Go Green: Six Tips to Go Paperless at the Office
Decade after decade different businesses have searched for ways to be able to get rid of a paper-based office by digitising their files and processes. However, this is no easy task. When you think of paper documents, you think of lightness, thinness, and flexibility – all these are characteristics that make them easy to handle and easier to store. But taking a second look at it, these same characteristics make paper documents fragile, unsafe, tedious to copy, and much more.
This is why, just as many businesses out there, it’s important to consider the possibility of implementing a paperless environment at the office. After decades of trying, advances in technology have paved the way for offices to easily digitise their files and truly stop relying on paper. It’s secure, scalable, easy to maintain, and optimal to access from just about any location – with the required authorization, of course.
Our product, a cloud-based visitor management software, replaces paper forms at the front desk. However, due to the importance of maintaining a fully compliant business and its overall security, we’d like to go through some ways our clients can reduce the use of paper
Here are the six tips we recommend to transform your business into a paperless one:
1. Paperless Internal Communication
As everything else does, a positive and productive change starts from the inside. The first step towards reducing your office’s reliance on paper is to digitalise different internal communication processes that can function without relying on paper, such as project or task management, collaboration and exchange of information.
How many times have you had to wait for a colleague to go over a report or any kind of document that’s been sitting on his desk before being able to review its contents yourself? Probably more than once. A proper and organised online digital document management system eliminates the time wasted waiting for everyone else to go over one document because it will allow you all to access the file at the same time, regardless of location.
Searching for archived files will also take no more than just a few clicks. Productivity increase guaranteed!
2. Paperless Front Desk
Opting in for a software that will help get rid of your front desk’s paper logbook and documents will optimise your day-to-day significantly. Here at SignFlow, we designed a first-class visitor management software that makes it possible to work in a paperless reception. Trade in all those annoying forms and questionnaires and let your visitors check in and sign NDAs on an iPad. It will not only help reduce time-consuming tasks for your staff, but it will also help empower your visitor’s thanks to the process being more dynamic, quick, and effective.
3. Smart Printing
It’s clear that, at least for now, the printing of some documents will not and cannot be eliminated for different reasons that may be specific to each business. This doesn’t mean, though, that its use cannot be reduced significantly. We recommend keeping the amount of printers in the office to the absolute minimum, instead of having several ones spread over different floors.
4. The Three Rs: Reuse, Recycle & Reduce
Again, it might not be possible to eliminate paper completely from the office but there are many small ways we can help make a difference. You can reuse one-side printed documents for notes, old packaging for shipments, and you can recycle your waste. Also, you can buy eco-friendly printing paper, which is made out of recycled paper, and help promote a more green office environment.
Keep in mind that going paperless or finding ways to reduce paper around the office as much as possible is more than just that. It also means less electronic waste and less energy consumption. At the end of the day, a paperless and conscious office is an eco-friendly office!
5. Find Paper Alternatives Across Communal Spaces
Paper towels. Paper cups. These are just two of the many paper-based products you can find around the office. Replace the kitchen’s or bathroom’s paper towels with towels that can be washed and reused, or with a couple of solid hand dryers. You can also replace those paper cups we mentioned with real mugs; coffee and water will taste so much better.
6. Paperless Finances
In order to implement a paper-free finances management, we recommend getting in touch with your customers, banks, and suppliers to arrange the use of online banking, electronic invoicing, and paperless bank statements. This will help cut down on the amount of unnecessary paper used day after day.
Transforming your office into a paperless one is an ongoing process that requires the effort of every employee. Although it will take its time, it will be adapted and perfected over time, the most important step is to get started. And then do it again the next day. Now in 2019, thanks to all the access to smart technology we have, switching to paperless office practices can be easy. It’s just a matter of creating awareness and having the whole team on board.
It’s a fantastic, eco-friendly, and efficient practice every office should try to pin down. Gone are the days of locking filing cabinets and sitting for way too much time shredding paper. Protect all confidential customer information using data encryption and cloud security measures, such as SignFlow, depending on your needs.
Go safe. Go green. Go smart.