How To Go Paperless In The Office
With the rapid development of technology in past decades and rising environmental awareness, making the switch to a paperless office may not only be a practical choice but an ethically charged one, too.
Surveys have shown that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues have become so important to workers that they can actually influence their job choices. Almost half of the respondents would be willing to accept a smaller salary in order to work for an ethically and environmentally responsible employer. In fact, the same study reveals that 40% of millennials have already given preference to a more environmentally conscious company when accepting job offers in the past.
Going paper-free will therefore benefit your business beyond getting rid of towering document stacks and saving money on stamps: reducing paper will yield a sustainability boost for your business by helping you comply with ESG practices and attract environmentally conscious customers and workers.
Less paper then means more protection of the planet whilst simultaneously satisfying your customers and clients, as well as your employees.
What Is A Paperless Office?
As the name suggests, a paperless office is defined as a workplace that relies on digital solutions in favor of paper-based ones. Of course many offices still rely on paper in some ways or others, even if it just means that Paul over in design writes a sticky note to attach to his computer as a reminder.
A paper-free office signifies that a business or organization has minimized paper processes as far as possible and has swapped them for electronic systems. This way, companies not only manage to stay on top of the global digitalization transformation, but reduce clutter around the workspace.
Depending on the nature of work performed in a workplace, a full switch to digital may not (yet) be feasible, however, most organizations can generally aim to eliminate a significant amount of paper from their operations.
Which correspondences can be carried out via Email? Can contracts be stored digitally? Is it possible to provide payslips via a password protected platform rather than sending them out physically? Even the smallest shifts can yield significant savings and push your organization in the right direction.
Save The Planet: Why Go Paperless?
But why go paperless anyways? The debate of analogue vs. digital has been going on for many decades now and many people still prefer to take notes in a physical form. In fact, studies have shown that reading comprehension is better with printed texts than it is with their digital counterparts. However, this generally goes for long-form texts, often in academic or scholarly contexts, and therefore does not necessarily pertain to Emails or meeting notes drawn up as documentation.
In fact, digitizing your office documents of any kind helps you to create paperless trails that can be easily accessed from all parties involved and permits easy keyword searches without having to remember in which specific document something of importance was previously mentioned.
Therefore leaving paper behind will lead to more efficient and streamlined business processes that save you a lot of time. By not having to file and search for documents, and making them available for anyone with just one mouse click in a centralized database, you can also save space, especially in industries that require you to store documentation for extended periods of time, like HACCP.
Filing documents online also keeps them safe from actual physical hazards – like getting lost or damaged and destroyed and simultaneously boosts data security if proper encryption measures are being taken.
As you can see, going paperless in the office is therefore not only the sustainable and ethical choice but has practical advantages and keeps your office spaces organized.
Flip The Script With Paperless Office Software
In order to actually make the switch and start reducing paper in your office, say goodbye to snail mail and ditch the stamps, envelopes, stationary, and expensive printer paper and send Emails wherever possible. Even just internally sending documents back and forth between departments is time consuming and error-prone, whereas electronic transfers are not only traceable but also instantaneous and allow you to track changes and responsibilities easily.
Depending on your processes you may even think of integrating a specific software to fulfill your various needs. There is a plethora of Email hosts, text editing programs and Cloud services available to you, so that you can jump right in and start your digital journey.
Some (or even many!) of them – like Email – you may very likely have already incorporated into your structures but remember that there is always room for improvement: for the planet and your business.