Paper seems to have been an indispensable part of our office environment for quite a long time. In many workplace television shows, you can frequently see high paper documents piled up in the office, or a stack of papers thrown by the boss at the subordinate flying in the air.
However, with the extensive application of intelligent office software and the continuous invention of new technologies, paperless offices have become a trend for many companies with the aim of improving productivity, saving costs, and creating a greener workplace. But why do you need to go paperless and how to transition to a paperless office? The following article may give you a clue.
What is A Paperless Office System?
As the name implies, a paperless office means the paper will be used as little as possible in the workplace. Instead, computers or other electronic products become the medium of communication and recording. The process of going paperless is simply achieved by converting most of the traditional paper documents into digital forms, including contracts, accounting statements, faxes, and other files.
Benefits for Offices to Go Paperless
Currently, companies in the US spend over 120 billion dollars per year on printed forms, while about 45% of the printed documents end up in the trash. This is a huge waste of limited resources.
The process of going paperless can also be regarded as the digital transformation journey of an organization. You may obtain countless benefits from it, such as efficiency improvement and cost-saving. Additionally, reducing paper use is also an important way to achieve environmental and corporate sustainability.
Because of the terrific number of indistinguishable physical paper documents, busy office workers may always feel frustrated looking for the paper they want. Organizing, filing, and copying for documents can cost a lot of time, which can be spent at more critical and meaningful tasks. Adopting a paperless system can significantly contribute to sorting out and retrieving certain files.
Space-saving is another benefit of ditching physical paper. It’s quite obvious that your office will have more available space to make use of with fewer piles of paper mountains. Meanwhile, filing cabinets, printers, shredders, and bookshelves can also be reduced or moved away.
Save Cost: Paper, Printing, Hardware
It’s hard to imagine how much paper the office uses every year. But after converting this number into money, you may grasp the point. The United States alone spends 120 billion dollars annually! Besides, you don’t have to invest money in printers, storage cabinets, and other office stationery with a paper-free office. It helps you cut a lot of expenses!
Once your paper documents are stolen or accidentally lost, all your confidential information could be at risk of disclosure. On the contrary, digital files are less likely to be damaged and you can also take advantage of some online tools to prevent the files from being hacked.
Efficiency and Productivity
Saving time means higher productivity. Paperless can greatly improve work efficiency. People don’t need to struggle to find the files they need, they can store and share them with just a few clicks on the computer. In this way, collaboration between team members is also promoted.
The contribution to the environment is also a major benefit of paperless offices. Individuals and enterprises can participate in environmental protection by reducing the use of paper. Meanwhile, the earth will become greener as fewer trees are cut down and fewer resources are wasted.
How to Have a Paperless Office?
Digitize your business processes is what you mainly need to do to transition to a paperless office. By using online tools and introducing paperless document management into your workflow, your business stands to save money on multiple fronts. For example:
Accounting: You can use cloud-based accounting software to convert paper financial statements into digital ones. These smart apps can also help you create invoices, record receipts and payments online more efficiently. Everything including your invoices, contracts, and accounts is in one place.
Communication: Email is also a widely used way for easier communication in today’s world. You can send any business document to your partners or keep in touch with your clients anytime, anywhere through an e-mail account. Besides, some instant messaging apps with strong privacy protection features are also very popular among small businesses to improve efficiency and productivity. As a result, printed memos, reports, and contracts are largely reduced.
Fax: A paperless office environment is undoubtedly composed of the removal of physical fax machines. You are capable of obtaining your dedicated fax number from online fax service apps like Fax, eFax and GotFreeFax. Then simply send and receive faxes via email and store them digitally. Similarly, you can easily have access to all digital forms of your documents, photos, and notes with a scanning app. All you need to do is to download them.
Others: Other totally paperless tools that are helpful for your business digitization process include note-taking apps, task and project management apps, digital agreements, and e-signatures. All these are conducive to creating a greener environment.
But remember, implementing a paperless office is a team effort. The process should be in order and well-managed. Every team member should be aware of the benefits of going paperless and actively take part in it.