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going paperless?

30 March 2012

The Nottingham office is moving this year from the charming “rabbit-warren” on Castle Gate to swanky new open plan offices near the canal.  As part of the preparation for the move the firm has introduced a new “paperless” policy.  It will mean a big change but the new policy is a good one with twin benefits of saving space and saving the environment.

Under the policy, files must be managed on the computer and all documents and correspondence must be scanned in, with original documents being stored offsite.  This will increase efficiency as fee-earners are encouraged to print off and take only the documents they need to client meetings- not to take armfuls of (often useless and irrelevant!) paper.

Unfortunately Browne Jacobson have occupied Castle Gate since some time in the 80’s (I forget the exact date…) and in that time have managed to accumulate A LOT of paper!  My current seat is in private client, which is one of the worst offenders, but it is clear the process is a painful one across the board.  We have found old, out of date books and “know- how” manuals from the 90’s (which probably aren’t even law anymore!) along with client files which have documents and correspondence spread across 5 (very full) lever arch files.

Obviously it won’t always be possible to manage a file completely on screen but there are numerous benefits including a handy search tool which inevitably saves hours of time spent leafing through many paper files looking for that one relevant document…

It’s a great opportunity to have a clear out and it is incredibly necessary.  There would be nothing worse than starting life in the new office by building desk dividers out of paper files and gradually spreading out to occupy your neighbour’s space- and I don’t think it would go down to well with your colleagues!

So how will it look in the new office? We will have to wait and see!