Updated: May 17
Running a business generates a lot of paperwork. Just on the human resources side almost every action creates a paper trail. Even for a small company, the space taken by these records soon grows vast, so could digital storage be the answer?
The Never-ending Paperwork Mountain
Paperwork starts to build up even before you give someone a job, with application forms and CVs to be kept on record. Day one brings a pile of forms: payroll details, tax forms, health questionnaires, training records and more. As each employee works, the amount of paperwork generated grows, annual tax forms, holiday applications, pay records, performance reviews, details of promotions or disciplinary actions, all of these things need to be kept. Even when an employee leaves your organisation more documents arise, in the form of leaving questionnaires, final pay details and leaving tax forms, many of which are legally required to be stored for years.
Storing Up Difficulties
Traditionally all of this has been paperwork in the literal sense – each form, payslip or holiday record being a piece of paper (or several), which needed to be kept. With these records the only way to store them securely is to invest in locked filing cabinets. Even for a small business this takes up space, by the time a firm is medium-sized it might be a small room of record storage, and a multinational or government department would have entire buildings to house and archive employee records. Paper records are also vulnerable to loss through fire, flood or theft.
Increasingly employers have digitised their HR paperwork. This creates a massive saving on space, and allows remote access to the records when necessary. It does bring new storage problems, though. Records are now stored on a hard drive on one of the company’s computers. This opens up new vulnerabilities, especially of data loss. Several high-profile hacking attempts in the past few years have drawn attention to the need for data security, and 2018’s GDPR regulations cemented that need into law across Europe. Because the data is stored on a computer or computers on the company’s property, it is also still vulnerable to loss from fire, flood or theft.
Recent trends in data storage have been increasingly cloud-based. With these systems the data is digitised, but stored on a web-based, third-party owned server. The huge benefit of cloud-based systems is that data is stored at multiple sites and in purpose built facilities, minimizing the risk of data loss. The information is also accessible remotely, to those with the appropriate login. Many smaller companies do find, though, that there are not many services offering exactly what they need, forcing them to either make do with an off-the-peg option, or simply store electronic copies of old-fashioned paperwork.
Help Us Design a Better Option
One of the things we pride ourselves on at LeaveWizard is making sure we meet our customers’ needs. If you’re using our annual leave and absence management software, then you already have cloud storage of holiday and absence records, but we are exploring the idea of offering broader document storage as a part of our service.
As always we are keen to make sure that what we offer is what you need, so we are looking for your feedback as to how a document storage system should work for you. Whether or not you are a LeaveWizard user, we would love for you to click here and take part in our research, or why not simply leave us some feedback in the comments below? I’d be interested in LeaveWizards document solution