Economics/Business

What are digital files/Scanning files in DP/organization/benefits /unscanned files

Digital files are organization systems used to store electronic documents of the Personnel Department, having among the benefits the optimization of the routine of the sector.

How are company documents organized? Do you still have countless folders and hundreds of papers that cannot get lost and that take work to organize? Maybe it’s time to bet on the use of digital files.

Digitization is a process that converts physical documents, that is, analog, into digital formats. A choice that optimizes the organization, makes life easier and increases the productivity of the Personnel Department (PD). Something that, in turn, tends to positively impact the company’s results as well.

The idea of ​​replacing paper with digital documents is not new, but there are still those who have not taken their first steps towards this change. That’s why we’ve prepared this post so you can learn more about it and understand the advantages involved. Follow up!

What are digital files

In everyday life, while using your computer or notebook professionally or for personal reasons, it is very likely that you have the habit of saving texts, photos, videos, music and others that will end up in files on your device.

However, when we talk about digital files with the corporate world in mind, we go beyond the act of saving documents in computer folders.

A digital file is a system that allows not only the storage, but also the organization and, if necessary, the sharing of documents.

Electronic vs. virtual vs. digital

To understand more clearly what a digital file is, it is interesting to understand what some community was welcomed with affection by its members. To distinguish himself from the others, the neophyte wore white clothing. In Christian religious terminology means in the corporate context in general.

If analyzed from a technical and technological point of view, the terms “electronic”, “virtual” and “digital” have differences between them, even though they are often used synonymously. Let’s go to some explanations.

An electronic document can be accessed through electronic equipment such as a VCR or a computer. This means that it is a document that can be configured in analog form or in binary digits.

In turn, a digital document can only be accessed by a computer system, which makes the encoding binary. We speak, for example, of Excel spreadsheets or texts saved in .doc and images in .jpg.

Knowing this, without having to worry about terms like “binary digits”, it is possible to understand that all digital documents are electronic, but not all electronic documents are digital.

Still, explanations allow us to perceive that what is electronic or digital exists. On the other hand, virtual is something that “has an apparent existence and is not exactly real or physical”.

In practice, the international literature does not usually make any differentiation between the terms, but we do not present their meanings and differences here for nothing.

Sometimes digital files are also called electronic or virtual files ― something that starts from the idea that the terms are synonymous.

However, as we aim to talk about how to organize these files, it should be said that we can talk about real documents (electronic or digital) being organized in digital files on a computer or virtual files in the cloud.

Scanning files in DP

A company’s PD handles various bureaucratic processes and is, by law, required to maintain a data file for long periods of time. Something that makes a growing volume of paper part of the routine of those professionals who still do not have digitized systems.

Just to give you an idea, it is worth remembering that medical certificates must be kept for five years, proof of payment of PIS/PASEP for ten, admission exams for twenty and documents related to the FGTS for 30 years.

The fact that there are different deadlines for storing each type of document is a complicating factor. Without proper organization, each employee’s information can be lost and this can lead to problems for the employer.

To deal with the situation, document scanning appeared on the horizon, unifying information in one “place”, facilitating deadline management and avoiding fines or other penalties.

“Archive any document by means of microfilm or digital means, according to the technique and requirements established by regulation, in which case it will be equivalent to a physical document for all legal purposes and for the proof of any act of public law”.

Thus, the use of digital files is not only a suggestion in the name of practicality, but also a measure supported by labor legislation and which keeps the company in compliance with the most modern standards.

Why think about organizing digital files

Before we talk about how to organize electronic or digital files, how about understanding why this is important?

If you, in your personal life, use a cloud storage service like Google Drive, you probably know how easy it is to “lose” documents that you know are saved, but can’t find because the volume of data is high and the organization is flawed. . It happens.

With that in mind, imagine how the lack of organization or management of the digital file can affect the Personnel Department and, consequently, the company.

Is it better to organize documents by type or by employee? The best way out is to create folders for each document or to gather similar documents in the same group?

Starting a digital archive without defining which organization strategy to adopt can cause the DP to miss out on many of the advantages that digitization has to offer.

In the midst of the confusion, there is, for example, the need to have to reissue an electronic or digital document simply for not finding the first version. Knowing this, what the DP needs is to establish criteria for the organization and even choose tools that facilitate the entire process.

For you to have a clearer idea about this, it is worth mentioning that a company that uses the Tangerino application for time control has a more complete system than you can imagine.

Through the app, which can even be installed on employees’ smartphones or tablets , each worker makes their journey appointments. In addition, they can use the tool to send important documents to the PD, such as medical certificates or certificates of attendance, for example.

Also, the Personnel Department itself has the option of saving other documents in the file of each employee of the company. As a result, companies that use Tangerino have modern time control technology that also favors the management of digital files.

The organization of digital files, especially when it has the help of the right tools, ensures that all the documentation that passes through the DP is in order. More than that, that it is easy to find whenever a consultation is necessary.

So that there is no doubt about the importance of this organization, it is enough to keep in mind that, frequently, the DP needs to check the conditions of each contract and the situation of each worker.

Only in this way does the PD guarantee that employee rights are being duly fulfilled and that the company’s rights are being preserved.

The benefits of organizing digital files

If you’ve already experienced digitalization in any sector of the company you work for, you probably already know the benefits that the adoption of digital files brings to the DP.

In any case, we have separated some of the ones that deserve to be highlighted, even considering what comes of advantage when DP bets on a good system to organize such files. Look:

  • results in physical space savings as much of the paperwork is replaced by electronic or digital versions;
  • makes it easier to search for documents, records and other files since, in a digital environment, all you need to do is enter a few words to find what you are looking for;
  • it makes it simpler to analyze and contrast information since it is easier to find them and they are in the same “place”;
  • allows documents to be shared in a simpler and more practical way;
  • it results in more security for the company considering that digital files can have more advanced and efficient protection and access restriction tools than physical files;
  • leads to the standardization of DP document management, contributing to the optimization of processes.

How to organize DP digital files

Now that you already know what a digital file is, why to adopt it and what its benefits, we can talk about the organization in a more practical way. Check out our tips:

  • Start by cleaning up temporary/unneeded documents and folders

Think of a big closet that you need to tidy up. Before trying to separate items according to criteria that are valid, it is often interesting to separate what is no longer useful or should not even be there.

Do the same thinking about the organization of the digital files of the DP and eliminate documents or temporary folders or that no longer make sense;

  • Create a folder structure

A digital file is nothing more than an evolution of a conventional file. Instead of drawers, we have folders that need to follow some sort of hierarchy or structure on behalf of the organization being sought.

If the Personnel Department chooses to create a folder for each employee and organize the documents from there, for example, it might have something like:

Parent folder: Employees →
Folder level 1: Department of Informatics →
Folder level 2: João da Silva
Folders level 3: ⤷ Admission documents
  ⤷ Medical certificates ⤷
  Timesheets and others.

If the DP chooses another organization system, it is enough to create a folder structure that is suitable keeping in mind that the chosen format must apply to all the documentation of the digital file.

In any case, creating subfolders is indicated because otherwise DP may have to deal with hundreds of folders being viewed at once. Something that does not guarantee good organization and does not guarantee practicality either;

  • Standardize document naming

In addition to structuring folders, it is convenient to adopt a standard for naming each document. The purpose of this tip is to facilitate searches and checks in the file, allowing each document to be easily identified.

Let’s take an example considering the timesheet report of João, the fictional employee of the Department of Informatics.

If, in one month, the DP saves the document as Registro_Ponto_Janeiro_JoãodaSilva and in the other month as Report_Ponto_JoãodaSilva_February, a situation is created in which the lack of a pattern is capable of generating confusion.

Such standardization must be followed by all who participate in the Personnel Department and, for this reason, it is advisable to guide the entire team.

Once the organization is complete, in order to maintain it, you may want to avoid names that include terms like “FINAL” or “Printed Version” and the like. Keep in mind that if there are other versions of the same document, there is probably something that can be discarded to keep the digital file cleaner and more organized.

  • Make backup copies

Among the benefits of the digital file that we mentioned is security. Someone with bad intentions may find it easier to enter a room to steal a physical document than to access a password-protected computer system.

This alone, however, should not be enough for the DP and the company to be calm. Just as a fire could destroy paper files, technical problems and other unforeseen events can compromise digitally saved data.

To avoid losing important documents, it is recommended to adopt a backup solution . There are physical backups ― such as external hard drives ― which are small electronic devices on which a backup of a digital file can be made.

And there are also cloud backups , a more modern solution that is even safer than external hard drives, with the advantage of not taking up physical space in the company.

Regardless of the type of solution to be adopted, it is worth remembering that the DP digital file will be constantly updated. Therefore, the backup must also be done daily, either manually (external HD) or by scheduling automatic backup of cloud services;

  • Count on technology to keep your digital file

It is very easy to understand that physical files are limited space. If all your drawers are full, you need to buy a new file and find a place to put it in the company.

Digital files, although many are not clear about it, also take up space even if they are stored in virtual files. The fact that the virtual file does not physically exist tends to make us think that there is no space limit there, but it can happen.

If your company keeps all documents on computers, eventually the maximum capacity of the machines can be reached. There are cloud storage services that solve this problem.

Dropbox and Google Drive are well-known examples of these services, and they even have free versions;

  • Maintain a file organization routine

In an ideal scenario, if the DP follows the folder structuring and file naming tips we’ve presented, it will be very easy to keep the digital file organized.

In the real world, however, things don’t always go as we envision them. The day-to-day rush, the unforeseen and other challenges can cause documents to be saved in the wrong way or that some other failure occurs. New temporary folders can be created, documents can be named differently from the one defined and more.

For this reason, our last tip on how to organize virtual files is to choose one or more days a month – or another frequency that is more suitable for your reality – to do a maintenance service.

The idea is simple: check if there are folders that can be deleted, duplicate files, documents that are out of place or that need to be named according to the standard, and so on.

Thus, the DP ensures that the digital file is always organized, allowing the expected benefits to be reaped daily.

What to do with unscanned files?

If your Personnel Department received authorization today to bet on the use of digital files, there are certainly many physical documents and folders in the office.

In this regard, it is worth bearing in mind that digitizing physical documents is the best alternative for the established organization system to encompass as much of what is part of the DP routine. However, it is important to know that not every document that goes through the scanning process has legal validity. 

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