There are many reasons to switch to a paperless office. From saving money to saving the planet, going paper free (or almost paper free) certainly has its benefits. And with the average office employee going through an average of 10,000 sheets of paper each year according to Reduce.org, businesses really need to consider this seriously. Moving all documentation to the digital sphere can make running a business cheaper, easier, and more time efficient. All considered, slashing paper usage seems like an obvious answer. But it’s easier said than done. If you want to go paperless, careful planning is required. Here are some tips to transition to a completely paperless office this year.
Assess the Challenges
Some businesses will find switching from paper to cloud much easier than others. For anyone who works in an accountant’s office, a law firm or an insurance company (or any business that relies heavily on printed documents) will know that making such a big change isn’t easy. From resistant staff to the initial outlay of time / resource, there will be challenges along the way. Make sure you’re aware of the potential problems ahead so you can be prepared.
Invest in Document Management
Invest in document management software to organise all documents across your business. Not only will this make storing, searching and retrieving records easier for the whole company, but a solution like DocLogix™ can be easy to configure and easy to scale as your business grows. Technology solutions such as DocLogix™ allow you to manage workflows, modify permissions, share documents with others, and can be fully integrated with all devices – all without the need for physical filing.
Have a Paper Purge
It’s important to be ruthless when it comes to going paperless in the office. Have paper recycling bins at the ready so you can purge quickly and effectively. Not only that, but immediate recycling ensures that momentum isn’t lost and it reminds everyone of the earth-friendly benefits.
Train Your Staff
One of the biggest mistakes of going digital is not providing the appropriate training for employees. Whilst younger, tech-savvy team members may be able to deal with the new changes easily, older staff members may find the transition tough. Whether you are installing new technology or just moving to your own digitised system, full training should be provided to everyone.
Market Your New Initiative
Just like training, having a good sales pitch is just as crucial. Marketing the importance of going paperless will help others be more compliant. Sell the new idea through team meetings and workshops, and be sure to talk about the benefits; how a paperless system will save space in the office, reduce wastage, save money, make day to day tasks easier, reduce discrepancies, cut down arduous admin, and help to create a greener environment. Everyone will be on board soon enough.
Set a Target
Sometimes, the best way to keep everyone on track with a new initiative is to set an end goal, something to work towards. Perhaps even an incentive or a reward. Make a note of paper usage before and see how much you can save as you enter into a new paper free office. Impressive figures at the end of the financial year not only make a good news story for PR, but they’re a great way of motivating the whole company to stick with their new digital promise.