There is no doubt that the modern office has entered into the digital age. However, we also need to keep in mind that physical filing systems are still crucial. Whether referring to financial information, employee details or human resources paperwork, the fact of the matter is that managing such files is crucial in order to ensure smooth day-to-day operations. Poor oversight will lead to avoidable errors and in severe cases, costly mistakes. This is the reason why office filing systems are still so very important. What are some methods to store this paperwork and what advice can the experts provide?
Encountering the Most Effective Filing System
Before examining what the professionals have to say, it is a good idea to take a quick look at a handful of the most common office filing systems on the market. Each of these is intended for a specific purpose and they are all associated with unique benefits.
It can be argued that the most common means to store paperwork is through the use of upright filing cabinets. Their main advantage revolves around a relatively small physical footprint. Thus, more space will be allocated within the office itself. Locking drawers ensure superior levels of security and these drawers can be categorised based upon the needs of the user.
Lateral filing cabinets are another viable method. These are frequently employed within locations associated with larger amounts of space. As their name may already suggest, these cabinets are wider than they are tall. They are therefore ideal for storing papers and files of different sizes. Such cabinets can often be seen in libraries and records halls. They can nonetheless be a useful alternative if you have an ample amount of space to work with.
A4 lever arch files are another common option to consider. As opposed to the rather static nature of traditional filing cabinets, lever arch files consist of a durable binder equipped with internal locking rings. They can hold an impressive number of documents and thanks to their rigid outer shell, they can be arranged in an end-to-end fashion (much like stacking books). Labels may be attached when required; offering quick access to a specific document.
Top Tips from the Experts
One of the issues with categorisation is that management might not take into account temporal concerns. For example, many industry professionals state that all paperwork should be kept for at least seven years for tax and VAT concerns. Arranging such files based off of the year as well as their contents will ensure streamlined access if one needs to be accessed.
Another worthwhile point to mention is that physical documents should always be backed up within the digital world. In the event of a fire or a flood, you can rest assured that redundant copies still exist. Files can be scanned and saved onto a hard drive or uploaded into the cloud environment. This will also provide your clients with a sense of confidence.
Finally, be sure that the workspace itself is free from any unnecessary clutter. Industry leaders state that you should check for duplicate paperwork and dispose of it in the appropriate manner. This will help to prevent needless confusion and you will likely be able to free up invaluable office space.
These are a handful of filing tips and suggestions which will provide you with a winning edge. The first step towards success is organisation.