A “paperless office” seems to be a common goal among small businesses, but many companies don’t know what is preventing them from going paperless. To help you identify these issues and create a more streamlined system, we have put together a list of habits that may be preventing your office from transitioning to a paperless system. Once you identify the problem areas, you will be better equipped to develop a plan of attack to make your paperless goal a reality.
Here is a list of habits that may be preventing your office from going paperless:
Many people are afraid to get rid of files or share files because they don’t trust the company’s file structure. They are worried they won’t be able to find documents quickly or concerned they will accidentally get deleted. Creating a clear and effective filing system will help encourage document hoarders to trust the system and share documents on a common network.
Without a set of standard naming conventions, it can be difficult for a company to maintain version control of their files. This causes employees to waste time searching for updated versions of documents because they are not named in a way that clearly indicates when a file has been updated.
When there is not a consistent file structure in place, some people end up filing for the sake of filing. They create too may sub folders that are difficult for others to navigate. This unnecessary clutter prevents an electronic filing system from working effectively.
Relying on Search
While search functionality can be an extremely useful tool for finding documents quickly, it poses a problem when files are being shared among team members because not everyone uses the same keywords to search. This can lead to version control issues and excessive digital clutter in the long run.
When a company does not have a good system for processing paper documents and adding them to an electronic system, it’s easy for paper to pile up. When paper piles up, team members can not retrieve documents efficiently because they don’t know where to look.
Now that you have identified some of the specific tendencies that are preventing your office from going paperless, you can get started creating file naming conventions, file retention policies and folder structures.
Interested in going paperless? Check out our File Management Consulting to learn how we could help!