Can Better Document Management Resolve the Biggest Workplace Epidemic of Our Time?

Being unhappy at work is so common, it’s become a cliché. This is, however, as devastating of a trend as it is an unresolved one, and it’s far too frequently that researchers and workplace pundits attempt to explain this phenomenon through a lens independent of technology—the lack of the right technology being a serious contender for what perpetuates this dissatisfied worker sentiment. Here’s how an electronic document management system can resolve the problem.

An Electronic Document Management System Fosters “Deep” Work

Knowledge workers particularly struggle with this aspect of work, and therefore have trouble producing in accordance with their worth. They are far too educated to be spending so much of their time on tasks that, quite frankly, anyone with a middle school education can accomplish: searching for information, wading through a morass of emails, etc.

Instead, they should be focusing on tasks that the breadth of their education and skillset demands—not just to increase economic output and their own job security, but to better facilitate innovation, too. Doing so not only increases these employees’ value, but also increases worker happiness.

The easiest way to reduce “shallow” work and let knowledge workers more deeply immerse themselves in their craft and engage with their expertise, is to reduce the amount of “stop” processes in traditional work environments that facilitate broken concentration: Printing, faxing, searching for lost information, needlessly re-creating “lost” information when it’s simply misfiled, etc. Each of these are negative outcomes that an electronic document management system can resolve when used correctly.

Electronic Document Management Makes Change and Uncertainty Navigable

Innovation saw quantum leaps with the advent of the Internet’s public use and the technology which proliferated shortly thereafter. The web, as an information system, is constantly in flux—demanding that businesses reinvent themselves to meet customer needs through various CMS platforms, therein rendering an array of chaos-inducing changes.

And that’s before even discussing less tangential aspects of information management. Many organizations are presently using “technology” from the Industrial Revolution to “manage” their information today—physical filing cabinets.

Although this phenomenon is widespread, that doesn’t mean it’s the right way to do it. In fact, relying on traditional filing cabinets to manage the amount of data and information in businesses today is a bit like swinging with a golf club in the Major Leagues—a surefire way to fail.

Case in point, you’re more equipped to handle the many curveballs a pitcher may throw your way with a baseball bat than you are with a golf club. In this sense, a baseball bat makes the changes of the pitcher surmountable, just as use of an electronic document management system makes the changes in innovation and information proliferation manageable.

And if we can make changes navigable with the right technology, workers will have an increased sense of self-efficacy and, therefore, happiness while on the job.

Electronic Document Management Gives Employees Their Voice Back

Although an electronic document management system can save that bottom line on the balance sheet and contribute to better compensation for employees, a lesser known metric is just as important to employees’ satisfaction, and pertains far more to intrinsic motivation: whether employees feel they are heard.

Oftentimes employees feel their work goes unappreciated, and sometimes this lack of appreciation is duly. However, it’s not always the employee’s fault.

When an office relies on traditional storage, collaboration, and filing methods, foregoing more efficient ways to manage information, employees have less time to contribute to more important discussions that commonly take place only among C-suite executives: strategy, direction, and future objectives.

Above all else, an electronic document management system frees up time, which can be used in myriad ways to improve employees’ happiness while on the job.