7 Steps to a Paperless Office
Businesses still rely heavily on paper – but why? Paper documents are expensive to store, hard to back up, and inefficient to use and distribute. Digital technology has made rapid advances and many businesses could greatly reduce or eliminate their reliance on paper. Here are some tips to help reduce your reliance on paper:
- Asses your current paper usage. Before you can cut back on printing, you need to understand what documents are being printed, how they are being used, and how they are being stored. With this information in hand you can understand where you can make changes.
- Utilize online applications. Cloud-based applications make collaboration, sharing, and storage of digital documents easy. Look to applications such as Google Docs, Dropbox and PayPal to rid your office of some of the paper burden.
- Train your employees. To truly go paperless, you need to get the entire office onboard. This will likely require employee training on how to use new applications, changes to document workflows, and new security protocols.
- Add incentives. It’s hard to change old habits, so make it easier by adding incentives. Going paperless can save your company significant money – roll some of that savings into rewards for your employees for making the transition successful.
- Scan incoming documents. Don’t let another company’s use of paper deter you from your goals. Scan incoming documents to store digitally for your needs.
- Sign documents digitally. A digital signature is legally valid in most countries now, so there is no need to print contracts to sign.
- Update your office equipment. Going digital may require you to change some of your equipment. Newer multifunction printers may offer more functionality to help your transition to a paper-free environment. Large or dual monitors can help employees adjust to not having a paper copy of a document.
Reducing your reliance on paper is an attainable goal for companies across many industries thanks to updates in technology and cloud-computing. Be sure to back up all your files regularly, and work towards your goal at a pace that’s comfortable for your office. By reducing your paper use, you can save money, improve efficiency, and enjoy the benefits of a paper-free office environment.
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