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.
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!
Compounding the sheer volume of email is even more problematic because most of the e-mail we do get, we don’t really want. The London Times in 2010 reports that eighty eight percent of e-mails are considered junk by the average office worker including spam, newsletters, solicited and unsolicited e-mails. One way to reduce the email inbox clutter is to set up email rules and filters.
Use the rules or filters function, available in your email program, to help in the initial sort of incoming e-mail. Some e-mail software will use the term “filters” and other software will use the term “rules,” and they are essentially the same function. When you set up a rule or filter, the incoming e-mail will re-direct and move to a different file folder. It is then diverted from your in-box entirely. This is particularly helpful for filtering distribution lists and/or newsletters that you may not need to see daily and could review on a weekly or monthly basis. This is also particularly useful if you have a friend who always forwards jokes or other unimportant e-mail that you can filter out automatically.
Click here to learn more how to set up a rule in Microsoft Outlook.
Click here to learn more how to create a filter in Gmail.
You may have noticed that your e-mail in-box volume is growing rapidly. If you are like many people, it could be growing at a rate of 66% a year, according to the E-Policy Institute. According to a study by The Radicati Group, the average corporate email user will send or receive over 219 messages per day by 2013.
One step to managing e-mail volume to reduce your in-box clutter is to get off subscription lists. Start now and unsubscribe to all those marketing and newsletter lists that you seem to which you have been subscribed. Most marketing and newsletter type e-mails, have ‘unsubscribe’ options noted at the bottom of the e-mail. These are typically hyperlinks that will connect you with an e-mail marketing service which will automatically remove you from the list. It may also provide you with alternate e-mail options such as, preferred topics and frequency of email. This is not to say that you couldn’t get yourself back on the list through reactivation if you wanted to, but it will take you off the majority of unsolicited e-mails.