Becoming a Paperless Office: Create a Clear System to Manage Electronic Documents

According to a study by the CAP Venture Group, it is estimated that 80% of information is still retained on paper even though more than 80% of the documents we work with are already in a computer somewhere. According to Xerox, approximately 30% of printed documents are for one-time use only and further studies found that about 45% of documents printed in a typical office are thrown away within 24 hours. Another Gartner study called “Electronic Document Management” revealed that the average document was copied between nine and eleven times.

One of the keys in gaining efficiencies in data management and increasing productivity is to reduce the paper workers manage. A key component to creating a paperless office is to create user trust in finding and accessing data electronically. Employees are inundated with data in multiple formats and finding it more and more difficult to manage the amount of data and be effective and efficient at their job. Without a consolidated system to manage data along with sound file structure and data management guidelines users will tend to keep a ‘backup’ copy of data and records in paper. Although paper does have its uses for work purposes such as reading, reviewing at meetings or processing data, it is not the optimal format to archive, store and file records and documents. When moving towards a paperless office it becomes even more vital that file structures, whether on a Shared Drive network or in a cloud-based system, is well-organized. It is also important that there is a clear and designated location to store data when there are multiple document and record systems available to users. Finally, data management practices need to be clearly defined such as document naming conventions, versioning, and data conventions.

To learn how to organize electronic files on the shared drive, download the report How to Organize Electronic Documents on Shared Drive Networks. Or you are welcome to contact us and we can assist you.

Become Paperless: Request all documents electronically

According to a study by Xerox, approximately 30 per cent of printed documents are for one-time use only.  Often our colleagues will put in our desktop ‘in box’ a hard copy of a document. Or often the paper pile-up happens through meeting and training handouts. This is usually based out of user habit or simply people thinking their colleague might be more apt to read it if it is in paper. Ask your colleagues to send you all information via e-mail or other electronic means, and then you can determine if you need to print it or not. Many of the statements and information we receive from vendors can be received electronically, if only ask and request it. Remember almost all data is created in an electronic format so make sure you get it that way and reduce your own paper pile up!