’s no one home to sign for them and a shocking number of packages are stolen from doorsteps every day.
2. Turn the mailroom into an employee perk
Busy employees appreciate when their company allows them to take care of routine errands while still at work. Today, many organizations offer everything from flu shots and dry cleaning services to free car washes and meals—so why not mailroom services? If you can save your employees some time and hassle and highlight a new employee amenity, it’ll be a win for everybody.
3. Automate delivery management
Mailroom software makes the labor-intensive work of cataloging, sorting, and tracking packages, and notifying employees about deliveries a simple task. When packages arrive, just snap a quick picture of the shipping label, and let the technology take it from there. The system sends an automated email to each employee to let them know their package is ready for them. It also sends a pickup reminder so the package isn’t left for too long. The system also tracks the lifecycle of each box, so you always know exactly where it is—from intake through receipt.
Another benefit of mailroom management software is that it can alert you if an employee is on vacation, leave, or has left the company. This is helpful in case the package has to be stored or re-routed. Employees can also set an alert for time-sensitive or critical parcels to ensure they get their packages as quickly as possible. When the package is picked up, the software records pickup details for greater security.
4. Mailroom services: try smart lockers
Now you might be thinking that your mailroom is busy enough as it is without having to contend with personal packages! Where are we supposed to put all these boxes, and what happens when employees don’t pick them up right away?
Mailroom operations can take a page from apartment complexes, which face the same issue. Installing workplace technology like smart lockers is a great way to save space and eliminate clutter. With a set number of days to pick up a package and a personal unlock code, smart lockers practically run themselves and require little to no staff time.
5. Branch out with additional mailroom services
The more you can make the mailroom a one-stop-shop for employees, the better they’ll like it. If you’re using good mailroom techniques, your team will have more time to provide additional services for employees, like handling outgoing packages. Employees see real value in being able to purchase postage, packing materials, boxes, tape, and bubble wrap without having to run to the store. It saves them time and hassle, making the workplace even more valuable to them. Another way to make employees’ lives easier is to offer fee-based mailroom services like package preparation.
6. Encourage environmentally-friendly shipping and delivery
One of the downsides of online shopping is the vast amount of paper, plastic, and cardboard it generates. In 2021, Amazon reported that its businesses emitted 60.64 million metric tons of carbon dioxide the year prior—and that’s just one retailer. Creating a sustainable workplace is a huge concern for many employees.
The mailroom is an opportunity to make a difference. Offering box reuse and recycling will help offset your carbon footprint. Let employees know that package delivery and mailing from a central source reduces “last-mile” carbon emissions because many packages can be processed from a single location.
7. Give the mailroom a makeover
Mailrooms are not known for their glamor. Even as offices gain design elements like soft furniture and live plants, the mailroom often remains a bare-bones operation. If ever there were low-hanging fruit for workplace improvement, it’s in the mailroom.
Make it a welcoming and comfortable place that employees enjoy visiting. Look into streamlined mailroom furniture and functional storage solutions. This should also include a tech makeover as well—look for sophisticated mailroom management software that increases efficiency. You can also add self-service tables with digital scales, access to recycled boxes, and other mailing necessities.
8. Get feedback from mailroom employees
No matter how much you research ways to improve mailroom services, your best advisers already work with you: mailroom workers. Nobody knows what would make the mailroom better than the people who work there every day. These folks are an excellent source of innovation and inspiration. Set up a time to get feedback from them on what you can do to make the mailroom better. Be sure to give them a heads up so they can come to the meeting prepared to share their ideas. This can be a casual discussion or a more formal interview—whatever it takes to get the practical advice you need to uplevel your mailroom services.
9. Be open to emerging technologies
Getting packages to employees quickly and effectively has been an issue the mailroom has been trying to solve for generations. In the early twentieth century, companies relied on pneumatic tubes to move parcels and letters around at a high rate of speed. The idea of mechanized delivery is nothing new. Today, however, there are new technologies emerging to make the mailroom more efficient.
For example, delivery robots have become more commonplace on the streets of San Francisco. They meet the package recipient at a pickup spot and the recipient retrieves their delivery using a unique code. The same technology might work in the workplace. Delivery robots can bring packages to employees securely and quietly without disrupting other mailroom operations.
10. Have a game plan for high-volume times of the year
With the holiday season comes an avalanche of packages. This is the time of year that can break mailroom services departments that aren’t prepared. To prevent that from happening at your workplace, pull your team together in advance:
- Identify any problems or inefficiencies that could cause a snag in timely and smooth operations
- Decide whether you need to take on seasonal employees or make adjustments to the work schedule
- Look for ways to better organize the mailroom so that nothing gets misplaced
- Create ample space to move around—even with an influx of packages
- Sort and deliver both work and personal parcels more than once per day
We wrote a whole post dedicated to preparing your mailroom for the busy holiday season. Check it out for more tips!
11. Train employees how to pack properly to reduce the chance of loss
Finally, if you’re going to encourage employees to handle personal packages at work, you may also be taking on liability if any of those packages go missing in your care. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Just be sure to offer your employees guidance so they know how to use the mailroom like a pro.
A lot of times, a package gets misplaced because it wasn’t labeled or weighed properly in the first place. This can also result in damaging the contents of the package. Offer employees a shipping masterclass. It’ll serve the double purpose of helping the mailroom be more efficient and providing a valuable life skill employees wouldn’t likely get anywhere else.
The mailroom is an overlooked gem in an office. There are so many opportunities to improve it that’ll benefit you and your employees. Take a look at where your services are lacking, then choose a handful of ideas from this post and get to work on your mailroom makeover. Hopefully, the mailroom operations best practices above will help you spruce up deliveries at your workplace.
Want to learn more about how mailroom management software can help you create a better workplace experience for employees? Check out Envoy Deliveries.