Despite the pandemic increasing the need for digital solutions for storing documents and important information, there is still a need to produce physical records of information. From contracts and bills to project blueprints, every business needs to produce paper documents from time to time. Not only do businesses need physical records to comply with legal work like taxation, but sometimes keeping physical copies and digital versions is beneficial.
Whatever the case, document storage is a crucial aspect of every business. Consider these seven tips if you’re a business owner looking for ways to enhance your document storage system.
Once you have decluttered your documents, you will realize there may not be enough space to store everything in your office in an organized manner. Organizing your files and documents is crucial for business productivity. One way of organizing is to label and categorize your documents by file tabs and markings. But your workplace is bound to get cluttered if you’re low on space.
Physical clutter is likely to disrupt mental peace, which is crucial for employee productivity. Therefore, invest in storage solutions like renting out an external unit where you can safely secure and remotely monitor your documents.
The biggest issue with storing physical copies of documents is unforeseen climatic situations. You must consider climate control when investing in a storage unit away from your workplace. Most storage facilities incorporate climate-control technology in their units to avoid damaging your belongings.
In Bentonville, Arkansas, you know that summers tend to get very hot and humid. Physical files are likely to get damaged by increasing humidity and heat. Therefore, make sure whatever storage unit you invest in is readily equipped to counter extreme climatic conditions. Look for “storage units bentonville ar,” and you’ll come across climate-controlled space-saving solutions. The storage unit should have proper ventilation to prevent moisture and mold development. Also, ensure that the boxes or cartons for storage are water-resistant.
Sort your files
The third step is to decide what you need to store and discard. For example, you don’t need to physically produce every contract or receipt. For documents that can be digitally stored, you may not need an extra physical copy. For instance, businesses that have automated their billing and payment channels might not require physical copies of payments. However, in the case of contracts and agreements with clients, you may have to produce physical copies.
Once you begin sorting out documents, you might realize that many files have multiple copies or old versions that may be useless now. Discard whatever files and records you no longer need, especially if you can scan and store them digitally. However, you may still need digital and physical copies of some documents, like employee records or business contracts. Take your time assessing which files can be scanned and stored away and which require safe physical storage.
Store vertically and in categories
Whether investing in an external storage space or piling up everything in your office, efficient storage is more than labeling and color-coding your files. We recommend investing in vertical and sturdy storage options. You can either use plastic boxes or metal bookcases and shelving units to store physical copies of documents. Further, you can label every box, shelf, or unit with the category of papers inside.
Investing in vertical storage is also beneficial because it’s easier to access. If you’re storing files in drawers or shelves, keep the regularly used documents and files in the front. For instance, for financial information, it is efficient to place recent files in the front so you can easily access them. You can also create an organization or decluttering system where you review files annually or quarterly and get rid of anything that’s no longer required or is better off stored digitally.
Develop a library system
Despite automation systems for keeping track of business documents, developing a library system for physical documents in some departments and businesses may be helpful. You can assign every employee in your company a library card so that there is a record of every time a file is removed from the storage unit. Tracking the movement of documents helps reduce theft or misplacement of important files. Make sure the system is descriptive enough and requires check-ins and check-outs every time a file is removed from the system.
Storage Unit Types
When considering external storage units for your documents, get quotes from multiple storage facilities. You also want to ensure the facility has maximum security protection, like CCTV surveillance and on-site security staff. Some companies also allow remote monitoring of storage units through mobile applications. Special features may increase the rent per storage unit but ensure the safety and protection of your belongings from potential damage.
You also want to consider size options for your storage unit before deciding. If you’re only planning to use a storage unit for documents, you may not need a huge storage unit. However, if you want to store irregularly used machinery and other equipment along with documents, you might want to invest in a bigger unit. Apart from size and climate control, you want to ensure the storage facility is within your reach and 24/7 available for access. There’s no point in investing in a storage unit hours away from your workplace.
Lastly, an important tip for effective file management is to store essential documents and files digitally as well. Some files are better off stored digitally for better security and as a backup if there is some harm to your physical documents. In addition, scan documents that have no relevance in everyday business dealings. Then, you can access those files when and wherever you need them without hoarding limited space in your office or storage unit.
Although a clerical task, effective file management is crucial for business productivity. Imagine turning your workplace upside down because your file management system is in shackles, and you couldn’t find that “one” document you need. Not only is this time-consuming, but a rather stressful task. So follow the tips above to structure your file management system to enhance productivity and save time.