How to get a paperless office?

Table of Contents

Do you want to reduce paper consumption in your company? Here we have selected some tips that might help you to get a paper-free office.
Eliminating or reducing paper usage in offices can help you to improve business processes, increase your productivity levels and reduce costs.
In a time when technology has made it possible for us to contact the world from our Smartphone, it seems unlikely that we still continue using paper in many of our daily activities. At present, we are very familiar with digital content (music photography, television series) but the digitalization of documents is not yet a widespread practice in the work and business environment. Almost all companies have access to computers and mobile devices, so why do we continue to fill our offices with paper? The key reasons are in the challenges associated with digitization and change. Many people still prefer to keep a physical copy of the documents they work with.
Why should you reduce paper usage in your office?
The paperless office is an objective that every day more companies try to reach, because it has many advantages beyond the costs decrease and the carbon footprint reduction.
It is estimated that an employee uses an average of 10,000 sheets of paper per year (figure provided by Paper Facts Printing Facts). That is why it is so important to start using solutions and tools that improve information access and management. However, any change in the commercial process will take time and will require a gradual evolution in the company culture.
Beyond the positive environmental impact of the reduction of paper consumption by companies, there are numerous advantages derived from the digitalization of documents.
Some of them are:
Greater efficiency in documents management

The information is easily obtainable and it is easier to trace the origin of digital documents, and to know who have modified them and when.
Tighter information security measures

Information stored in digital format is far more secure than the one stored in papers
Cost reduction

Documents digitalization has a direct impact on the costs because you stop buying paper and also save on printers maintenance, ink and spare parts.
Space optimization

Digitalisation and paper reduction leads to cleaner and more spacious offices because you don’t longer need storage space for all your files.
Notable improvement of the work environment

Without the accumulation of tonnes of paper your team and yourself can enjoy a bigger free physical space. It is also easier to search for documents. A better organization leads to more tidy areas which reduce stress levels and has a positive impact on the work environment.
What are the steps to follow to reduce the use of paper in your office?

Choose a strategy

You may want to scan all the previous documents or make the transition to a paperless system from a certain date to move forward. The first option will require more time and resources. Ideally, you should decide with your team how to organize your digital files and launch a continuous scanning and digitization process.

Set up a budget
Once you have decided on the type of transition to a paperless office you want, the second thing to consider will be the budget for this project.
How much will you need to spend? Will you need to increase storage space on your computers or look for solutions in the cloud? Will you need to buy more scanners? How much will that really cost? The budget should include all those expenses.
Decide where you will store all the information
If you have already decided that your paper files will now be converted into digital files, the question that immediately arises is where will you store those digital files? Will they be stored in your network or in the cloud? This selection will depend on your needs and resources.
Become familiar with digital tools
To leave the paper behind, it is essential to have knowledge of certain document management tools and digital invoicing existing in the market that could help to manage, classify and save documents with all the security measures required.
Before starting this transformation, it is important to have the right software and equipment to make the transition without major inconveniences. Eliminating paper usage may take years or decades, but its reduction will have a significant impact on our finances, our gestion and the environment.

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About the author

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Sandra Melo

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