Back to normal?

Grace Schneider of Storetec suggests a number of ways that businesses can avoid any nasty shocks on returning to the office after pandemic restrictions are lifted

With restrictions being lifted and lockdown coming to an end, many businesses are returning to working from the office this month. However, for companies that have been working from home since the first lockdown, returning to the office will come as a shock.

Of course, life isn't back to normal just yet, and there are still restrictions in place, so businesses need to take the necessary measures to adhere to these for the foreseeable future.

HOW ORGANISED ARE YOUR ARCHIVES?
One concern many businesses have is returning to the office to an unorganised archive that needs managing. An efficient business depends on how well you manage your documents. If businesses are disorganised about how they handle their archive, it can lead to delays in daily operations, legal issues, and unhappy customers.

A paper archive can easily get disorganised, especially when staff have been into the office quickly to grab a business-critical document, rummaged through the archive, and not returned it to its original location.

If your business doesn't have time to manage its paper archive and is looking for a solution to manage it in the future, the answer is simple: a digital archive. Avoid the headache of an unorganised archive by getting your documents digitised and uploaded to a cloud-based document management system. Storetec can help you sort your documents in line with retention periods and even pack and collect the boxes before you return to the office.

GET YOUR BUSINESS BACK ON TRACK
According to Gartner, an average of 4 weeks is lost each year waiting on misfiled, mislabelled, untracked, or lost documents. This won't have been improved by employees taking and not returning documents while working from home. By manually managing documents, businesses are costing themselves person-hours that could be spent on business-critical jobs. Digitising your active documents eliminates time-consuming searches through multiple filing cabinets for a document. An optical character recognition (OCR) application can be used, so your digitised files are fully text searchable. Documents will be just a click away rather than lost in a filing cabinet.


"If businesses are disorganised about how they handle their archive, it can lead to delays in daily operations, legal issues, and unhappy customers. A paper archive can easily get disorganised, especially when staff have been into the office quickly to grab a business-critical document, rummaged through the archive, and not returned it to its original location."

Storetec's document management system, FreeDocs, can help to increase the working efficiency of your staff by organising your digital documents and making them easy to find and access. With quick, efficient access to paper documents, employees can focus resources on important business activities. In addition, documents can be accessed 24/7 worldwide by multiple different users simultaneously; this is perfect for the current Coronavirus situation as staff cannot mix and potentially contaminate documents. Also, if for any reason businesses have to return to working from home, employees will have access to all documents. So they won't have to keep returning to the office to get them, risking documents getting lost or misplaced.

MORE OFFICE SPACE FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING
The practice of social distancing is not going away any time soon. Employees may have sat in close proximity to each other prior to Covid, but since restrictions haven't fully been eased yet, social distancing still needs to be adhered to. Every 4-drawer cabinet holds around 12,000 pages and occupies approximately 8 square feet of floor space. By digitising your archive, you can utilise this area and give more space for social distancing between desks.

Do you need physical copies of your documents? For many businesses, it isn't feasible to have everything digitised. There are still certain documents required to be kept as hard copies in some instances, such as legal, medical or HR documents that companies could need for audit purposes. Storetec offers a document storage solution so you can save office space and give critical documents the best physical security. At many businesses the onsite archive is not well organised and requires sifting through filing cabinets to find business-critical documents. When documents are stored at Storetec's facilities, boxes are barcoded and tracked for quick accessibility and are promptly retrieved when needed.

HIDDEN COST OF FILING CABINETS
Cost-cutting is a strategy that many businesses have been undertaking to survive the Coronavirus pandemic. Sales have been slow during the pandemic, so cutting costs can help to keep cash flow positive while sales get back to normal. It's impossible to know the exact rent that businesses can be expected to pay for office space in every UK location. Still, for example, in London City, according to Statista 2020, it is around £72.50 per square foot annually. One 4-drawer cabinet occupies about 8 square feet of floor space; therefore, it will cost a business £580 per annum. How many 4-drawer cabinets do you have in your office, and how much are these costing you? Digital access to documents means you no longer have to pay ongoing storage fees to retain your paper archives.

Let us take the hassle away and outsource your document scanning to Storetec. This will be more cost-efficient than investing in equipment, software, and workforce. Storetec uses a range of specialist scanning equipment that generate high-quality images and keep costs down due to their speed.

Keeping a paper archive can also be expensive to ensure long-term document protection and preservation. Paper documents are especially vulnerable to permanent damage from fire and flooding. As a result, archiving should take place in a secure offsite facility. At Storetec, all files are stored on high-density shelving units protecting them from dust and moisture. The warehouse is a climate-controlled environment and has fire detection and prevention systems, so you can be reassured that your archive is in good hands.

More info: www.storetec.net