Having paper in the office these days is so outdated, not to mention that it can save you a lot of money. It might take a bit getting used to but once you do get rid of all of the paper documents, you’ll wonder why you ever had them in the first place. Having a completely digitized office can also make things run a lot more smoothly. If you are considering moving into the 21st century and getting rid of all the paper in your office, here are a few tips on how to do it.
Know Your Limits
A paperless office, doesn’t actually mean that you won’t ever use paper at all. There are still going to be some circumstances where it is unavoidable. If you are dealing with clients or other businesses that are not paper free, then they might insist on paper documentation. If you are not willing to accommodate the needs of your clients or business associates, then people will be unwilling to use them. Brainstorming ideas on paper is also a proven way of developing ideas, so it might be a good idea to carry on using it sometimes.
Discourage Paper Use
You won’t be able to get rid of all of the paper immediately, so you’ll just need to gradually reduce the amount of paper that you use until it has been phased out. The best way to do this initially is to discourage your employees from using paper. There are a number of ways that you can do this.
Tracking the amount of pages that everybody prints every month, and then emailing it to everybody, can create a bit of a competition. This will encourage employees to compete with one another to see who can use the least amount of paper per month. If you do this, you will see the amount of paper you use drop rapidly.
Making it less convenient to print will encourage people to move to using email instead, massively reducing the amount that you are spending on paper and ink.
Request paperless statements from banks and other organizations that send you documentation. By going through everything that you receive, and digitizing as much as you can, you can immediately eradicate a huge chunk of the paper that you are using.
Change Business Processes
Changing the way that you operate so that it involves les paper, using document scanning services rather than printing multiple copies, for example, can really reduce the amount of paper that you use. By changing your business processes, you are giving your employees no choice in the matter and they will have to stop using paper.
Replacing fax with email is another simple process change that can really save you money. Information will move around the business much more efficiently as well as removing the need for paper.
When making the transition from paper to digital, you may have to consider upgrading your equipment to cope with the new dependence on digital rather than paper. Giving your employees two monitors instead of one can help them cross reference documents, something that they would have done with printouts in the past.