In a world so consumed with fast moving technology it’s easy to forget the basics of documentation, particularly how we used to do things. The term ‘paperwork’ used to evoke images or reams of paper on a desk, thick piles of stapled documents and wrist cramp from writing and singing. But now, paperwork is becoming more and more digitised. Paperwork now means documents on a screen, e-signatures and emails. But how else has the advance of technology changed the way we approach paperwork?
The first one is perhaps the most obvious. Digitised paperwork is now almost more common than physical documents. The ability to not only digitise basic word files, but complex order forms and documents means that users can interact with paperwork in a whole new way. It’s being seen quicker, mistakes can be corrected quicker, and costs can be cut left right and centre. The advent of digital paperwork has also impacted basic business functionality – making it simpler to file the necessary documentation with HMRC and Companies House, validated e-signatures and turned long lead times into quick turn arounds.
As well as going digital, a lot of paperwork processes can now be done for you automatically, thanks to digital workflows. Processes that used to take hours of even days can take a fraction of a second, freeing up countless man hours to be repurposed for more profitable activities. Approval processes are quick and easy, and even filing or retrieval can now be done at the touch of a button. By automating large chunks of the paperwork process (sorting, approvals, distribution, filing and archiving, to name a few), technology has allowed businesses to operate much more cost effectively.
We have repeatedly said in this blog that physical paperwork presents a risk to business security, and that’s absolutely true. Bits of paper are all too easy to lose, duplicate or steal – so the data on them is always at risk. And while there are arguably even more risks to keeping paperwork digitally, there are also many more protections in place to secure it. Digital security is tighter than physical security in general, and technology allows us to separate out the sensitive documents and apply extra protections to them, making digital paperwork much more secure.
Ease of Use
Above all, technology has made documentation much easier to access, use and store. There are very few people in business who don’t have a digital device of some kind in their possession at all times – whether that’s a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone. And services like Google Drive and Dropbox mean that it’s easier than ever to access any document you need. New technologies are putting paperwork in your pocket, so you always have the form or document you need within reach. Designed so that even the most technologically illiterate person can use them, digital documents are quick, easy and convenient.
It’s no surprise then that we see a lot of businesses striving for the ultimate goal of the ‘paperless office’. However (as we’ve also said before), the idea of a totally paper free office, nice as it sounds, is a long way off. Businesses are still producing paperwork physically in many forms, even if it is digitised afterwards. That’s why its still important to make sure you are handling and destroying these documents correctly. At Greenaway, we provide businesses with a simple, easy way of destroying their paperwork. Simply pop any unwanted documents into one of our secure consoles, and our operators will be around to empty them and shred the contents, on site, at a time that suits you. For more information, get in touch with our team today.