Spring has arrived, bringing with it the many metaphors we associate with the season. Sunlight occupies noticeably more of the day and things seem more hopeful after long winters. And, everyone’s favorite, spring cleaning, comes into our mind.
Admittedly, most people probably don’t do the kind of spring cleaning that our grandmothers did. But it’s as good a time as any to think about a contemporary variation, “reduce, reuse, recycle”. I don’t think we’ll ever see a completely paperless work place, but our need for using paper has changed.
This is in part due to our physical work spaces shrinking and the rising importance of mobility. As a result, our work is becoming more portable and virtual. Laptops, scanners, mobile devices, software and cloud storage all play starring roles in this era.
Often, these changes happen ad hoc, as opposed to part of a formal strategic initiative. If you’ve been layering on devices based on the bright shiny object of the month, you probably don’t have a consistent strategy.
This is a topic that is important but not urgent, so it may not be considered a priority. But the more cohesive your approach, the better your results. If you find your organization in a state of IT chaos, it’s worth taking a pause to reevaluate your needs and take the steps to put everyone on effective systems.
The arguments in favor of this center around productivity and efficiency. For example, when your staff spend too much time searching for documents because your servers have turned into “junk drawers”, it’s more than frustrating. If it takes too much time for your databases to return results, this is another productivity drain.
Invest some resources to evaluate and come up with a plan to reflect your current and future workplace. This is a first step to spring into a more productive and satisfying work environment.