Overcoming the Burden of Paperwork in a Digital Age

By EmmaNovember 3, 2017

–This article was last updated on 5 October 2021-

Endless form filling and record keeping takes time, and time costs money. Research has shown that many SME employees feel they could be more productive if there were less admin tasks for them to do. Luckily, increasing innovation by companies offering digital solutions means it is becoming easier for businesses to streamline this administrative workload.

Stack of expense receiptsImage: ©Kameleon007 via canva.com

The Connected Workplace – a Shift Towards Agile Working

We are seeing a shift towards agile work practices across industries. This is increasingly true as companies feel the effect of the millennial population in their workforce. While willing to work hard, millennials value increased autonomy and control over their working hours and environment. Employers are also beginning to warm to the benefits of reduced overheads that can be enjoyed when teams are able to work remotely, even if only for a portion of their time.

Connecting employees who are working from different locations is important to ensure teams remain cohesive. Mobile technology allows employees to access systems wherever they are, whenever they need to, and is less cumbersome than desktop alternatives.

Admin and the EU: Brexit

However, as the UK’s exit from the EU plays out, it will take time for efficient new processes to be put in place. It’s highly likely that Brexit will impact the amount of paperwork required to operate, for example, for customs forms and records. This is bound to mean a hit to the bottom line for SMEs who lack the large, established support teams of bigger corporates. And even those with such teams are likely to find themselves overwhelmed.

Increasing man power is one option, but technological solutions which can streamline new and existing processes by leveraging cloud technology will help businesses to endure the storm.

Boosting Productivity by Boosting Morale

Filling out paper forms and completing lengthy approval processes takes its toll on employee morale. Using cloud technology to make your business more efficient leaves your employees free to do their day jobs with enthusiasm. Not only does this make the office a nicer place to work, it’s bound to mean a boost to a company’s bottom line. The bonus of real-time reporting offered by many such technological solutions gives a further boost to efficiency by speeding up processes.

Moving into the Digital Age

More generally, getting records online is becoming a necessity for businesses looking to grow and adapt to the 21st century commercial environment. Customers are becoming used to the speedy delivery of services and products courtesy of innovation. See, for example, the use of mobile technology by utility companies. It is becoming increasingly important for businesses to be open to innovation, not only at a customer-facing level, but also for internal processes.

Improvements in Technology

Text recognition software is becoming increasingly sophisticated. For example, creating a store of digital receipts is far easier with receipt scanning technology. Mobile apps can be used by employees to submit information for approval, including time recording, holiday and sickness claims, and expenses. As well as improving the administrative burden on HR teams, employees will appreciate increased autonomy over submissions and the ability to access records remotely.