This week, we are beginning an article mini-series about Files.fm community-backed library for business users. We are starting with the most exciting, of course — why you and your employees must invest time in correct and timely reporting.
Writing reports might be the most tedious part of an office worker’s job. They take time desperately needed for other responsibilities. They must be written every week or month. But reports are also incredibly useful.
Making business decisions, especially high-stakes decisions, has always been difficult. That’s why many managers choose to follow their intuition for achieving the best results. They are sure they can trust their gut when deciding what’s best for business.
According to psychologists and business experts, we think making our decisions based on a gut feeling is the best way because we want this to be true. The notion is romantic, simple, promises success in business for anyone and makes us feel special if we do succeed.
Unfortunately, in real life, it is much more likely you will be successful in your decisions if you spend time gathering, combining, analyzing data and drawing conclusions from it, even if it doesn’t sound so romantic. To provide relevant conclusions, it is necessary to get the right information from employees or clients.
And creating reports is one of the most popular, if not the most effective, ways how to gather information from your employees in a standardized, easy-to-understand manner. Of course, each business manager must decide on the frequency and complexity of the reports, but a successful company needs its employees to provide information about their actions and results.
Employees profit from this too. For an employee, especially for a lower or entry level employee without much chance of participation in weekly meetings or individual discussions with their boss, reports provide a chance to inform about their achieved goals, planned actions, tasks done and pending, even relationships with colleagues or growth strategies.
Of course, in lots of companies, reporting encourages bureaucratic red tape. They must be used in moderation.
What’s more, the usability of reports doesn’t mean we don’t hate them. So there are different strategies for making reporting easier and less time-consuming.
Many companies use online tools, such as Evernote, Basecamp or Asana. However, they don’t always provide what you need: while great for larger companies with many interacting people, they often don’t give a chance for writing a detailed report for each individual project, client or employee. The tools are often not free, and for smaller companies the costs might be not sustainable.
Files.fm community-powered library will provide all necessary report templates for free — if a user at another part of the world has uploaded a document you need, you can download it. The library provides necessary information for everyone. You can use it as a template, as inspiration, or as a ready material.
Just remember that we work as a community: if you improve or edit the document based on your needs, be so kind and upload it back so that others can choose your version as well. Happy reporting, happy analyzing and very happy sharing!
Find out more about our project here: