Even in the center of 1960s high-tech NASA, paperwork was bad enough for a famous astrophysicist to joke about. And that was more than 50 years ago!

Unfortunately, paperwork is just one part of the challenge these days.

Salary.com reported in its last “Wasting Time at Work” Survey that 89% of respondents admitted they wasted time at work each day, with more than half confessing to squandering up to an hour a day on meaningless pursuits. The distracting culprits? No big surprise:

  1. Social media
  2. Internet surfing
  3. Interruptions
  4. Repetitive meetings
  5. Endless emails strings

But turning off those the temptations is not the answer.

Yes, bosses can encourage fewer and more productive meetings. Emails can be limited to two communications only before a real conversation is required. But stringently policing social media and non-work related internet access could have adverse effects. Nearly 10% in that survey would leave their job if strict online policies were put in place and a significant portion said it could cause them to reject a job offer. Plus, there is validity in people needing to take mental breaks from time to time.

Make sure the time spent actually working is much more productive.

Coffee runs. Social posting. Texting. Following sports. Gabbing at work. Online shopping. Those interruptions are not going away, especially with the prevalence of mobile apps. To counter, many productivity gurus recommend make sure that when work IS being done, it is being done in the very best ways possible.

It doesn’t have to take rocket science (no offense, Mr. von Braun).

Most have embraced automated solutions such as CRM (75%+ of companies have implimented1), HRMS & HRIS (50%+ adoption2), ERPs (now a $10B market3), and the like. With these on-prem and cloud-based powerhouses, processes flow nicely through the system…until the document gets to the approval and signature stage. Then suddenly everything becomes “old school” with printers, scanners, faxes, pens, and even typewriters. While the hours, days, and weeks it takes for documents to be sent, signed, and mailed back offer plenty of opportunities for employees to online shop, update their profiles, and follow their home team at their desks, it puts a dent in the bottom line.

It’s time to consider some time-saving tech.

Simply adding automation into your paperwork approval and signing processes can yield amazing results. And since eSignature and Digital Signature tools are integrated into most business must-haves such as SalesForce, Office 365, Google Docs, Intuit, and the like, it’s not a forklift implementation.

See for you yourself:


1 DiscoverOrg Survey
2 Forbes
3 ReferenceforBusiness.com