Home & business productivity

Paperwork, paperwork…it’s not going away anytime soon

Regardless of industry, it’s a safe bet that a large portion of the workday is spent on documentation and other paperwork, shifting time and focus away from more business-critical tasks.

Administrators play a vital role in business and their job can vary greatly, but one constant is the amount of time placed towards documentation, and in industries heavily reliant on reporting and other paperwork, this can be a beast to manage; no matter the field and regardless of business size.

I bring this up as I was reminded today that this coming Wednesday, April 25th is Administrative Professionals day. Not being a student of history, I decided to look up the observation. Dating back to World War II, the International Association of Administrative Professionals was formed to advance the professional skills of admins and show gratitude for their role in advancing the global economy.

While we’ve seen many shifts in the administrative role and responsibilities over the years, admins and other professionals can still spend upwards of 50 percent of an average work day on paperwork – a reality that costs thousands in lost productivity per employee each year, not to mention shifting time and focus away from more business-critical tasks.

Beyond impeding business productivity, manual documentation processes hinder accuracy, and for organizations that are heavily reliant on compliance, add risk. This is a daunting task to help manage.

Law enforcement is a field particularly burdened by paperwork – 39% of law enforcement professionals admit to spending 3-4 hours on incident reporting and other documentation tasks each day. Oftentimes, incomplete reports and other paperwork is assigned to admins. These reports, many of which relate to court proceedings, means that both deadlines and accuracy are nonnegotiable.

Professionals in the Financial Services industry feel the pressure, too. Increased regulatory governance puts heightened emphasis on producing documentation with accuracy and thoroughness to remain compliant. The result: increased governance is increasing the admin burden, with 63% of financial advisors saying regulations will increase their admin tasks and costs.

Let’s face it: the astronomical levels of daily paper consumption in offices nullifies the possibility of a paperless office, but the staggering amount of time and costs wasted on poor documentation strategies should motivate organizations to adopt efficient workflows.

By integrating technology like those offered by voice and language solutions, for instance, businesses can help streamline documentation processes, and more importantly, relieve professionals and their admins of paperwork overload, enabling them to focus on more high-value, and hopefully, more rewarding tasks.

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