All the latest advancements around us have made our lives better; it has also significantly contributed to the degradation of our environment. By the time you finish this article, approximately 278,000 trees would have already been cut down worldwide, with a significant amount of them being used for making paper.
Our work-life plays a significant part in this as we have to deal with a copious amount of paper in our daily professional life. This calls for a standard solution – a paperless future.
Going paperless has many environmental benefits as it significantly improves your working standards. Here are nine ways to make your business paperless:
1. Forget Your Printer
Do you know that an average office worker prints up to 34 pages/day, out of which 17% go completely unused? For making your business paperless, it is essential to cut down on its production.
In a traditional office setting, the majority of paper which gets circulated comes from printouts. For saving paper, discourage sharing hard copies, and promote the usage of soft copies in their place. Also, reduce the number of printers within your organization – so that instead of standing and waiting for their turn to print documents, your employees turn to other paperless substitutes for handling information.
2. Embrace The Cloud
A tremendous amount of paper is utilized for sharing, distributing, and editing data in a typical office environment. Sometimes, your employees, while collaborating, may print a revised version of the same document multiple times to work on it.
Also, in the absence of appropriate sharing options, they have to make the data physically available for accessing it outside their workplace. Integrating the cloud within your structure relieves you from various paper-related hassles and streamlines your work.
Desktop as a Service is constitutionally developed to be remotely accessible from anywhere, anytime, and support multi-user access, you can retrieve your data whenever you want and transmit the information digitally.
3. Go Digital
While giving a presentation can be a nerve-wracking experience for some people, handling all those printouts and distributing them can further add to their worries. Missing pages, misprints, a sudden coffee spill, or an unprecedented printer failure can quickly sabotage your prospects of giving a solid presentation.
Going digital helps you ace these challenges and also makes things paperless at the same time. Instead of physical copies, share their digital copies directly, or cast the screen of your device. For taking notes, you can use a laptop or a smartphone during the meeting.
4. Make Friends With Applications
Imagine going around every cubicle to hand out a feedback form only to have later a large bundle waiting at your desk, or getting stifled by all that paperwork as you struggle to process your employees’ information accurately. Quite frustrating, isn’t it?
Using traditional methods for computing data slows down your productivity and requires a considerable time investment. Following a software-oriented approach can lessen your workload, allowing you to get the most out of it.
To supervise employee-related tasks, you can use a workflow management application to take feedback, process employee credentials, schedule meetings, and effectively cut down the paper used for these activities.
5. Communicate The New Way
We have developed rapid modes of communication, which allow us to exchange information at a much faster rate. However, various organizations still employ traditional methods like faxes or letters for communication purposes. These modes are generally time-consuming and utilize a large amount of paper.
Moving to newer communication methods allows you to bring the much-needed rapidness and reduce your paper consumption. You can use emails, text messaging, and instant chat platforms for speedily communicating with anyone.
For facilitating faster rollouts of recipients and billing details, you can issue them electronically and reduce paper wastage.
6. Bring In The Scanner
According to WSJ article, stacking up all the paper produced in the U.S every year can easily reach halfway to the moon. While an office alone couldn’t possibly produce that amount of paper, those cramped cupboards are more than enough to give anyone a severe headache.
Scanning them and then storing their digital copies helps you to manage them easily, bringing a much-needed change within an organization. You can incorporate OCR software (optical character recognition) and couple it with a database management system to handle even various handwritten documents effortlessly and significantly reduce the time and effort for physically handling them.
7. Signing It Electronically
Imagine printing out a lengthy terms & conditions document just for a couple of signatures at its conclusion, or the time spent in delivering an agreement and getting it signed from a distant client. Every year, a large number of documents are physically signed for completing various legal and administrative formalities, only to end up in the trash later on.
An e-signature is legally approved and can be used to reduce paper usage considerably. Instead of waiting for a client to sign an agreement or wasting paper unnecessarily for signing purposes, all the documents can be maintained digitally and electronically signed to approve them.
8. Leasing Equipment
While digitizing data and storing it digitally can allow an organization to save up on multiple operational costs, many are still apprehensive about the upfront costs required to set up a paperless solution within their framework. You may need new software integration, technical training, the latest devices, and software licenses.
However, instead of going all-out, you can lease expensive equipment and sign up for a monthly software experience. This way, you can see whether the paperless approach will work for you or not and also choose the required software accordingly.
9. Spreading Awareness
Finally, yet importantly, spreading awareness. Although many people realize the degrading effect of high paper usage on the environment, they are still far from the actual ground reality. Educating them and making them aware of the recent statistics will motivate them and provide a clearer picture of their responsibilities.
You can also set up other energy-efficient measures in your office space as a sign of your commitment towards a brighter future and set an example for your staff to do the same. Also, you can conduct educational seminars, green drives, and encourage recycling.
When you make your business paperless, you bring a change into a system that has been in place for a very long time. This makes many people speculative as a transition into a paper-free environment is not as smooth as one expects.
However, it has various advantages like improved data security, better productivity, cost-effectiveness, and a healthier environment, making it beneficial in the longer run.