Have you wasted some precious time looking for valuable documents, receipts, invoices, memos, contracts and notes that you believed are in the office? Have you delayed a business meeting because you left some files at home? Are you wasting thousands of dollars on printer maintenance and printing regularly? Whichever, you need to go paperless to avoid all these stress and disappointment. As a businessman, a paperless office will improve the speed of deliveries, file organization and productivity in the office.
In this article, you will learn a few ways on how to establish and manage a paperless office.
Scan Important Documents
It is impossible to stop your business partners or customers from sending you paper versions of all the documents. In some cases, you may require paper documents as part of some legal processes. However, you can digitalize the materials by scanning them to your company’s workspace. You can scan these files with a scanner or your smartphone if you have downloaded the relevant app.
Having scanned the documents, you can then share them to your online workplace (or office cloud storage). Doing this will keep the paper safe and secure for your employees to access it simultaneously.
Create a Paper Quota
As the boss or supervisor of an organization, you might feel bad if your staff is not on the same page with you in achieving a paperless office. If this happens, you do not need to be harsh with them; all you need to do is to encourage them to embrace paperless office.
How does this work?
In an organization, every employee might want to print both essential and unimportant documents daily. As a result, more papers are used per day. You can define the number of pages an employee is allowed to print per day to curb unnecessary printing. To implement this policy, CCTV is needed. With CCTV, you can know who does not abide by your rule. By doing this, your workers will be forced to prioritize digital documents over hard copies. As an appreciation, you can reward employees who stayed within their limits within a month or a year. In less than four months of this practice, you should have achieved a paperless office.
Take Away the Temptation
The fact that your workers see printers and photocopying machines around might be the reason why you have not successfully migrated to a paperless organization. As long as printers are at close range, you and your workers will always be tempted to use them. This temptation is one of the biggest challenges of establishing a paperless office.
Start by replacing desktop printers with a centralized network printer where printing can be monitored and tracked by the management. Regulate the purchase of ink and toner to reduce its availability for unnecessary printing. You can regulate the resources by having a pre-determined schedule for their purchase. This way, you will conserve the use of paper and encourage digital documents.
Digitize Your Processes
Digitalization of your office will reduce your consumption of papers. For example, architects waste a lot of papers while drawing sketches, designs and blueprints before there was digitalization. With the introduction of some software, they can now draw plans without wasting papers unnecessarily. They can also alter their document at will without affecting the original file. This process is not only simple but time and money effective. You too can embrace this method in your office to save you from spending much on paper and printers.
Invest in Technology
One of the things you need as you embrace paperless office is technology. Investment in technology like Optical Character Recognition will help you make the most out of your goals. With an OCR, you can easily find relevant documents that match a keyword within minutes. This technology will save you from having to search for files in your cabinet or table manually.
You should also invest in data protection to keep your information secure from hackers. If You want to make use of data management system to organize electronic files without any problem see more here.
Use Collaborative Softwares
Before the introduction of collaborative software, employees have to create different copies of documents for review. Each document becomes waste once a mistake is found. Thus several copies of a single document will be printed at various intervals to ensure perfection. The introduction of collaborative software makes this attitude a thing of the past. This is because more than one persons can work together on a file to develop reports which will be sent to the supervisor for comments without having to print any paper.
In some cases, the supervisor only needs the link to the reports. Once the supervisor is done reviewing the files, he would make comments on the documents online for the employees to edit in case there is an error. The overreliance of physical paper is one of the reasons why the affairs of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office in North Carolina are collapsing. To prevent this situation above, adopt collaborative software at your workplace.
According to jotform.com, you cannot embrace a paperless office without introducing e-signatures. Just like you need to sign physical copies of documents, online documents require a signature. You can have your sign stored in one part of the computer to be embedded in any official document. In other cases, you could use some document editing apps which allow for e-signatures. Apart from that, some electronic devices allow you to sign on them to reflect on your document online. Using any of these methods would not only show your readiness to go paperless but your professionalism. One benefit of e-signatures is that it is swift. It will save you time and stress of signing multiple physical documents.
With all these tips, you should be able to establish and manage a paperless office without any issue. You can also browse online to learn more on new inventions that can make you stand out with your current goal.