There are numerous devices on which we now type and though we are often encouraged to type more, other cost-effective alternatives exist.
Increasing staff productivity is at the top of the agenda for most businesses, yet they fail to realise that time spent typing up work could be better used doing more valuable work.
Staff are employed for their ability to sell, solve problems, create solutions, train, explain, present, negotiate or care for customers. These actions provide real value but often fall by the wayside as employees get weighed down with typing emails, reports, presentations, documents and letters.
The average ‘amateur’ typist types around 15 words per minute (wpm). In contrast, the same individual could easily dictate their thoughts at more than 100 wpm; dictating a 3000-word report in around 30 minutes – opposed to spending three hours typing.
And, the completed transcription will usually be returned within an hour if undertaken by professional transcription service providers.
The availability of more convenient digital technology makes dictation possible for anyone, anywhere, with secure dictation applications for Smartphones, iPad, iTouch and BlackBerry.
Digital dictation ensures users don’t have to get it right first time, easily returning to any point within a dictation to record over passages, insert new instructions or comments prompted by later passages of the same document.
Users can assign a priority status to completed dictations, specifying a return time for the final document. Formatting, pronunciation and spelling notes can also be applied to ensure the finished transcription requires little amendment from the user when it is returned.
Dictations can be routed internally if the business has the necessary resources, or if not, transcription service providers offer vast secretarial resources, with the best entirely based in the UK, all ready to get typing your work.
If the information you are dictating is confidential or sensitive, you need to be careful of being overheard, recorded or videoed with a smartphone, particularly outside of the office.
Outsourced transcription is completely confidential process. Sound files are transferred to typists and encrypted typed word documents back to clients, via secure servers that guarantee compliance with UK Data Protection requirements.
To assess the quality of service provided by transcription providers, appoint a business that does not allow typists to save work to their local PC. Also avoid those offering short turnaround times.
The dictation and transcription process also makes it easy to use and edit old printed material, notes, documents, reports or even books. It is much quicker to read the required passages, regardless of their length and have them transcribed, than to accurately type page after page of text.
Though voice recognition software on gadgets, cars and phones has improved over recent years, systems still get confused by regional accents and background noise.
Also, unlike experienced typists, software cannot apply context, meaning similar sounding words sometimes get mixed up, such as ‘council and counsel’ or ‘affect and effect’.
Using dictation and a transcription service that charges by the minute based on dictation length, with no contracts, on a pay-as-you-go basis will deliver improved efficiency, resulting in greater profit.
Dictation and transcription offers speed, flexibility and the ability to make better use of time in – and out – of the office.
Talking more and typing less is an opportunity every business should exploit in the drive for growth and greater profitability.
Maxine Park is a solicitor and co-founder of digital dictation and transcription service provider DictateNow.