Paperless Office: 4 Common Mistakes You May Be Making

paperless office

This is a guest post by Oscar King – a small business owner and freelance writer who contributes articles and insight into running an effective and smooth office. Learn more about his organizational skills on his Google+ profile.

Many businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of a paperless organization in terms of productivity, cost savings and increased workplace efficiency. As a result, many are actively moving their files and documents and converting them to digital formats that they can use at work.

But, because of the nature of the documents, man’s resistance to change and a few other factors, making the transition from a paper-based organization to a paperless one takes time. You also have to properly categorize the documents and move them in batches.

However, many organizations attempt to rush the process and end up making a few dangerous mistakes. In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the common mistakes made by companies while trying to go paperless.

1. Hasty Disorderly Transition.

For many companies transitioning to paperless offices, cost savings and efficiency is a priority. As a result, they tend to hasten the process resulting in lost files, missing documents and chaos in the office.

Naturally this ends up costing the business more in costs, productivity and results –and is probably one of the reasons some companies abandon their quest for a paperless office. So, to avoid the utter “carnage”, do the transition in bits or batches.

Unless you have a really small operation, you cannot make the transition in days or even weeks. A smoother and seamless transition often takes at least 3 months of gradually converting those files to the digital format. So, adjust your expectations and timeline accordingly.

2. No OCR Integration.

OCR simply means Optical Character Recognition. That’s geek-speak for a software that automatically recognizes every scanned file and converts them to the preferred format. Think of it as an “interpreter” between your scanned file and your paperless software.

Many companies opt for paperless software that either do not have OCR or have an OCR technology that’s a hit or miss at best. As a result, some of their stored documents become unintelligible. You want to avoid this by all means.

What you want is a paperless software like Lucion’s Filecenter that comes with a 100 percent reliable OCR. This way, all your files will be converted and viewable without any problems.

3. Inadequate Backup System.

Some businesses in their haste to migrate their operations often forget to get a comprehensive data backup plan. So, their documents end up being stored on local disks and hard drives. This is dangerous because those devices can become corrupted, the disks can fail and the company be engulfed in flames.

Having your data on all these local devices alone is no different from having the papers in the office. Once you lose those files, they are gone forever… unless you have a cloud and remote storage system.

Your paperless software therefore, must also provide adequate backups of your files. If possible, it should automatically sync all your documents to the cloud without you having to initiate the upload. This is the best way to keep your files secure and safe.

4. Poor or Absent Encryption Practices.

Most organizations have very lax security protocols that leave their data vulnerable to breaches and hacking by cyber criminals. Most just assume that all they need as long as their files aren’t in transit, it’s okay to leave them as they are.

This is a very wrong and dangerous perspective because it leaves your company information wide open to theft. You should start using standard 256-bit encryption technology for sensitive documents at the very least.

Not just for your in-office documents, but those documents in transit too. If you’ll be moving some files onto your thumb drive, make sure they’re encrypted and the thumb drive itself passworded.

Now that you know most of these mistakes, avoid them and make sure that you follow the outlined suggestions to get the most out of your migration to a paperless office. Good luck.

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How to Have Energy All Day When You Work from Home

energy focus and productivity tips for anyone working from home all day

Lack of energy is one of the challenges of working from home. Staying focused and productive, keeping our motivation levels up, not getting distracted and ignoring interruptions are all things we struggle with as bloggers, freelancers and online business owners.

In fact, I got lazy earlier today around noon and that annoyed me a bit. It’s proof that even years of working from home aren’t enough to get rid of this. It’s just how the body and brain work. And while there are some productivity and energy hacks we can try, it’s something we’ll need to make peace with.

But I was determined not give up and call it a day and start doing unproductive things. Instead, I finished an article I was writing for a client and did a few other little things. One more cup of coffee and I started getting ready to go out. I hit the gym and felt accomplished. Imagine if I stayed at home allowing the lack of energy and mental clarity to take over?

It’s always better to just start doing stuff, as you’ll see below. If you too are working from home and struggle with keeping your energy for the whole day, here are some tips that really work:

Tips for Staying Energetic When Working from Home

Check out some tips on how to get more done and keep your energy for the whole day when you work from home:

1. Work while standing.

You can alternate periods of sitting and standing while working from home. Or you can just do it while standing for a few hours.

I begin the day by creating a fake standing desk, placing my MacBook on it and working like that. These are my sacred hours and I do my most important work then. Standing definitely keeps me alert and helps me be more productive.

But don’t just take my word for it. It’s science-backed. Plenty of studies have found that working from a standing desk improves not just productivity but also health.

2. Get moving.

When you’re doing work on your laptop, especially if it’s something repetitive, rather boring or just a project you’ve been stuck with for a long time, you can easily feel sleepy. To get your focus and energy back, get up and do something.

Declutter a bit, do a chore, go to the store, take a shower, start getting ready for going out even if it’s too early for that, do a few squats.

Any type of movement would be beneficial to your energy levels. That’s a quick trick whenever you start feeling lazy but have more work to do.

3. Snack strategically.

I’m a fan of intermittent fasting and don’t have a big meal in the first part of the day. The first calories I consume are from the milk in my coffee. Then, during or after my most important work for the day, I eat yogurt and nuts, an omelet or a fruit. These all give me energy yet they don’t make me feel full or get distracted.

A big meal, however, especially one rich in carbs, would ruin my productivity. I’ll even feel like napping right after it and no work is usually done after that.

Find what works best for you but know that some snacks are better than others. Here are some productivity-boosting foods to check out.

4. Go outside.

The fresh air, the act of leaving home itself, being around people and being in public are all things that will freshen you up and make you alert. You can take a walk, be in nature or just spend 15 minutes outside your building.

Here’s why sunlight and fresh air are great for the body and mind.

5. Gather all your willpower.

Earlier today when I felt like skipping the gym and leaving the rest of the work I had planned for the day for tomorrow, I imagined how bad I’ll feel in the evening. And especially tomorrow when I’ll have to compensate for all that.

I like my productive self the most and know it’s a matter of willpower to get things done.

Working from home makes us lazier indeed but the energy itself isn’t gone, we just need to remember why we do what we do and bring it back by building momentum.

So that’s kind of a mind hack to have energy all day when you work from home.

6. Get social.

Freelance isolation is a real thing. I’m personally struggling with that too. Social interaction makes up happy and gives meaning to our days. We crave it especially when we run an online business and spend most of our time at home.

So to wake up your mind and get it ready for more work call a friend, get a client on a video call, have a meeting with your virtual staff, or meet with a friend for coffee.

If you need more social interaction around the afternoon slump, take your laptop to a coffice or a coworking space.

7. Hit the gym.

That works for me every time. It’s the part with getting there that’s the challenge.

You need to get ready, leave home and actually have a proper workout. But the feeling after it is great. Fitness is one of the main reason why I can focus in the first part of the day and why I’m more productive and energetic for the whole day in general.

So that’s how I beat laziness when working from home and save focus and productive energy for the day. You can do the same.

We all struggle with the afternoon slump and lack of focus and productivity when working from home. Here are my best tips to beat laziness and have energy for the whole day when you work from home: #workfromhometips #productivityhacks #findfocus #workingfromhome