The hardest part in making the transition to the electronic world and operating a paperless office is working out where to begin, followed by removing the overwhelming thought of having to find the time to make the transition.

Most of us have this notion of how hard and time consuming the transition is going to be. The anxiety that the change can cause and the emotion that some may not be aware is occurring is what makes us think and feel as though a transition to a paperless office is not possible, that it is too hard or we just do not have the time required.

Tip: The transition itself is easy. When completed in stages it is no longer overwhelming or time consuming.

The transition is not instant, it does not happen overnight and if the process is not approached by the best way that works for you and your business, it is likely to be extremely daunting, overwhelming and place undue stress on you and your staff.

Tip: What works for others may not work for you and what works for you may not work for others.

We tend to forget that all our businesses are different. We may undertake the same work, use the same programs and achieve the same result being Settlement, however, we each undertake the work, use the programs and achieve the final result of Settlement in different ways, using different processes.

Tip: Understanding that we are all different in the way we operate, makes it easier to assess where your best starting point is.

My story:

For me, the best starting point was removing my Manila Folders and only having my Plastic Pockets/Settlement Packets. I had already started the transition without realising, as I held so little on my files. I realistically had no need for the Manila Folders, however falling into the fear trap, I struggled with anxiety at the thought of no longer having physical files. In order to alleviate the anxiety, I was feeling, I kept all my empty Manila Folders in a pile in the cupboard just in case I could not do it and needed them back.

My mantra though was to think about and acknowledge the positive effect change would have and I worked hard to embrace this change no matter how small. I realised I needed to think without fear and not doubt my ability to rise to the challenge of change.

It was not long before I completely forgot about the Manila Folders and about six months later, I was looking for something and found my empty Manilla Folders.  With finding my Manilla Folders that I forgot about so quickly, it dawned on me that small change is not difficult.

Tip: Acknowledge the positive effect change can have on us and embrace it no matter how small. Don’t doubt your ability to make change.

The mammoth changes in our industry show just how adaptable we are if we accept change rather than fight it.  If you look at those you know in the industry and compare the ones who embraced the changes with those who fought the changes, you will see a pattern. For those who embraced the changes we see and hear of their increased productivity, a better work/life balance giving them the ability to work poolside and to enjoy more in life. For those who fought the change, we often see and hear of ongoing stress, unproductive busyness and someone who is still tied to their office.

My office is my handbag. I literally can work from anywhere in the world.  As long as I have some form of internet connection, I can operate the same as I would in my office, even down to being able to answer my landline and call clients from my landline.

A few extra tips I can provide to make the transition are:

  • Ensure you have good processes in place. If you do not have the right processes in place the transition will be overwhelming, cause a loss in time and may cause you to miss important file dates and figures.
  • Prior to, during and after the transition ensure your staff have clear direction, expectation and procedures. If your staff are unsure, the transition will be messy, cause internal issues and potentially cause important file dates and figures to be missed.
  • Rename all documents and emails. If you do not rename all documents and emails, your file will be messy, you will waste time looking for documents/emails and again potentially miss important dates and figures.
  • By making the transition to being 100% paperless, I have found that my overheads have decreased, and both my staff and I have substantially increased in productivity. In turn, I have achieved a higher profit margin since making the transition.

    Do not fear change or allow it to overwhelm you. Embrace the change to the electronic world and reap the benefits that come with it.

    Rebecca Wadelton

    Rebecca Wadelton

    Rebecca is a Licensed and Practising Conveyancer under the Australian Institute of Conveyancers (VIC Division) and Mentor. Rebecca opened up her Conveyancing Business to enable her to focus on client relationships and the level of service provided to each client. Having successfully transitioned her office to a paperless office, Rebecca has found that her overheads have decreased and her productivity and profitability have substantially increased.

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