A paperless office. Digital transformation. Changing the way you work. All these things sound great in principle but achieving them may be met with some resistance.
Decisions you make as a business owner are hopefully done with the intention of improving your business. Let’s tackle one problem at a time. Today, let’s tackle the idea of going paperless – what can you save?
According to this recent Forbes article, doctors are spending over two thirds of their time doing paperwork. Whilst this time does include completing online records, this is a staggering statistic. Highly skilled professionals are spending more time completing forms than seeing clients.
The more tightly regulated the industry is, the more paperwork there is. It is unlikely the volume of paperwork is going to reduce. It is equally unlikely that the regulation restrictions will decrease. The best solution is one that allows professionals to complete paperwork once, and quickly.
Using digital forms and an electronic way to organise them is one of the best ways to do this. Storing your paperwork digitally saves a lot of time. You reclaim your time in completing the form, and when retrieving it.
Time is a valuable resource. And there are only so many hours in a day. Don’t waste them doing paperwork.
An argument you may hear when you suggest going paperless is one that ‘paper is cheap’. Sure. You can get a ream of paper from Officeworks for under $3.50. But factor in the costs of toners, printers, servicing the printers, filing cabinets, physical storage space, user support and wasted time looking for the papers when you need them – it all adds up!
Money is a finite resource. Every business needs to be smart in how they spend. Does the amount you’re spending generate sufficient revenue? Is there a way to increase revenue, decrease costs, or both?
While there may be an initial cost when changing over to digital, it is likely that this will pay itself off rapidly. In a previous article, we discussed the significant return on investment from going digital.
Ever had to read illegible handwriting, and desperately wished there was a Google-Translate type of app, which translated from scribble to typeface? The worst part about that is that there’s no magic app, and the Very Important Information is lodged deep in the chicken scratch. It’s incredibly frustrating, and you can’t Ctrl+F to look up the information – so maybe the information you were after was not in that file note at all, but in an entirely different one.
What about that time some Very Important Information got lost – either from the worksite to the office, or within the office itself? You can’t magic the information to your hands. Remember the countless paper cuts? And the number of times you’ve been up and down the stepladder putting away paperwork?
Stressful, tiring, and now, historical.
Where to next?
You can save time, money and stress with digital. Are you keen, but not sure where to start?
Start with manageable change – print less emails, use digital filing systems and make them secure. Incorporate things like digital forms and workflows into managing your staff workloads. Complete forms digitally through programs like Tiikr, and store them digitally.
It’s the combination of these small steps that lead to becoming a paperless office.