With the advent of the computer in the workplace the accent has always been on the ‘paperless office’. The electronic age was always thought to be the end of paper filing systems, dockets and pigeonholes. This is not the case! The truth of it is, there will always be paper in the office, no matter how modern that office.
Necessary in the Modern Office
The legal world generates an enormous amount of paperwork because of its very nature. Business documents are created and must be read, signed and witnessed by the necessary parties.
Reports and business documents are prepared on the computer and emailed to interested parties. These can then be saved and accessed whenever necessary. But sometimes these have to be printed off and kept to hand and so paper is once again generated.
However, these documents have to be correct and well written. After all, they provide absolute proof of the dealings of the company and should be set out correctly, being both clear and concise.
They can cover anything from the briefest of messages to a complicated contract or legal document.
Some documents can be created in the office by company employees and others are given to legal bodies or firms of accountants to create in the correct form and with precise wording.
Business and financial reports are, by necessity, usually formal documents which run to several pages. They are used to impart direct information on the state of the company and need to be accurate. These reports may be generated monthly, quarterly or annually and can be used when applying for a business loan, mortgage or preparing for audit.
These documents do not necessarily have to be printed out into hard copy. They can be created in the correct format and emailed. This eliminates the element of delay which used to exist before the advent of email and there are absolutely no risks of documents being delayed in the post.
Electronic signatures can be appended and the whole document formatted in the same manner as it would in hard copy.
It has never been so easy to remain in touch with people around the world. Gone are the days when business was delayed due to poor telecommunications or postal services.
Now it is simply a matter of creating a letter or memorandum, adding an email address and sending it off into the ether. Copies can be easily sent to other recipients and replies received within minutes.
Emails between colleagues are far more time saving than physically walking to see them. The reply or acknowledgment also serves as proof of discussion and satisfactory conclusion of the point at issue. And at any time these can be printed off if necessary.
The modern office will always generate paper no matter how hard it tries to the contrary. What is important, however, is that communication continues and in the most efficient way possible. Making sure that everything which leaves the business premises is accurate, legally correct and professionally set out will ensure the company shines above its competitors.
David Anderson writes regularly on office related themes for a range of business websites and blogs. He has been instrumental in devising new ways of designing and storing business documents to facilitate optimum space in the workplace.