How Outsourcing Transcription Can Save Your Business Money

How Outsourcing Secretarial Functions Can Save Your Business Costs. A blog post by OutSec the UK's leading online transcription company

Many businesses today are looking for ways to reduce their operational costs and improve their efficiency. One of the areas that can offer significant savings is the secretarial or typing function.

Benefits of Outsourcing Transcription

By outsourcing these tasks to a professional transcription company, you can enjoy many benefits, such as:

1. Helps You Increase Productivity

Dictating a document is more cost-effective than typing a document yourself.  

Why is Dictation More Efficient than Typing?

It is more efficient for the simple fact that we can all speak considerably faster than we can physically type, as demonstrated by these stats:

“The average person types between 38 and 40 words per minute”.

A “good rate of speech ranges between 140 -160 words per minute.

This means that dictation is up to four times faster than we can type. Therefore, simply dictating a document is more cost-efficient.

2. Reduces Costs

Hiring and training in-house secretarial staff or typists can be expensive and time-consuming.

When you employ staff you must pay: monthly salaries, PAYE costs, National Insurance contributions, offer a pension scheme and pay a certain percentage of tax per employee. You also have other fixed costs such as desk space and office costs per employee, and the costs of infrastructure like computers, telephones, workspaces etc.

Unproductive Time

What most employers forget is the indirect costs of employment such as “unproductive” time.  Recent research suggests that:

“In an eight-hour day, the average worker is only productive for two hours 53 minutes”.

Clearly, by outsourcing your transcription needs, you eliminate any unproductive time.  By using OutSec, you pay per minute of recorded dictation (rounded up to the nearest minute) which means you are not paying for any unproductive time.  Therefore, you are not paying for your transcriptionist to make a cup of tea or coffee, to have or make a snack or lunch, or indeed have an office chat – all of that is eliminated!

Reduces HR Costs

Lower Labour Costs

Hiring, training and supervising secretarial staff can require an investment of your HR Manager’s time.  There are costs involved in advertising for qualified transcriptionists.  By outsourcing, you never have to worry about any of these HR-related costs. 

According to the National Office of Statistics, an “estimated 185.6 million working days were lost because of sickness or injury in 2022“. This worked out to be 5.7 working days per worker. The most common reasons for sicknesses were:

  • Minor illnesses;
  • Mental health conditions;
  • Musculoskeletal problems.

Holiday Pay

Whilst statutory paid holiday entitlement in the UK is 28 paid holiday days, most employers in the UK give considerably more holidays to their employees.

Indeed, “the average UK holiday entitlement including public holidays is 33.5 days – that’s more than a week above the statutory minimum”.

Clearly, by outsourcing your secretarial and transcription needs, you eliminate this cost.

Changes a Fixed Cost into a Flexible Cost

Replacing a static fixed cost with a flexible skilled outsourced provider has many positives.  If your typing requirements are low, then the costs are low. This also enables upscaling support as business grows or in times when workloads are high.  

By outsourcing, you can access a pool of qualified and experienced transcriptionists who charge by the hour or by the project. You only pay for the work you need, and you can scale up or down as required.

OutSec can offer support by either acting as a complete, secure, outsourced solution. Or as an overflow, allowing your business to keep up with the demands of your business.

3. Business Continuity Planning

In 2020, businesses around the world had their business continuity plans truly put to the test, as Covid-19 swept the globe. Whilst some businesses were forced to close their doors when lockdowns came into effect, OutSec continued to operate as normal. OutSec continued to be able to support our clients and those that needed our help, during this difficult time.  As one of our clients stated:

“We are so glad that we have you as it certainly makes it less stressful not having to worry about getting typing completed”.

Using OutSec affords your practice a business continuity solution to enable your business to access typing support, that expands (or contracts) with your business’ specific needs. You can also use OutSec for upscaling support as the practice grows. This eliminates the need for employing additional typing staff (or indeed, any of the employment costs or risks thereof).

4. Eliminate the Need for Temporary Staff

As any manager knows, the need for temporary transcriptionists or secretarial staff can easily fluctuate over time.  We know that staff are likely to take the majority of their holiday entitlement in the summer months. Unfortunately, it is harder for practices and clinics to predict unexpected illnesses. We can, of course, predict that in the winter months, someone may come to work with a cold (and in a matter of days, everyone has come down with it!). Environmental factors such as snow, or other extreme weather events, can also result in staff being unable to make it into the office. 

Employing temporary staff has always been expensive.  It is often double that of regular staff without taking into account the additional time required on induction practices to bring them on board.

By using OutSec, you can access typists in times of absence, whether it is through illness or extreme weather, reducing the need for using expensive temporary staff to bridge the gap at a cheaper cost.  This can produce savings of up to 70% on the costs of temporary staff.

5. Higher quality and accuracy

Transcription companies have the expertise and technology to deliver high-quality and accurate transcripts of your audio or video files. They can also handle different formats, languages, accents, terminologies, and special requests. You can avoid errors and inconsistencies that may affect your reputation or compliance.

6. Faster turnaround time

Transcription companies can work around the clock and meet your deadlines. They can also handle large volumes of work without compromising on quality. You can save time and resources that you can use for more productive activities.

7. Security and confidentiality

Transcription companies have strict policies and procedures to protect your data and privacy. They use secure platforms and encryption to transfer and store your files. They also sign non-disclosure agreements and adhere to industry standards and regulations.

Examples of Businesses That Outsource Secretarial or Typing Functions

Outsourcing secretarial or typing functions is not a new trend. Many businesses across different industries have been doing it for years, and have seen positive results. Here are some examples:

Legal firms often outsource their transcription needs to save time and money. Court forms, Court documents, statements, affidavits, attendance notes, file notes, bespoke emails, letters can all be dictated and outsourced for transcription. OutSec can also work within practice or case management systems.

Medical practices:

Medical practices often outsource their transcription needs to ensure compliance and quality. They can get accurate and timely transcripts of patient records, medical reports, consultations, lectures, and other medical documents. OutSec can also work within practice management systems.

Media companies:

Media companies often outsource their transcription needs to enhance their content and reach. They can get accurate and timely transcripts of podcasts, videos, interviews, webinars, documentaries, and other media content.

Academic institutions:

Academic institutions often outsource their transcription needs to support their research and education. They can get accurate and timely transcripts of lectures, seminars, interviews, surveys, dissertations, and other academic content.


Outsourcing secretarial or typing functions can be a smart move for your business. You can save costs, improve quality, increase efficiency, and gain a competitive edge. If you are looking for a reliable transcription company that can handle your secretarial or typing needs, contact us today. We have a team of professional transcriptionists who can deliver fast and accurate results at affordable rates.

About OutSec

OutSec is the UK’s leading online transcription company whose business has grown substantially since 2002. We are one of the most successful transcription companies in the United Kingdom.

OutSec provides secure outsourced transcription services to the medicallegalproperty and surveyinguniversitiesmedia and interviewsadvisory boards, conferences & seminarsinventoriesfinancialcorporateHR, recruitment and Executive Search sectors.

Why is Dictation More Efficient than Typing?

Well, the simple fact is that we can all speak considerably faster than we can physically type:

“The average person types between 38 and 40 words per minute”.

A “good rate of speech ranges between 140 -160 words per minute.

In other words, dictation is up to four times faster than we can type. Therefore, simply dictating a document is more cost-efficient, giving you more time to dedicate your efforts elsewhere in your business.

Therefore why not add OutSec as a business continuity option for your business? Accounts are free, you pay on a per-minute basis (rounded to the nearest minute) on a pay-as-you-go basis, with no contracts or minimum spend. What do you have to lose? Why not open an account today?

Picture Attribution:

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood:

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