signing on a tablet

Although going paperless may seem like a hassle, it’s actually much simpler and more worthwhile than you might realise.

It has been said before, and it will be said again: digital transformation is essential.

There are several layers to that statement, and creating a paperless office is one one that has become relatively low-hanging fruit. It has long been known that paper-based document management and commercial transactions are costly and ineffective.

Simply put, you must decide to eliminate paper from your office. It’s a decision that benefits the planet and your carbon footprint at large as well as your business costs, business efficiency, and brand positioning.

According to recent statistics the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year and globally paper usage has increased by half since 1980.

It’s time to introduce productivity apps and communication tactics that do away with paper-based document management procedures.

Let’s discuss how you and your business can prepare for a paperless future through digital processes.

4 key benefits of a paperless office

  1. Saves time

Printing documents, organisation, and searching take up time that may be used for other useful activities. In a central repository, which is essentially a tidy digital filing cabinet where all of your documents live, digital documents are kept.

You can utilise a digital document and data management system to access the same robust search tools you’re accustomed to utilising on Google. 

Employees may now locate files with a single click, which is far quicker than the time-consuming, manual procedure of looking for a certain file in a deep folder of paper documents. The extra time can be used by staff members for projects that will generate income.

  1. Saves space

Paper, filing cabinets, and storage space for those filing cabinets all take up a lot of space.  What’s more, the amount of paper keeps growing, frequently faster than it can be sorted and organised. This is especially true for sectors like finance where lengthy mandated retention periods for records are in place.

By digitising your files, you can store all of your records on a local server or in the cloud. Comparatively speaking, a repository’s digital file folders take up far less room than a physical records collection.

  1. Saves money

Going digital increases process effectiveness and results in cost savings. In the same period of time, paperless offices can process a lot more paperwork than traditional offices.

The cost of paper, printers, ink, postage, office space for files, and employee time spent managing paperwork is also reduced through digitalisation. When it comes to regulatory audits and repeated, high-volume procedures like expense reimbursements, the time savings for employees become increasingly beneficial.

  1. Boosts security

Physical documents are challenging to track; reams of paper can disappear, be misplaced, or be disposed of discreetly. Monitoring the use of sensitive files, including their access, printing, and copying, can be challenging. Advanced security features in document management software can address these issues.

Granular access rights can be set up by system administrators, assigning permissions based on a variety of factors, including the type of document, the user’s job function, and the system as a whole (e.g. overarching security for all data in the system).

Access rights are only one benefit of a paperless workplace in terms of security. Employing document management software also enables businesses to use electronic signatures, obfuscate sensitive data, establish audit trails, and more.

4 ways to move to a paperless future

  1. Cloud storage

Although there are many other ways to save digital documents, cloud storage is the most flexible and economical alternative.

Employees can quickly and conveniently access data with a cloud storage solution from any device with an internet connection, making it ideal for most businesses who work either remotely or hybrid.

  1. Convert printed documents to digital format

Documents are often scanned in this way, and then either digitally stored on-site, or through the use of a cloud storage solution. This could be a drawn-out procedure, depending on the size of the company.

To make the process of digitising paper documents more manageable if a company has a huge volume of paper records and duplicate paperwork, it may be helpful to specify the aims and parameters of the process. 

In order to make it simple for employees to locate papers, firms should think carefully about how they categorise and handle the digital documents.

  1. eSignature solutions

Businesses can deploy an eSignature solution to do away with paper contracts in order to transition to a paperless future.

An all-encompassing eSignature solution enables organisations to reduce additional procedures and even monitor the progress of a document in real-time, lowering the likelihood of project delays and improving client experiences.

  1. Educate employees

Businesses must use various new technologies in order to become completely paperless, and in order to succeed, it is crucial that staff members receive training on how to utilise the tools and the value of cutting back on paper use.

Due to this, it is recommended that firms adopt a staggered approach, rolling out one technology at a time while offering sufficient training and documentation on how to use the technology efficiently.

Looking to digitise your small business?

It is obvious that technology will be crucial in helping businesses transition to a paperless world. Businesses require the appropriate tools to ensure success, and here is where we may be of assistance.

We can offer the finest technology solutions based on our years of knowledge, install them, and assist you in taking the next steps toward a paperless future.

We offer a wide range of small businesses IT services, including:

Contact us today to find out more about our small business IT support packages!