Letting go isn’t always easy to do, and that applies to your paper files as much as any other part of your life. Many people who endeavor to go paperless find themselves holding onto documents even after having them scanned in and stored with their document management software. Everybody has their own reasons for this, but it’s important that you learn to let go of those paper documents so that you can reap the full benefits of a paperless office.
Here are a few reasons we’ve found for why people hang onto paper they no longer need, and how you can overcome these mental blockades yourself.
Fear of Document Loss
For some people, electronic document storage is a new and somewhat foreign concept. So naturally, there’s a bit of distrust in the process. These people may feel wary of entrusting all of their company’s files to a system that they’re unfamiliar with, and so they’ll hang onto the hard copies—just in case.
While you may think that you’re protecting yourself by doing this, you’re really just taking up space in your office and potentially causing slowdowns in daily workflow. Your DMS is perfectly capable of protecting your electronic documents, and if you’re using a cloud-based system (or at least backing up to the cloud), then your files will always be there, even if you do experience a system crash or other computer malfunction. So take a deep breath and purge your office of the paper you’re hording. We promise, it will all turn out just fine.
Fear of Change
Other people implement a paperless solution, only to continue in their old ways of handling documents. It’s the way that they’re familiar with, and so they fall back into old filing habits, hesitant to learn a new way of doing things. Human beings are creatures of habit, so this isn’t too surprising, but it’s important to overcome this, or else you’re wasting money by filing your documents in two formats.
If you’re afraid of learning how to properly manage your documents in an electronic format, never fear—it’s easier than you might think. At eFileCabinet, we even offer you implementation advice and training so that you can make a smooth transition to a paperless office. Once you take the time to get familiar with your new DMS, you’ll feel more confident about making the change and will be able to dump those old hard copies.
Fear of Disliking the System
This is somewhat similar to “Fear of Change” but some people will implement a new DMS and hold onto their old documents, afraid that they won’t like the system that they’ve chosen. What if it doesn’t do everything you expected it to do? What if it’s harder to use than you thought it would be? If that happens, how will you get all of the documents out of the system and back in your control again?
Though we can’t speak for other DMS companies, eFileCabinet can help to assuage those kinds of fears. First, we’re confident that you’ll love our document management solutions, and we’ll make every effort to ensure that you’re familiar with it and know how to use it properly. But in the rare instance that a customer is unsatisfied with our product, we don’t hold your documents hostage. We make it easy for you to pull your files from the software and onto your own server so that you can put them into a new system, if you choose. No matter what happens, your documents are yours, so you can part ways with the paper without fear.
Fear of Compliance Issues
For those who work in a regulated industry (and that’s a large number of individuals and businesses), compliance is always a primary concern. The last thing you want is to find yourself facing fines or other issues due to noncompliance. One compliance requirement that causes people to hang onto paper when they don’t need to is retention; certain documents must be kept for certain periods of time. So even after they’ve gone paperless, some businesses will hang onto hard copies of files because they are afraid of breaking regulations regarding document retention.
If your business is one of these, there’s something you should know: electronic copies of documents are just as valid as physical copies when it comes to regulations pertaining to retention. By keeping a digital copy of the file for the specified amount of time, you are staying in compliance with whatever regulatory body oversees your industry. And, with automatic retention policies built in, DMS solutions like ours make retention and compliance far easier than it is with physical copies.
So it’s time to let go. Let go of those unfounded fears, and let go of that unnecessary paper. Jump into a paperless office with both feet, and you’ll be able to reap the full benefits of a more profitable, productive, efficient, and secure business. Use the form on this page to find out more.