The Key Problem With Pushing Paper

2 minute read

Feeling buried under your workload?  

You’re not alone, the reality is most of us have more work than we can possibly achieve within a working week.  When you add to this the demands of love, life, play, family, regular exercise and an ounce of a social life, it's easy to feel overwhelmed.

Most work involves a certain amount of paperwork, the general term we use for the checklists, forms, invoices, surveys, audits, formal reports, receipts and other business processes that we complete in the process of getting work done.  

Although computers can eliminate much of the paperwork that’s used within an office environment, multi-part forms, double data handling and time consuming formal report writing are still commonplace in the mobile work that takes place away from the desk or on the road, where an internet connection cannot be guaranteed.

Yes this paperwork is time consuming and inefficient. It can get lost, forgotten, or can’t be read. It’s slow to share and impacts your bottom line in terms of lost time, cost or delays.  However,  we don’t see this as the key problem with paperwork.  The key issue perhaps is the feeling of being ‘overwhelmed’. When the paperwork takes the heart out of the job, or increases workload beyond what’s achievable within a working week. The point at which it damages personal happiness or increases stress levels.

The motivation behind a drive for efficiency could range from a small office who would use time saved to take on more clients, or to go home at 5pm and stop working at weekends. To perhaps a larger organisation who need to act on near real time data to improve performance against competitors, or whose workforce require engaging work and find that mundane administrative tasks negatively impacts staff retention.

Either way, work isn’t really about the paperwork, it’s about people work.  So let’s get paper out of the way and concentrate on working with people.

We can lick gravity but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming

Images via Flickr Creative Commons: Heather, KHRawlings, The hills are alive.