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Electronically sharing documents between users may be necessary for office workflow, but searching for the correct version of a file can drain productivity and cause frustration. 83 percent of employees say they waste time everyday tracking, sharing, or finding the correct version of a file.
Working from the wrong version of a file can lead to missed business opportunities, damaged reputations, and poor impressions on colleagues and customers.
Don't label documents "new" or "final," as they are never really new or final for long."You'll end up with file names like: 'sales_presentation_final_draft8_sally_reallyFINAL' and nobody can understand that,"
Instead, adopting a company-wide naming scheme that uses version numbers or dates and initials of the person who created or edited it. For example, that sales presentation might be named: sales_presentation_ver5 _SV.
Email as a document-sharing method can cause a lot of problems. People end up wasting time trying to find the right email, and risk not sending it to everyone who should contribute, says Seiwald. Email also can't accommodate large file sizes, which means that businesses might share large files in one place and small files in another, creating potential content chaos.
"Use email for conversations about a document," . "But don't use it as a document management option."
Be warned, if you try to implement a new file management system, your staff might find a way to work around it. The Harris Interactive study found that 92 percent of employees use email even when there is another file management system in place. Choose a method that's flexible enough to let employees work the way they want to.
"Web-based file-sharing systems, such as Dropbox, make it easy to share files by emailing a link," but the downside is that the document exists outside the company's firewall, making it vulnerable to hackers.
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