The idea of a paperless office has been around for decades, but most offices still use a lot of paper. One of the biggest reasons for this is the fact that human beings resist change. Moving to a digital platform means we have to learn new protocols. As humans, we have built habits around paper despite the fact that these habits cost time and money. The consumption of paper means lost hours on creating documents, printing, copying, faxing and even scanning. This is not even the tip of the iceberg though.
People spend hours filing or locating paper documents, and businesses need space to keep large filing cabinets to store that paper. In some cases, these documents have sensitive or confidential information, which means that they can’t be discarded. This means that you have to pay to store or destroy them. Not to mention the costs of paper supplies and equipment.
We have the technology to move to a paperless environment. But to make that change, you need to understand the benefits of going paperless and educate yourself and your staff on new protocols.
What is Paperless?
So where did the idea of a paperless office come from? Strangely enough, it was first mentioned in a Business Week article called “The Office of The Future” in 1975.
The idea was certainly ahead of its time, brought on by the invention of computers. The thought that you could do business without using paper was one that was a prediction of the future. And although back then we did not have the technology to take actionable steps toward a paperless office, but we do now.
Committing to a paperless office means that you will spend less of paper and printing supplies. You can get rid of the printers and bulky filing cabinets and save costs on storage or destruction of sensitive documents. You will also save time creating and organising files as well as increase the security of your documentation. There is better access to useful data and less time spent looking for files.
Creating a paperless office will mean committing to change the processes you currently use. It might also be important to invest in new technologies to make your switch to digital more organised.
Different Ways to go Paperless
Breaking the process down into steps makes it easier to transition to a paperless solution. The challenge gets more manageable with each step your business makes. Going forward, you can choose new technologies that don’t involve paper.
A Few Paperless Options For Your Business
Online Forms:: Instead of gathering information with paper forms, you can move to an online form builder like Google Forms. Or a platform like IsoEvolve that allows for online intake forms, notes, memos etc.
Scanners:: If you deal with paper coming in from outside companies or need to transfer paper documents to a digital solution you can invest in a good scanner. In fact today there are even apps that allow you to scan documents and images and save them to the appropriate digital platform.
Cloud Storage:: This is the most popular option today, because it allows all of your staff to stay on the same page and have real time access to information. Cloud Storage means that you no longer need to have huge filing cabinets taking up space as your digital files are saved outside of your office. You can access them from anywhere in the world so long as you have an internet connection.
Electronic Billing:: There are many solutions out there that offer electronic billing. Invoices can be emailed to your clients, payments can be made online thus removing the clutter of mailed paper bills and printed payment notifications. Using electronic billing also allows you to send customers digital receipts instead of using a receipt book. Allowing your business and your customers an easy way to save all their records without wasting paper.
If you are interested in going paperless in your business, please book an appointment with us to discuss your business and see a demo of how our IsoEvolve software could assist you with making the change.