by Jesse Wood, CEO of eFileCabinet
For many, summertime is the most wonderful time of year. For others, the season summons feelings of drear as they know they’ll spend most of their summertime at work.
However, working in the summertime can be as easy as the season’s gentle breezes. Follow these guidelines to solve these typical summertime workplace problems, and your summer will be smooth sailing:
1. Thermostat Wars.
If the Wall Street Journal says thermostat wars are a problem, then they’re a problem.
One of the problems with shared workspaces is that every employee has a very different idea of what constitutes an ideal room temperature at the office.
The differences tend to be split between genders as well, men preferring cooler temperatures while women prefer warmer temperatures — further fueling the age-old battle of the sexes.
If you work better on the cooler side of the thermostat and others don’t want to turn down the temperature, you’ll have to implement a solution to not be that guy (or gal) who applies deodorant at his or her desk.
This will involve exerting as little energy as possible, and document management solutions can help.
Document management lets you automate redundant processes, which keeps you from working up a sweat at the office. This in turn prevents you from having to engage in the typical walk back and forth to the fax machine, filing cabinets, or meeting rooms — which can involve working up a serious sweat, especially for those in clerical roles.
Or, if you’re an independent contractor, you’ll want to avoid doing house calls with dozens of filing cabinets in the back of a van, driving to and from clients. Nobody wants to arrive to a meeting with a bead of sweat trickling down their forehead.
Thankfully, many financial advisers and nurse contractors no longer have to haul loads of paperwork to client appointments because many mobile apps let them securely put their offices in their pockets.
2. Commuting During Hot Days.
Hot weather has been scientifically proven to increase levels of aggression, hence the terms ‘hothead’ and ‘heated’ carrying appropriate connotations.
Given the uptick in summertime temperatures, commuters can expect to both dole out more bouts of road rage and endure more bouts of road rage from others.
And, as the population increases, road rage is becoming more prevalent than ever. AAA reports that 8 out of every 10 drivers has expressed ‘significant’ road rage, including deliberate tailgating, purposely blocking another vehicle, and bumping other cars’ bumpers.
And that’s just the beginning of the issue. Between each commute to and from the office, there are 8 or more hours that are subject to the effects of increased bouts of road rage, and therefore increased tension among coworkers.
Sifting through endless stacks of paper to find a single file, or losing a file and spending time reproducing the information contained in the lost document — only to later find it in a place it shouldn’t be — can further compound the stress of the interim between commutes.
Subsuming paper dependent processes in to a document management system can alleviate these burdens, making all the hours between commutes as stress-free as possible. And, perhaps, preventing bouts of road rage on returning commutes.
3. Sandals and Flip Flops Shunning.
Office dress code can become tricky during the summertime. Many employers strive to make work environments comfortable, but there are numerous blurred lines in assessing what kinds of attire are acceptable in the work place, and unfortunately, sandals belong on this list.
However, document management software alone could shape your company’s dress code to make sandals acceptable.
And here’s how.
Assuming flip flops and sandals don’t violate any safety standards in your trade, you’ll really only need to make one argument to an HR person to make them acceptable in an office.
If you’re going to wear sandals or flip flops in the workplace and make a case for this kind of footwear being okay to sport in the office, you must keep those feet dry.
After all, nobody likes the smell of exposed feet that’ve been put to work all day, making trips back and forth to the printer, fax machine, and filing cabinets.
So, the secret is to make it as easy as possible to stay seated and motionless throughout the day, and document management can do that whether on premises or in the cloud.
Each of these platforms provide ways for workers to transcend trips to the printer by going paperless, overcome trips to filing cabinets by making all files accessible and backed up in digital format, and providing automated document routing to expedite processes that would otherwise require movement from filing cabinet to filing cabinet.
4. Summertime Office Parties.
Research suggests that nearly half of American workers dislike their coworkers. You may not belong to that camp, but some of your coworkers may.
Getting through the inevitable summer party can sometimes be a drag, but it’s best to attend regardless of any ill-willed feelings you harbor about your coworkers.
For instance, your absence may suggest to them that you don’t care to interact with them, leaving them with the opinion that you either dislike them or think you’re too good to spend time with them.
And this can make for a less-than-thrilling office dynamic at the summertime office party, and afterward during normal hours when everyone has returned to the daily grind.
However, if coworkers use technology to build trust with their coworkers, the process can go from ill-willed to positive. Using document management to increase accountability among coworkers will help to hold team members responsible for various projects that would otherwise be muddled by paper-dependent, outdated information management mediums.
This in turn reduces finger-pointing and blame shifting, which can make for more pleasant experiences with coworkers off-the-clock, and, therefore, better summer office parties.
5. Countdowns to Leaving the Office and Enjoying the Weather.
If you’re watching the clock at 4:50 pm during wintertime and counting down the seconds until you’ll get to leave, just imagine how intense the urge to leave will become when the summer sunlight pours through the pellucid clouds and beams through the window pane by your desk.
Document management gives you a way to enjoy that sunshine without the window barricading you from the sun.
Cloud-based solutions enable employees to work from anywhere, including putting all their information on their mobile devices, which can make for longer lunch breaks and leaving the office early without sacrificing productivity.
6. Hiding the Inevitable and Embarrassing Sunburn.
At least one person in every office forgets to apply sunscreen the first time they spend a weekend afternoon outside in the summertime. Let’s face it, it happens to the best of us.
The problem with a sunburn is that it’s so open to interpretation. Depending on how your skin burns, it can be misunderstood as blushing or the result of a ‘heated’ conversation—both of which can be taken out of context in a professional environment.
And, furthermore, depending on the way your skin burns, it can also end up peeling, which is unsightly and never worth sporting at the office. In fact, one figure suggests that sunburns negatively impact the entire economy, resulting in millions of Americans missing work each year because of them.
A way to overcome missing work with a sunburn is by having the tools you need to complete your work from home should you ever sustain too much sun, which mobile document management and document management for Mac can facilitate, especially since most sunburns do not hinder employees’ ability to work.
Jesse Wood is the CEO of eFileCabinet, a Lehi, Utah-based document management software company. Founded in 2001, eFileCabinet, Inc. began as a cutting-edge tool to digitally store records in accounting firms. As it grew in popularity, eFileCabinet developed into a full-fledged electronic document management solution designed to help organizations automate redundant processes, ensure security, and solve common office problems.