There’s no doubt that administrators and secretaries play a vital role in business. While their job can vary greatly, one constant is the amount of time they spend on documentation. In industries heavily reliant on reporting and other paperwork, this can be a beast to manage, no matter how skilled or experienced the administrator or secretary is, and irrespective of the field they specialise in and the size of the business they work for.
Appreciation for a vital role in business
I bring this up as Administrative Professionals’ day was celebrated recently. Not being a student of history, I decided to look up the observation. Dating back to World War II, the International Association of Administrative Professionals was formed to advance the professional skills of admins and show gratitude for their role in advancing the global economy.
While we’ve seen many shifts in the administrative role and responsibilities over the years, admins and other professionals can still spend upwards of 50 per cent of an average work day on paperwork – a reality that costs thousands in lost productivity per employee each year, not to mention shifting time and focus away from more business-critical tasks.
Beyond impeding business productivity, manual documentation processes hinder accuracy, and for organisations that are heavily reliant on compliance, this adds risk. This is a daunting task to help manage.
Paperwork hinders productivity
By way of example, law enforcement is a field particularly burdened by paperwork – 39 per cent of law enforcement professionals admit to spending 3-4 hours on incident reporting and other documentation tasks each day. Often, incomplete reports and other paperwork is assigned to admins. These reports, many of which relate to court proceedings, means that both deadlines and accuracy are non-negotiable.
Professionals in the Financial Services industry feel the pressure, too. Increased regulatory governance puts heightened emphasis on producing documentation with accuracy and thoroughness to remain compliant. The result: increased governance is increasing the admin burden, with 63 per cent of financial advisors saying regulations will increase their admin tasks and costs.
Let’s face it: the astronomical levels of daily paper consumption in offices nullifies the possibility of a paperless office, but the staggering amount of time and costs wasted on poor documentation strategies should motivate organisations to adopt efficient workflows.
Voice technology ushers in a new era of workplace efficiency
By integrating technology like those offered by voice and language solutions, for instance, businesses can help streamline documentation processes, and more importantly, relieve professionals and their admins of paperwork overload, enabling them to focus on more high-value, and hopefully, more rewarding tasks.
Of course, creating documentation in a way that’s productive and efficient isn’t just appreciated by those who are deskbound, but also by those whose professions take them outside where they need to document information or events in real-time.
That’s why today, there are many professionals who rely heavily on in-field, real-time reporting, and cloud-based mobility tools have changed the way they work. No longer reliant on hand-written notes, or memory recall, professionals from countless industries are using their smartphones, tablets, or any number of mobile devices to create, edit and distribute content. And like many industries, this is spawning new work categories, like mobile reporting and journalism, or ‘mojos.’
For those not familiar with the emerging field of mobile journalism, this new way for media storytelling, where reporters – and even everyday citizens – rely on mobile devices and digital services to rapidly capture, author, edit and share stories within local communities, is increasing and even going global with professional journalists themselves. There’s even an annual conference, ‘Mojocon’ dedicated to the field, now in its third year.
Why does immediate access to content make a difference? There’s no doubt that the power of real-time note-taking can help capture more detail and specificity, not to mention the immediacy of events.
From typewriter, to real time data capture
For a journalist or writer, the benefits of ‘capturing thoughts in the moment’ is magnified where significant time pressure exists to meet a deadline or be first to file a report. In addition, digitising real-time note-taking helps streamline documenting the details of an unfolding event, while unleashing creativity in the note-taker, as feeling and emotion can be instantly punctuated into the narrative. In their work as story tellers, mojos may particularly benefit from this dynamic.
It’s not surprising to us therefore to see how mobile documentation solutions are helping to foster this unique brand of storytelling. In fact, many users of our professional-grade documentation solution, Dragon Anywhere, are journalists or writers.
As its names implies, Dragon Anywhere is a cloud-based mobile application for iOS and Android devices. It brings Dragon’s powerful voice dictation and documentation productivity capabilities to mobile devices.
Designed with the growing mobile workforce in mind, Dragon Anywhere enables users to create and edit complete reports and documents and capture detailed notes while on the go. The benefit it delivers is that it empowers - not just journalists - but field workers, lawyers, social workers, insurance adjusters, public safety officers, and other professionals to keep up with documentation demands, even when they are away from their desks.
See it, say it, share it
You can imagine a scenario where it can help busy professionals; they can finish a meeting, a site visit, an inspection, or other work in the field and begin documenting the interaction on their mobile device—while the information is still fresh in their mind – to produce more accurate and detailed reports. And, because dictation is captured immediately, they can review and correct on the spot, without having to transcribe a recording later or pay for costly transcription services, which often take days to come back.
Furthermore, Dragon Anywhere creates a powerful cross-device experience, enabling Dragon users to quickly and easily access documents saved to a preferred cloud service from their desktop. Customised vocabularies and auto-texts are also shared across an entire Dragon experience with Dragon Anywhere’s ability to sync with Dragon Professional Individual and Dragon for Mac.
By capturing the immediacy of the moment, traveling to places where a physical keyboard can’t go, and quickly and efficiently allowing mojos to do everything – from dictating a story, taking a photo, and uploading and sharing it in real-time, it’s exciting to see the creative ways different communities of users are putting voice recognition tools to work in their professional and personal lives.
Mark Geremia, Vice President and General Manager for Dragon Professional and Consumer, Nuance
Image source: Shutterstock/polkadot_photo