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How to Go Paperless at the Office

Embrace Solutions to Go Paperless at Work

Creating a paperless office can get tricky, but it may be easier than you think. 

At offices around the country, computers equal the number of employees, and while paper is still prevalent there are new digital solutions that can take its place.  

The Benefits of a Paperless Office

  • Reduce your impact on the environment.
  • Lower your printer-related costs.
  • Add usable space thanks to fewer filing cabinets.
  • Improve organization with digital filing systems.
  • Showcase your environmental responsibility to stakeholders. 

Companies looking to achieve a paperless office should be realistic about how practical the initiative is for your organization. Completely eliminating paper is a difficult undertaking, especially in industries that rely on paper records. That said, using less paper at work could save you money and demonstrate to your employees and customers that you take environmental responsibility seriously. The market is shifting to focus on sustainable business practices, and a paperless workplace is one way to get there. 

Paperless Office Solutions

If you have decided to transition to a paperless office, the first thing you should do is put together a responsible plan for adopting paper-saving processes. Consider using the tips below to establish key milestones, set a deadline for each and provide them to your employees to set expectations.

As your plan rolls out, consistently remind your employees to explore alternatives to paper around the office. This will help emphasize the transition and build habits that avoid the printer. 

How to Go Paperless

  • Embrace Digital Solutions
    With digital paperless solutions gaining momentum, here are a few simple ones to implement at the office. Make sure to request paperless statements from service providers, pay your bills online and invest in an online file transfer system. Instead of relying on physical signatures, start making electronic signatures the standard for documents. Thanks to the ESIGN Act of 2000, they are just as legally valid as hard-copy signed contracts. 
     
  • Set Up More Efficient Work Stations
    Employees often print documents to cross-reference with other files. Reduce wasteful printing by setting up multi-monitor workstations. 
     
  • Reduce the Number of Printers in the Office
    This one is pretty simple. If you must keep printers in the office, make them less accessible to discourage overuse. 
     
  • Track Paper Use
    Use a tracking system to report why employees print and how much paper they use. This can both help you understand what processes require the most paper and also provide accountability for coworkers. 
     
  • Consolidate Any Printed Materials
    If anything absolutely has to be printed out, double-check that you have selected double-sided printing as an option. Likewise, if you print slides for a presentation, set the printer to display multiple slides on each page. 
     
  • Implement a Recycling Program
    Provide a recycling box for used paper, but make sure to sort out documents with confidential information. 

Take Care of Existing Documents

Perhaps the most difficult part of transitioning to a paperless office is addressing the stacks of existing paper records essential to your business. To avoid losing historical data, invest in digitizing paper files. 

While efficiency will increase with electronic and searchable documents, remember to make sure that all of your data is safe. Verify that your organization has onsite and offsite backups to protect against data loss. Set an appropriate backup schedule as well, either at the end of the week or at the end of each day. 

Is Going Paperless in the Office Possible?

Achieving a paperless office takes time and dedication, but by adopting digital solutions and making incremental changes, most workplaces can find ways use less paper.