Paperless – Traditionally, businesses and offices have used filing cabinets and paper documents to organize their information for a long time. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that paper documentation is the best method to use.
Nonetheless, it’s believed that many companies and offices globally are shifting from physical paper documentation to electronic documentation systems, intending to go paperless soon.
Going paperless has numerous benefits, including increasing transparency in your office operations, reducing the impact of your business on the environment, saving space in your office, reducing overall costs, enhanced security for your documents, and workflow automation. If all these benefits are enticing, there has never been a better time to go paperless. All you need is the right tools and a little training.
Here’s how you can create a paperless office.
Create Paperless Office Policy
The best place to start in your efforts to go paperless is by designing a paperless office policy. Make it official and pass the information to every department.
The policy may set limitations for your staff, like the amount of packaging, paper, and office supplies used each week. Or it can just list what’s required of the employees to go paperless. After setting the policies, lead by example for your employees to emulate. Research shows that one of the top reasons offices cannot go paperless is lacking management mandates.
To execute measures for going paperless, you must take the initiative to lead the way in having a more efficient office. For instance, if your cabinet is full of paper documents, you can use data capture software to convert the documents to be stored electronically. If your staff members see you leading the way, they’ll follow. You can even introduce some reward programs for individuals who meet the goal to encourage the employees to go paperless.
Adopt A Culture And Training That Encourage Scanning
An essential aspect of successfully transitioning to a paperless office is ensuring that there are no crucial documents or information lost during the transition. Ensure all documents are scanned and electronically stored for future reference. Consider having a training program to train employees to scan documents they receive and make a company culture.
Sign Documents Digitally
Signing is one of the reasons why many companies still use paper. Adopting measures to sign documents digitally is a great way to go paperless and improve document management. One way to do so is by embracing electronic signatures.
There are numerous ways to use electronic signatures, like having employees scan their signatures as images and attaching them to documents that need signing, typing their signature using the keyboard, writing their signature using the cursor, or touching their finger on devices. This way, papers won’t have to be printed for signature purposes, thus facilitating your efforts of going paperless.
Get Rid Of Printers And Copiers
If printers and copiers are still in your office, organization personnel will be tempted to use them. Yet removing them from your computers and replacing them with centralized printers situated in specific areas can reduce their usage.
Plus, the network printers can be equipped with access codes and passwords to allow printing when necessary. This helps you keep track of their usage and address any misuse when detected. You can also implement policies that restrict the supply of ink and toner to only approved devices; this can help prevent the usage of printers that remain on the office desks.
Transition From File Cabinets To Digital Storage
As part of the transition, you need to add networked storage capacity, cloud computing systems, backup systems, and automated online backup systems.
Switching to a digital filing system enhances the security of your documents compared to the paper filing system because documents in this system can’t be accessed without a password and can be accessed even during a crisis.
Other benefits of transitioning to a digital file system are increased employee productivity and satisfaction, easy access to information from wherever you’re at any place, and increased efficiency through integration.
Transition To Digital Business Cards
Research shows that approximately 7 million trees are cut to make business cards, and about 90% of these cards are thrown away just after a week. So, switching to digital business cards is a great way to save trees and money.
A digital business card is an online way of sharing contact information. It can be easily created on a phone, computer, and the like making them cheaper than paper business cards.
A paper-free workplace doesn’t have to be complicated. By following the tips mentioned above, you can start your journey of going paperless and enjoy all the benefits that come with it. Remember, when implementing the above steps, you must lead by example for your employees to emulate.
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