Reasons Your Business Should Go Paperless
This is Part 1 of a four part series entitled ‘The Paperless Office Examined’. First we examined the benefits of going paperless, then take a look at the cons and how we can overcome them. The third part recommends some free or affordable software and applications you can use to go paperless without breaking the bank. Then we show you how to switch your business over to a paperless system fluently without causing any damage.
‘Paperless’ is a bit of a misleading buzzword being thrown around these days. So before going in depth with this post, let’s clearly state that, in my opinion, no one can operate completely paperless. But you can run a business effectively, actually more so, by reducing dependence on paper. Now, let’s get to it.
Probably the most obvious and notable reason for going paperless – you save space, money and time.
No longer will you need to have large filing cabinets when you can just put everything on computers, servers or in the cloud. Additionally, if you currently do a lot of printing, you can get rid of large printers and combination machines for faxing and scanning (there’s an app for that). Once you’re no longer printing and supporting your addictive filing habits, you can save money on paper, ink, folders and all those other stationery items you use for paper storage. And, of course, by opting to use digital systems, you can save a lot of time inputting information and searching, that is if you use an efficient virtual filing system – an essential part of going paperless.
Helping the Environment
Every time you print a document, a future child dies. Well, maybe not, but you get where I’m going here. Not only are we helping to engage in seriously detrimental environmental effects caused by cutting down trees to create the massive amounts of paper we use daily, we are also directly helping with pollution from our usage and, mostly improper, discarding of their packaging.
Engaging in ‘paperless office’ strategies helps with the ‘going green’ initiative so you can say you did your part.
Improving Employee Productivity (by changing business processes)
So since your employees can find stuff faster and don’t have to waste time printing, they have more time to play Solitaire! Just playing, no one plays Solitaire anymore – you’ll find them on Twitter and Facebook instead. For the purpose of this post, however, let’s pretend you have the only employees in the world who work straight for 8 hours per day, this is how paperless solutions will help them.
Once you have a system set up online, it will be easier to:
- input documents and information
- source files using keywords rather than having to know specific names
- track trends and patterns
- access your network remotely (did someone just say ‘work from home’)
As simple as they may seem, these are very important and beneficial reasons to take up those stacks of A4 paper and throw them out. But before you do that, you should consider the disadvantages of going paperless first. In Part 2, we’ll share these and give you some ideas of how to overcome them.