The Danger Paper Based Activities Could Be Doing to Your Business

Peter Chisolm
5 May, 2020

Companies and individuals are facing the biggest health emergency with Covid-19 since the Spanish Influenza epidemic killed anywhere between 50-100 million people 100 years ago.

We as businesses are continually looking at ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19 or even the normal flus and colds that present themselves every cold season. And with Australia poised on the edge of winter now is a dangerous time for all.

Before Covid-19 came along businesses did much less (than now) to prevent their employees from attending work sick. HR would continually remind people “don’t come to work sick” but without enforceable policies (in most cases), they simply relied on guidelines.

We’ve all have that one work college who we dreaded working with during winter because you knew at some stage, they would arrive one morning with tissues in hand, sneezing and coughing over everything and everyone in sight. Fellow workers would tell these people “go home!!” and they would simply shrug it off and say “it’s ok it’s only a head cold and I’m not even infectious!!”

Could you imagine someone trying that today? It brings to mind that recent mocked up YouTube video where someone coughs at the bus stop only to be kicked to the ground and then shot.

So in today’s post Covid-19 world we’ve seen businesses shut their doors, enforce work from home policies (where possible) and even lock down of front doors and leave a bottle of hand sanitiser (chained to the building for security) for visitors to use.

This got me thinking about where else in the current work environment are, we missing possible transmission points for Covid-19 or other diseases which occur all the time.

One possible transmission point we’ve missed is PAPERWORK. We all still use it, some businesses less than others.

pAPERWORK_BLOG_swuare.pngSo as an example, let’s say we have a workshop with 30 employees who all still need to attend work as work from home for tradespeople is impossible. And let us assume they still fill in their daily work activities on paper (i.e. Timesheets or Plods). Hopefully they all have their own daily work book but in some cases everyone may just use the same communal note pad (that’s made of cardboard by the way).

But let’s assume they all have their own plod books and fill them out daily or at minimum weekly. They then hand them to the workshop manager or leading hand (possibly the most valuable member of your team) for authorisation, and therefore possibly transferring diseases to that manager. The manager will usually authorise all 30 employees so effectively they’ve now come into contact with all 30 employees. Then these daily or weekly timesheets are passed onto the data entry officer who enters them, and also inadvertently has close contact to all 30 workshop employees. We all know what happens when the data entry person goes off sick….no-one gets paid and potential invoicing is delayed.


I can hear all the sceptics saying, “but there’s very little chance of the virus being transferred this way.” I would say to then would you go on board the Diamond Princess 24 hours after everyone got off?

Now add onto this whole scenario how much time and resources your employees waste by completing timesheets manually. Added to that the authorisation and data processing times, and it makes sense to move to an online solution.

Time and Attendance is only one of many processes where paperwork could be spreading disease unknowingly throughout your business. Safety reports, take fives, pre-starts are just a few I can think of as one type. How many of us are still taking paper receipts from cashiers at the local shop?? “No thanks...keep your receipt I’ll look it up online if I need to".

So how do businesses guard against this gap in today's post Covid-19 germophobic world? We can work smarter to ensure we limit the used of pens and paper across the business.

If you’re still using paperwork to capture Time & Attendance in your business today contact me for an obligation free discussion on what we can do to limit the exposure and at the same time reduce the time and cost you are allocating to manual paper based activities like Time & Attendance or in fact any other areas within your business.

#AlphaBiz #Covid-19 #Coronavirus #Time&Attendance