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Why Paper Is Bad For Productivity

In such a hectic modern world, businesses are always looking to find that perfect recipe for ultimate productivity. How to get the most work out of an employee in the time they are there, in the most efficient way possible, without causing burnout or reducing the quality of the work at the end. There are, in fact, entire companies have been created dedicated just to this task, and they have come up with all sorts of interesting solutions. But here’s one you might not have thought of yet – ditch the paper that’s still floating around your business.

It’s A Distraction

Distractions are, generally, pretty bad for a workplace. It takes the human brain around 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on task and refocus after each distraction, which can be bad news in some offices. Paperwork sitting on desks can be a distraction in itself, reminding employees of other things they have to do still. Paper getting lost or misplaced can add to the length of time no real work is going on (while employees struggle to find it), and colleagues coming around to get things signed or to ask questions about a document can happen multiple times a day. Plus, having a messy workspace can have a pretty big impact on employee productivity in itself, since clutter stimulates the stress hormones in your brain and draws your focus away. Since paper if one of the biggest sources of clutter, it makes sense to get rid of it.

It’s Not Secure

Paper is, at its heart, not secure. It can be dropped, lost, misplaced or stolen all too easily. It’s also very easy to just pick up and read, and then replace, leaving you none the wiser about who has had access to confidential data. This is made worse by the fact that paperwork tends to just get left on desks, out in the open for anyone to see. And when it’s finished with? The most common destinations are an office bin or, if you’re lucky, a recycling bin outside. Both of which are easy for criminals to access and steal documents from. So if you care about the security of your business data, client data and your adherence to GDPR, paper should be the first to go.

It Creates Disparate Systems

As a business grows, more and more systems get added to allow that growth. At a certain size, there needs to be a way to control the flow of documents in, out and around the business. The problem is, most businesses will put two systems in place, one for digital documentation and one for physical. This means that every process that deals with documents is then duplicated across the two mediums. This is not only confusing, but highly inefficient, and leaves your employees spending much more time than they need to searching for and processing documents in multiple disparate systems. The key to productivity is to have all of your information in one place, minimizing wasted time.

Destroying It Takes Up Valuable Time

The final problem with paper is that once its purpose has been fulfilled, it has to be physically destroyed. It’s not like a digital file, which can be deleted in a single mouse click that takes a fraction of a second. Instead, paper has to be shredded, and the shredded remains disposed of properly in order to comply with GPDR regulations. And sure, you could store it up and make it your ‘Friday afternoon’ task to shred everything for that week, but that still means an employee has to sit there for an hour (or an afternoon, or a full day) feeding paper through a shredder. Which might be the least productive use of their time possible, and a huge waste of your money on their wages.

At Hungry Shredder, we specialise in providing businesses with an easy way to deal with their paper. While we encourage businesses to go paperless where they can, we are aware that the business world is a little far off that still, and in reality there will always be little bits of paper we just can’t get rid of. But we can help you improve employee productivity by taking that burden away from you, shredding and disposing of your paperwork on-site and freeing up your staff to work on more important things. To find out more, just get in touch with us today.