Paperless at Home or Home Office

Speaking of paperless offices – Do you or someone you know have an office at home? This would, of course, include the family “den.” Take a look at this excerpt of a Designing Spaces episode, which features my friend Derek Flower, who is the Senior Account Manager – ScanSnap at Fujitsu. He isĀ demonstrating Fujitsu’s ScanSnap S1500, the latest and greatest of the personal desktop line of scanners. I have both an S510, the previous model, and an S300, the portable model. Don’t mistake that label, though; both the S510 and S1500 are portable, as well, they’re just bigger than the S300.

You can even purchase a shoulder bag for the S510; the S300 fits into your briefcase.

Having one of these babies in your den or home office is great for taming the paper tiger of personal records and bills that we must keep track of. Before I moved into my home office, I would take my personal mail to the office the next day, scan it in there and send it to my personal email inbox for handling later when I got home. That required me to handle it more than once, which was a drag. Then I had to file it, tickle it, or something. Now, working from home, I am integrating my professional and personal lives in my scanning, tickling, bill paying, etc. These scanners make it all simple.

Derek can be found atĀ http://scansnapcommunity.com.

Do you already own one of these fantastic scanners? Leave a comment below about yours and how you use it. I’d love to hear.

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Paperless Hospital?

Have you considered moving toward a paperless office environment? Do you know someone who has? Have you heard of a doctor’s office going paperless? I thought going paperless was just a big deal for lawyers and law firms. Apparently, there is a trend afoot in other arenas.

Watch this video to hear about the Nation’s First Paperless Hospital.

What do you think? Are there implications for paperless in the health field? What do you see as implications in the legal field? Have you explored moving to paperless? What are the pros and cons as you see them, based on your investigation? I’m paperless and have my own thoughts on this subject, but I’d like to know what you think. Please leave comments below and keep this conversation going. While you’re here, why not subscribe over in the upper right corner?

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“How Are You Today?”

Do we smile when we answer the phone?

Do we smile when we answer the phone?

How do you respond when someone asks you this question when you answer the phone? Better yet, how does your staff respond to this question when they answer? What first impression are we giving people who call us and ask us this question?

Something that I started doing a short time ago in my phone calls is take the time to ask, “How are you today?” when the phone is answered. Nine times in ten, I am met with a response, like “um . . . fine . . . ,” and in a tone that suggests I might be about to try and sell something. This tells me that the person on the other end is now “on guard” against whatever I may say, or worse, ask for, next.

Is this the kind of response any lawyer or law firm should allow from its staff? This is especially off putting coming from a court clerk, which unfortunately is quite common. Think about how this speaks to your callers. Is it possible that the caller is simply being friendly? Even if it is a salesperson, can’t they be friendly, too? As lawyers, we are all sales professionals. Should we not be equally polite and friendly to all callers, regardless of the reason for the call? How often is it even a sales call, anyway? I’ve been guilty of this type of response when I think it’s a salesperson. Now, I realize they are just doing their jobs and deserve a modicum of polite conversation, like everyone else. Can’t we simply say, “no, thank you” and wish them a nice remainder of their day?

Because this irritates me, and I can’t be the only one to notice this, I thought I would do some internet searching on phone skills. I found a good article by Susanne Gaddis, PhD, “The Communications Doctor” here. She makes some very good points about how to answer the phone, from which we can all learn something.

The way you, or your staff, answer the phone speaks to people. The way you, or your staff, treat the caller also speaks. Why do we tend to lose politeness when we are not face to face with the other party to a conversation? Have you considered spying on your staff to see how they answer? Have a friend call in (caller ID blocked, of course) and ask your receptionist “How are you today?” and see what type of response they get. Better yet, have the friend put the call on speaker, so you can hear the intonation, inflection, etc. Judge for yourself.

Have you checked your first impression lately? What did you find?

Please keep this conversation going, and leave some comments below.

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