Can Your Office Go Paperless?
The notion of striving for a paperless office has been around for a while. And with mounting pressure for us all to become friendlier to the environment, this concept is unlikely to disappear any time soon.
It sounds great in theory, but just how easy is it to set in motion?
What are The Benefits?
Going paperless doesn’t just help save a tree or two, but it can generate enormous savings, which can only be a good thing in an environment dominated by cost-cuttings.
Using less paper saves on costs, but also on time and space. Having piles of paper can make it harder to pin down the document you’re searching for, particularly if you don’t have a robust storage system. Paper documents can also get lost easily and aren’t secured.
Paperwork necessitates document storage facilities, such as filing cabinets, folders or trays. Less paper can free up valuable office and desk space, and save on costs for those companies that have to store their work off-site.
Assess Your Needs
All offices are different, so the ease of achieving a paper-free environment will depend on what your business does and how it operates.
Historical and research documents, deeds and legal papers will usually need to be kept in their original format, so if your company deals with these, then a paperless office is unlikely to be feasible. Having physical documents may be vital for some businesses.
But, even still, there are ways that every company can have less paper, even if it can’t be completely paperless.
Steps You Can Take
Choosing to e-invoice or manage and pay your bills online is something that every organization can achieve, no matter what they do. It can enable you to keep track of payments, bank statements, avoid penalties with automatic reminders and save on postage costs.
Even just removing your name off mailing lists to reduce unwanted junk mail is a simple measure that every company can adopt.
Sending documents via email and storing them on the computer, rather than printing them out, can also be encouraged by staff.
Exchanging information electronically with clients can enable quick access to information, which can be more secure through the incorporation of passwords and security measures. And, with the ability to e-sign documents, even contracts and legal documents can be sent via paperless means.
Technology To The Rescue
With the advent of modern technology, there are many tools available to help make a paperless office more feasible.
High-speed wireless broadband has enabled faster communication and the ability to send bigger files via cyberspace. Tablets, smartphones and laptops have increased communication links, allowing users to share documents.
High-capacity online document storage facilities mean that a greater amount of data can be stored electronically with the capacity for enabling it to be backed-up for added security.
A high-speed scanner with optical character recognition (OCR) software allows important paper documents to be scanned and saved electronically as searchable PDF files, giving your shredder the green light to eat away at the Paper Mountains.
But if this sounds like too much of an added expense, even a basic scanning machine can do the job for any small business.
Whilst it may seem like a big, and potentially expensive, task to achieve a paperless office, tackling one or two areas can really make a big difference, without requiring a great deal of effort. The rewards you get will enable you to save on costs, time and space, and a much-improved document storage facility.