Many companies talk about going paperless, but it is one of those things that gets pushed aside while working on the day to day business. While we will never be truly paperless, we can substantially reduce the amount of paper that we use by striving for a paperless office. How do you accomplish this? Start now, and you’ll find that the new green way of doing business is also more efficient. We use so much paper that you could probably build a house with the waste you discard on a yearly basis.
Why Should We Change?
Embrace the digital world and move your business to the cloud. Not only will your office be paperless, but that concept will translate into less paper for everyone you do business with and your employees, as they learn the concept that the less paper the better.
A paperless office is more environmentally sound, it reduces costs and it is more efficient. You save storage space and keep your confidential information more secure. It is more calming to work in an environment that is tidy and free of paper. Would you rather work here?
Losing that paper can be intimidating. We become used to our processes and are often reluctant to change. All sizes of companies can benefit from reducing the paper load, even that one person office.
Or would you rather work here?
Here are some tips for moving your office into the paperless world:
- Set a date to go paperless and work toward that goal. Implement new procedures, sit down with your office staff and brainstorm ideas. You can start gradually to implement a paperless office by encouraging employees to look at new ways to send and receive documents.
- There is no reason to print out every email or document. Help your staff determine what to print and what to save or discard. Do they know how to properly scan and upload documents to your secure content management system? Do employees know how to send your files through a secure document delivery system?
- Traditional office practices involve shuffling a lot of paper from one desk to the next and into filing cabinets. By moving your documents to a secure content management system in the cloud, you can reduce the paper that you use while saving valuable office space. Going digital in this manner is one of the best ways to reduce paper consumption.
- Do you have the right equipment and resources? In order to digitize documents you need a good document imaging system or scanner. Many companies are going through their paper files and digitizing them. This is a time consuming task, so if you have interns, this may be a job for them. In the long run, it will be an asset to your company. Once you have scanned all your documents into the computer, you will be able to access them at the click of the mouse. If a disaster happens in your office, such as a fire, break-in, or natural disaster such as a flood, your documents will be safely stored in the cloud.
- What do you do with your existing documents once you have them all stored on computer files? Some industries are subject to record retention regulations, such as lawyer’s offices. In that case, you may have to retain your paper documents for a number of years. You can move those older documents to a secure storage facility and free up office space for more desks or other uses.
- If you feel it is safe to dispose of your paper files, make sure it is done properly. You need the right shredder for the job. A micro-cut shredder is your best option. If you have a lot of paper to destroy, consider hiring a shredding company. The reputable and well known companies understand and employ security measures to ensure that your information is not compromised. The shredding company arrives at your facility and shreds the documents in their truck, so that you can witness the event.
We all procrastinate, and after we reach our goal, we wonder why we didn’t do it sooner. It’s like losing weight, we hate the thought of starting that diet, but once we see the results, we can celebrate our accomplishment. Take that step to the paperless office now, you’ll be glad you did.