4 Helpful Document Management Tips You Can Implement in Your Workplace Right Away
Whether you’re the CEO of an internationally-renowned company or the manager of an SME, you must have had times when it felt like you were overloaded with paperwork and files – kind of like that scene from ‘Bruce Almighty‘. From employee contracts and purchase orders to administrative forms and receipts, running an enterprise isn’t easy, and neither is the administrative side of things!
Yet despite living in a digital age, where we can complete business tasks with a click of a keyboard, many companies still need to rely on paper-based documents to operate efficiently. Due to this, having a fool-proof document management system for both your online and offline files is imperative so that you can find the documents you need (and quickly!).
So, if you sometimes need help finding that one document, you need or if your business still relies on outdated systems to store files/documents.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can make improvements, from keeping your files safe from cybercriminals and keeping your files in one place using advanced tools like a PDF compressor and others; we outline some of the best tips below:
Keep Your Files All In One Place
Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to find that one document you need so you can cross off that nagging task on your to-do list. One second it’s in the tray on your desk, and the next, you have every filing cabinet open with all the contents across your office.
Regardless, in an ideal working environment, you want to avoid having all your offline documents strewn over your physical space and all your virtual ones cluttering your virtual working space.
Due to this, one of the main tips you should take away to improve your document management processes is to keep all your files in one place. Doing so offers many benefits (not just for your document management process!), such as maximising productivity, increasing turnaround, boosting morale, and many more!
If, like most enterprises, your business has a mixture of offline and online files or documents, consider using accessible storage cabinets for your paper-based files and implementing a cloud-based system for your digital files. Or, if you’d like to go one step further, consider converting all your offline files into online ones using PDF tools like the ones from Smallpdf that can help you e-sign, convert, compress, and much more.
Using these tools, you can convert a PDF into another format, add your signature to documents, merge PDFs into one, and much more. Consider visiting their website to find out more, or contact a team member directly to have any specific queries answered and see how their tools could help your business manage documents more efficiently.
Improve The Security Of Your Files
Many businesses, especially SMEs, assume they don’t need to invest in cybersecurity measures because they’re not ‘big’ enough. However, the sad truth is that cybercriminals don’t discriminate. If they find a loophole in any business’s cybersecurity, they will exploit it to their full advantage, causing potentially devastating damage to a company’s assets.
According to recent studies, SMEs are more than likely to suffer cyberattacks due to recently emerging working practices, with as many as half of all UK SMEs falling victim in the previous year. Therefore, if you’re using a mixture of offline and offline document management techniques, it goes without saying that you’re going to want to ensure your business documents are protected to the best of your abilities.
Fortunately, there are several ways that you can improve the security of your business’s critical files, from keeping all software up to date and providing adequate training on data security to encrypting your data and setting up user permissions; there are many ways that you can keep unauthorised personnel out of your private business data.
You can choose to implement cybersecurity measures like the above using an in-house team, or you could consider outsourcing the task to a specialised firm which can give you expert advice, keep you up to date with cybersecurity trends, manage your security on your behalf, as well as many other benefits.
Are hundreds of forms piling up on your desk? Is it becoming hard to see past the paper mountain on your desk organiser? Do you like to hold onto online and offline files even though you never open them? If these sound like some of your work habits, it might be time for a long overdue declutter of your office.
Not only does clutter make your office look visually unappealing, but it can also affect your physical and mental health. From making workplace accidents easier and bringing down your work productivity levels, having an excess of online and offline files or documents is the natural enemy of organisation and should, therefore, be nipped in the bud!
For starters, review your physical and virtual files and documents and identify which ones you still need and which can be appropriately disposed of. Once you’ve gone through the pile, you can archive the ‘keep’ pile and shred the ‘toss’ pile to prevent the problem from mounting again.
If you have any files or documents you’re unsure whether you should keep or toss, consider creating a separate folder for them in your physical/electronic filing system; the next time you come to declutter again, if you haven’t touched them since you can discard them.
Have A Standard Filing System In Place
Once you’ve been through and disposed of all the unneeded documents, your next job is to ensure that you have a standardised filing system that all employees understand and adhere to. Ultimately, you want your system to be so simple that any employee should be able to use it without asking many questions.
You could do this by organising files by date/client name/subject, creating specific folders depending on the area of business it serves, marketing, accounting, admin etc., colour-coding, alphabetising files, etc. So long as you create a standardised filing system that everyone can navigate and implement, and it works for your business, it’ll do wonders for your document management!