Why Going Paperless Will Benefit Your Business
We have been doing business on paper for hundreds of years, but now is the time for everyone to make the change. Tech is taking over more and more of our lives as everything moves online, so why not move business entirely online too? Paper products make up the largest percentage of all materials that end up in landfills, and offices are big contributors to that waste. Going paperless is something that surprisingly, few companies have fully accomplished. Moving business online is simple and goes a long way towards reducing the amount of emissions released on a global scale. Going paperless increases sustainability and convenience for businesses.
A paperless business has many advantages. Let's explore a few.
Ditch the Paper to Save Time and Money
There are many benefits to going paperless that it seems like a no-brainer to implement. Digitizing all of your files increases efficiency and reduces liability to your company in case a document is lost or destroyed. There’s less likelihood for files to get lost when they are sorted into a digital filing system, and they are easily searchable and accessible. In addition, moving documents online save money as well.
Did you know: The average office worker spends 50 minutes a day looking for lost files and other items.
That is just over 4 hours a week, 16 and a half hours a month, and a whopping 217 and a half hours wasted in a year per employee searching for missing documents.
So much time and money are wasted on the liability of paper documents that cutting them out of an office actually boosts productivity, not to mention saves money. The cost of a printer, ink, paper, filing cabinets, recycling fees, and maintenance add up quickly.
Eliminating paper use in the office saves money elsewhere as well.
Paper copies of documents can quickly become outdated if changes need to be made, which results in an entirely new document needing to be created.
With files accessible digitally, anyone can pull up a file and make a quick edit to ensure that the file remains relevant and up to date.
A Paper-Free Office for a Sustainable Future
Going paperless is more than just beneficial to companies; it is essential to our future. Businesses that are unwilling to embrace technology to move into the future will be left behind. We also need to put an increased emphasis on sustainability. It takes 24 trees to make one ton of office paper, of which around 45% is trashed by the end of the day. As leaders around the world are looking to increase sustainability in their corners of the world and implement greener practices, the corporate world needs to follow in their footsteps. Younger generations put a high value on sustainability, and as they apply for jobs at your company, this can set you apart from the rest.
Digitizing all of your documents keeps you up to date on the modern workplace and ensures that your business is ready for the future. Job seekers will want to work at a company that has gone paperless, and other companies will want to partner with one that is more digitized.
Tips for Going Digital
While all of this seems perfectly doable, there are steps to create and obstacles to consider when looking to transition to a paperless workplace. It is essential that management is aligned with how they would like to handle the process of digitizing documentation. Otherwise, you may find yourself unsuccessful in moving online.
Employees who may be less experienced with technology may also impact how quickly and efficiently the move is. Maintaining transparency between management and employees throughout the process helps the transition run more smoothly, especially if you are expecting your employees to help out with the process, or even handle the whole thing themselves with management guiding their tasks. No matter what, be prepared for a potentially long process of digitizing all of your files and information and as with any project, expect hiccups along the way.
There are two ways to digitize all of the paper files in your office, and in going paperless, you should use both.
- Convert all of your paper files to digital ones and organize them.
- Create new documents online and store them somewhere accessible.
Converting all of your files will take the most time and energy, but it will take even more if employees are still printing out paper documents to use and creating new notes on paper that will then have to be digitized. In converting your files, create one organizational system and make sure that everyone understands it and follows it so that everything is uniformly organized. Divide the work between your departments so that every department is responsible for its own files. Where some departments may have more files than others, split up the workload and see where others can help.
For old documents that are no longer relevant, shred them. Coming up with a system for determining which documents should be uploaded and which should be discarded would be very beneficial, but if you don’t have the time, then you could always set a date before which all documents should be discarded.
For example, if you set a date of Jan 31, 1998, all documents from before that day should be discarded, as they are likely no longer useful or referenced.
Always set goals and deadlines for your departments by when they should have their documents organized and/or digitized so that employees stay on track and the process does not get long and drawn out.
Consider Moving Other Process Online, Too
As you transition your documents online, it’s a good idea to reevaluate the efficiency of your other processes as well. Now that all documents can be found online ensure they are accessible either on the company intranet or some form of shared file system, such as Google Drive or DropBox.
This will ensure that everyone working in a particular department or on a specific project has access to the documents they require to get the job done.
An online tool for organizing processes should also be considered. Workflow management systems work quite effectively alongside digital documents to keep teams organized and on track to meet deadlines while also facilitating effective collaboration.
Tools like Toki allow tasks to be assigned from directly within the software and let you reference your Google Drive or DropBox link right within the task description.
Instead of sorting aimlessly through stacks of paper and questioning the expectations of your next task, everything needed to complete a task is found within the workflow management software. @Assist Toki is one such useful tool to consider.
All information is consolidated for easy task assignment and clarity from the outset.
Toki’s time tracking function allows managers to keep tabs on how much time has been spent on each project.
Tools like Toki work flawlessly alongside digital filing systems to keep teams organized and on track for success.
It's not necessary to make all of the adjustments at once to go paperless. Even tiny reductions in daily paper usage will begin to yield cost benefits. Begin your paperless journey today and see how much it can help you!
Workflow Management Tools for Teams
Whether you manage a team of 2 or 120, Toki can help you every step of the way. Toki can help you assign tasks, send messages, track time, apply it to projects, and more! You can utilize the wonders of Toki from anywhere, as long as you have access to the internet. Download Toki for FREE today!