3 simple ways to improve document productivity

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Documents – physical or digital – are an essential formality of daily business and the process to generate, collate and sign off these records can be tedious, time consuming and burdensome.

But it doesn’t have to be.

A new survey by Nitro, a document productivity company, and PDF Association has revealed three ways in which individuals and businesses can simplify procedures and effectively leverage the proper tools to improve document efficiency and enhance workplace productivity.

The survey polled more than 1200 knowledge workers from small to large businesses, across 13 industries from 54 countries.


The survey and analysis articulated the current state of document productivity in the workplace and identifies major productivity benefits to be gained if employee document workflows were modernised through the better use of available tools.

The results revealed that only 42% of respondents opt for the convenience of electronic signatures versus signing by hand; 83% of people lose time each day due to document collaboration issues; just 9% utilise a cloud-based storage provider; and a whopping 92% of people conducting document collaboration and review via email.

Given the leading document challenges were signing, editing and reviewing, here are three simple ways to improve document productivity:

1. Speed up signing

The majority of workers still execute wet ink signatures by hand, and use scanners, printers or copiers several times every day.

Here’s how to do it: Start e-signing documents. Compared with the resource-intensive hand signing process, the implementation of e-signatures can reduce document turnaround times by up to 80% and save organisations up to $20 per document. Enabling your customers to review and sign instantaneously and from any device makes it easy to do business with you, and delivers a great experience.

2. Collaborate smarter

Collaboration plays a key role in most organisations, with multiple people working together on the same documents and sharing feedback via email or even on paper.

Here’s how to do it: Adopt tools for cloud-based collaboration. Eliminate paper from the equation and you eliminate costs and resource inefficiencies. Sending documents and comments back and forth via email exacerbates overload issues and creates opportunities for error. Cloud-based tools allow for real-time collaboration — keeping feedback, versioning, and progress in one place and easy to follow.


3. Modernise sharing and storage

Employees habitually save documents to their desktop and/or company server for storage, and default to sharing them via email.

Here’s how to do it: Stop sharing in emails and store online. Documents are often “stored” in the inbox, and senders have no insight into whether the file they shared was ever viewed. Cloud-based tools track all document actions and interactions, so you always know the status of your file. Applications like Dropbox and Google Drive allow you to securely access your documents wherever you are — no waiting or lag time. Permissions features also keep your documents from falling into the wrong hands.