In the day-to-day workplace grind, it's easy for good file organization to become an afterthought. Over time, it's easy for bustle, lax policies, and carelessness to snowball. In my time with document management, I have heard stories that would shake even the steeliest office manager or administrative assistant to their core. Let me take you through how a seemingly typical week can actually create the worst file organization.
Monday is actually always terrible. It's hard to tell if Monday even contributes to bad file organization at all. I'll let you take a Mulligan for the day.
It’s not a Monday, but it might as well feel like one. You get to the office, sit at your desk and within 30 minutes, you get an email for a request. You know the information is buried in a file folder somewhere. Your company’s filing policies haven’t always been kept up to date.
So you get up from your desk. Maybe the phone will ring while you’re gone, maybe it won’t. But your records room is four doors down the hall and you have no choice. The filing cabinets are overflowing. It’s a mess. It’s not in the first or second drawer you check; you found it misfiled in the third. You get back to your desk and 15 minutes have passed.
It’s not a Monday, but it might as well feel like one. You get another request and you spend another 15 minutes in the records room but can’t find the file, so you ask around. None of your colleagues have seen it. The file is “misplaced,” they say. No one knows where it is. You spent 30 minutes looking for a lost document before you get back to your desk.
It’s not a Monday, but it might as well feel like one. There is, of course, another file request and you, of course, spend 15 minutes looking for it. You can’t find it, but when you ask around, you discover Kurt has the folder you were looking for. It’s the only copy. Kurt has the folder well past lunch and you get very little work done for the day.
Finally, it’s Friday, and thank goodness for that. Today, you know right where your file request is. It’s not in the records room, or misplaced, or on Kurt’s desk. Today’s document is in storage with a third party vendor. You put in a request to recall the document from the vendor. It costs the company $300 and it won’t arrive until Monday …when it will surely feel like one.
In reality, it doesn't take a week to figure out that bad file organization wastes time and it wastes money. Knowing where to make key improvements can drastically increase office productivity and efficiency. File management improvements can even improve workplace morale! Good filing policies and habits aren’t just a matter of good housekeeping: They’re good business.
Now that you know what horror the worst file organization can bring, why not download our free document management eBook to learn more about getting thos files in order?