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Becoming Paperless for Effectiveness and Efficiency

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Efficiency expert K.J. McCorry, author of Organize Your Work Day In No Time, thinks that the world could be a better place if we'd all cut back on our consumption of paper. With the help of technology, that long-awaited goal might even be manageable.
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Today's employees are inundated with data, finding it more and more difficult to manage this overwhelming amount of data and yet be effective and efficient at their jobs. One of the keys to gaining efficiencies in data management and increasing productivity is to reduce the paper pileup.

Disadvantages of Paper

Although some workers still need, desire, and perhaps even love paper, it comes with some disadvantages:

  • It takes up a lot of physical space. In fact, paper costs on average $314 per filing cabinet solely for the real estate it consumes.
  • It has limitations, being accessible in only one place, and difficult to move in large quantities.
  • It doesn't offer easy ways to alter or edit its contents, without printing the entire document again.

Frankly, paper doesn't provide users with advantages other than a physical form.

By contrast, electronic data has much more flexibility:

  • It can be filed easily in many folders, instead of just one physical file.
  • It can be searched by keyword.
  • It can be cut, pasted, and moved easily.
  • It allows for better collaboration among employees, who can share, edit, and develop documents together.
  • Electronic data also allows employees to work where and when they're most productive. In this electronic age, workers have the opportunity to work from home or another location that might offer a more suitable and less interruptible environment.

Starting the paperless momentum offers an organization four primary advantages:

  • It improves knowledge and data management.
  • It increases data efficiencies.
  • It improves worker productivity.
  • It prepares the organization for the increasing mobile workforce trend.
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