How to save money and the environment by becoming a paperless business

By: Guest contributor

Date: 6 November 2013

How to save money and the environment by becoming a paperless business/paperless office sign{{}}Becoming a paperless (or near paperless) business isn’t something that can be achieved overnight. It takes time, effort and patience from every member of your team. It was reported by The Guardian that more that 80 million tonnes of paper is wasted every year.

Going paperless will certainly benefit the environment, but what are the business benefits? Not only can it clear away clutter and create more space, you can also expect increased levels of productivity and lower long-term costs. So how do you become a paperless business?

Technology

The road to becoming a paperless business isn’t an initially cheap one. If you want to see results in the future, you have to be willing to invest in new technology now. After all, if you’re intending on banishing printing forever, your staff are going to need paperless alternatives.

If you invest in second monitors for your employees, they will no longer require printed documents to refer to as they work. Productivity will also increase thanks to shorter queues around the printer and the ability to multi-task.

Tablet computers are fantastic for displaying presentations, taking notes in meetings and referring to documents side-by-side while you work at another computer.

Cloud storage

If your filing cabinets are full to the brim, it may be time to start storing your documents in the cloud. All your files can be stored online and accessed anywhere, from any device. Services like DropBox and Google Drive allow you to save files online, eliminating the need for paper copies. You can also apply specific restrictions to the files, so that only certain documents can be accessed by certain people.

Finding documents becomes a lot quicker and easier too, because your employees can use the system’s online search tools. Staff members are able to access the files they need without leaving their desks.

Changing your printing habits

It’s time to clamp down on all unnecessary printing. Make it clear to your people that documents should only be printed if absolutely necessary. This is a much trickier process if you haven’t put new technology and other alternatives in place.

Take the time to look at your printing habits to identify particular bad practices or repeat offenders. Remove a couple of printers from your office and insist that documents are printed in mono and double-sided at all times.

Print management software allows you to take control of your printing output quickly and easily. It usually allows you to set monthly ‘printing allowances’ for each employee to foster better habits.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so it’s important to remember that this process takes time. Stay positive and you will begin to see progress every day.

Blog supplied by office supplier Viking.

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