To begin to create that paperless office, users have to trust finding and accessing data electronically. Without a sound file structure and guidelines on the shared or network drive, users will tend to keep a “backup” copy in paper. Although paper does have its uses for work purposes such as reading or processing, it is not the best format to archive and manage company data.
Creating an electronic structure is more than just determining a file hierarchy. It also involves establishing clear guidelines of how that data should be organized, saved, and maintained. When moving towards a paperless office, it becomes even more vital that file guidelines are established for all types of electronic records, regardless if it is a document, email, or instant message.
Determine Drive Location
The first consideration is to determine drive mapping on the network for storing company data. Some companies have one shared drive, often referred to as the “I” or “S” drive. Other companies have separate mapped drives for each primary department in the company. For example, Operations is mapped to “O” and Human Resources is mapped to “H”. The advantage of having each major department mapped to a separate drive is that it is easy to set up permissions for only staff of that department to access that data. This can be essential for confidentiality purposes such as in the case of personnel and/or financial data. The other advantage of having a mapped drive per each department or area is to prevent users from making a mistake of filing data in the wrong department file that often have similar names of files.