Technology, including document management tools, have afforded modern business a unique perspective: Instead of asking how we should find motivation to do our work, we should instead focus on the means we use to complete our work—the latter of these two standpoints oftentimes revealing flaws in the motivational process.
Motivation is a hot topic in the world of industrial organizational psychology, and for good reason. In an economic environment chocked full of talent, intelligence, and capital, motivation has become the trickiest piece in the puzzle of success as many researchers and executives have different philosophies on how to foster it within organizations.
Most Motivation Theories Are Limited
Although well-intentioned and oftentimes inspiring, most discourse on motivation limits the complexity of the subject. For instance, it is often discussed or taught from the perspective of the mind. There are always mental tips and tricks all over the web positing tips on how to psychologically overcome limitations, as opposed to finding solutions outside ourselves to harness and enliven our own motivation.
The central problem with these theories is they do not do justice to the variety of motivations in the world of work: For instance, we may not always be motivated by success, and most “self-help” stabs at improving motivation assumptively peg success as the sole motivator among workers.
What’s more, many of these theories don’t account for ensuring success in a way that doesn’t grate against our better nature. Giving someone a Jedi Mind Trick on how to work more hours may be proof their motivation has increased, but it does not mean this motivation is any better for their wellbeing. This is where technologies like document management tools come into play.
Motivation Is About Fulfillment, Not Just Success
Motivation, as it’s described in contemporary research, may give us success, but it does not guarantee fulfillment. Bridging motivation and fulfillment requires us to look outside ourselves, no matter what industry or line of work we are in.
One of the greatest purposes of technology is not to mark the advancement of society or culture, but to improve the lives of the people who create it. It’s too often that work-life balance is a dichotomized phenomenon, one in which work is not our lives, and lives are not our work.
The reality is that work is our lives, and a very big chunk of it at that. By the time most of us retire, we will have spent roughly half our waking lives contributing to an economic cause. If we are to find motivation in such a lengthy endeavor, we must first make it as easy as possible.
Changing the Reluctant Worker through Technology
In a University of Connecticut study on motivation among students, several tidbits regarding the motivation of workers can be found. Although some may dispute education is different than the working world, we argue they are quite similar: Although the desired outcome in education (a degree) is different than the desired outcome of a job (income), one serves as a stepping stone to another, and thereby has its similarities to the world of work.
One of the major findings in this piece of research is that younger generations can benefit drastically form the use of technology in the workplace, as it is native to their familiarity and understanding. For instance, attracting millennial talent through cloud-based technologies doesn’t just curtail some of the negative stereotypes associated with the millennial demographic, it lets their minds have free reign, for the environment is more conducive to their own patterns of productivity.
Document Management Tools Put the Chaos of Modern Work in Check
Instead of asking how you can find motivation to do your work, first look at the means by which you do your work, and see whether that phenomenon is responsible for a lack of motivation. As noted earlier, we must look outside our own minds and analyze our environment before holding ourselves culpable for lacking motivation.
More often than not, the means by which employees complete their work is mind-numbingly unnecessary and boring. Fax machines, filing cabinets, messy stacks of paper, and sticky notes sloppily hung from the corners of the cubicle remind us of how futile our vehicle for motivation truly is—that vehicle being paper.
Finding Motivation through Document Management Tools
The easier it is for us to achieve our goals, the higher our motivation to achieve them will be—especially if competitors are failing to leverage the same tools from the outset of the race.
Any organization, from the customer demands in the services sector to the bureaucratic paper-based processes of healthcare, can gain the competitive advantage through document management tools that makes motivation easy to come by.
Even the federal government remains steeped in paper-based processes, and most organizations do, too. Therefore, any organization that chooses to go paperless with document management tools will gain the competitive advantage that motivates its employees and leadership to drudge forward.
A Motivation Prospectus in the Future of Document Management
Documents will always remain an integral part of information management. And if their scope, purpose, and nature is changed in lieu of some newfangled technology, information will always need to be compartmentalized in the way files are in present day.
What may change, however, is the way we interact with and leverage these files—particularly as more companies go entirely digital and eliminate paper-based processes.
Removing the items from our office that stunt our productivity and shackle us to an ancient way of doing things will have a profounder impact on our productivity, advancement, and job satisfaction than nearly anything else.
In addition to greater mobility, paperless offices, when accomplished through document management tools, will help employees in mass and their organizations redefine the modern concept of an office.
In an age of telecommuting, document management tools stand to not only improve environmental outcomes and give businesses a green designation, but also mobilize the workforce and cut fuel costs. If these are not motivations enough in and of themselves, the productivity and efficiency gained from document management tools is surely enough itself.