Companies have been dreaming of a paperless office for decades and with recent advances in web-based business operations, cloud storage, and mobile technology, it is finally becoming a real possibility. Now that online tools and computer technology are such integral aspects of office administration careers, businesses are realizing that going digital can reduce clutter and environmental waste while improving efficiency and effectiveness.
Office administration professionals use their organizational, communication, computer, and problem solving skills to make business operations run smoothly. Computers play an essential role in the modern office, and online scheduling, database, and file storage software enable significant flexibility and productivity benefits.
Here are four top digital filing tips to employ in your office administration career.
Whereas tech savvy innovators in Southern Ontario may have once had to hit the big city to find rewarding employment, it’s now a great time to work with digital leaders closer to home. Windsor is emerging as a hotbed of high-tech talent, with about 15 technology companies and organizations offering digital solutions in the city core.
“Downtown is a focus for the high-tech community, especially for companies started and run by millennials,” says Doug Sartori, president of local tech non-profit Hackforge. “We’re seeing a lot of them locate downtown.”
“There’s a lot of potential here,” he said. “We’ve got the germ of a tech hub and now the effort is to develop it.”
Hackforge offers tech talks, workshops, and demonstrations on exciting innovations like 3D printers and new computer software—it’s a great place for aspiring office administrators to network with today’s and tomorrow’s business leaders.
Although it may not be realistic to go completely paperless, most companies can vastly reduce their paper consumption by taking a few simple steps. Many offices have reduced the number of available printers and redesigned business processes so that necessary transactions and document transfers can be done digitally.
Communicating the benefits of digital filing helps to ensure that co-workers cooperate with the transition. Search functions simplify organizing and retrieving documents—graduates of office admin courses can just type in a word associated with a desired document and it’s immediately available. Digital scanners can convert papers or business cards to PDF (Portable Document Format) files, which can then be categorized in an easily updated database program.
Companies making the switch to digital filing first identify which business procedures are needlessly making use of paper. PDF reports and fillable forms, Google Docs, and electronic signatures for monetary transactions can be easily shared, secured, and filed electronically.
Receipts for expense reports, warranties, and tax returns can also be scanned and digitally filed for far simpler management. Many offices also use a “cloud-based” software program to share access to a network of common files that are stored online.
When working without paper, it is doubly important to carefully organize and back up files. Establish a logical system from the beginning for naming and organizing your documents in digital folders, using a standard naming convention so others needing the files later don’t have to guess. Graduates with an office administration diploma will know how essential it is to apply appropriate task coordination skills to incoming assignments.
Most modern operating systems will have existing backup software, but for more important information, office administrators might use external hard drives or even off-site storage for additional security and peace of mind. Digital filing solutions are thankfully doing away with our dependence on paper but they still require proper organization and oversight.
Are you interested in pursuing an office administration career?
Canadian College in Windsor gives you the skills and knowledge to meet the demands of today’s business environments.