Take a serious look around your desk. Do you have a colossal amount of paper files around your office? Does your stack of papers seem to be growing every week? An efficient filing system is crucial for employees of all companies to know which documents should be kept and which ones can be purged. Lingering paperwork is unproductive and can add stress to your already hectic life.
By having a proper document retention system in place, you will become aware of your documents and know which ones to archive and which ones to destroy. If you’re in need of getting your files organized, ask yourself these 3 questions when considering a purge of your files.
1. Does my company have a document retention policy? If your company has a document retention policy, refer to it for direction on how long you need to keep certain documents. Before you decide which documents can be kept and which ones to shred, it’s important to have a timeframe in mind for how long those documents need to be retained.
2. Do I have a filing system in place? If you have paperwork all over your work area--on your desk, on your coworker’s desk, on the floor, stuffed in your desk drawers--there’s a good chance you need to rethink your filing system. Regularly sort through, file and shred important documents. It’s helpful to set aside 30 minutes each week to review, sort and file your paperwork. If you keep the most recent documents in the front of your file system, current and significant information will be on the top. All other excessive and confidential paperwork should be shredded.
3. What can be retained, and what can be shredded? Sort through your physical files and ask yourself, ‘do I have an electronic copy of this document saved?’ If yes, and assuming you don’t need the hard copy, shred it immediately. The cleaner your physical file system is, the less paperwork you have to manage. It is important, however, not to shred legal, financial and auditing documents without first notifying those respective departments.
As Spring approaches, it may be a good time to consider the structure of your file system and do some ‘Spring Cleaning’ in the office. R4 Services offers onsite and offsite document shredding to provide you with flexible options that best meet your business needs. Click here to find out more about our document destruction services!