Many Australian legal sector workers want to digitise processes

Research reveals how much enterprise workers spend on paper-based tasks each week

Many Australian legal sector workers want to digitise processes

Australia’s workers are spending a significant part of their week on paper-based tasks and a large number of legal sector workers want processes to be digitised, new data has revealed.

Nitro surveyed more than 1,000 Australian enterprise employees, including those from the legal sector. Respondents who work in organisations of at least 500 people made up 92% of all of those surveyed.

The document-productivity company found that the median total number of hours spent each week on all paper-based tasks by the Australian worker is 4.4 hours.

The task that took most of time was reviewing and making notes on paper files and documents, with a median time spent of 62.8 minutes per week. Next were printing files and documents (36.9 minutes); printing, signing, scanning, and emailing documents or files for approval (35.4 minutes); sorting, filing, and sharing paper files and documents (32.4 minutes); filling out and/or signing paper forms (31.3 minutes); and searching for paper files and documents (31.2 minutes).

The survey also found that 40% of legal sector workers want to use more digital tools to recover the time they spent on paper-based tasks. About 20% of legal workers, half of whom hold senior management roles, said they believed that ditching paper and digitising processes would make them more productive. Digitisation would also reduce operational costs, 46% of legal sector workers believe.

Nitro data show that just 5% of Australian legal services offices have successfully transitioned to a “paper-free” work environment. The company said that the average office worker prints more than 10,000 pages a year.

According to the survey, 27% of legal sector respondents believe a lack of support from management is hindering the transition to digital processes. This is followed by a struggle to get all levels to embrace change, which was chosen by 17% of legal firm workers.

Nearly 20% believe that a budget allocation for digital technologies would make a culture shift achievable, while more than 30% said things would only change when leaders see how digital strategies can benefit the bottom line.

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