Should My Business Go Paperless?

The iconic image of a paper littered office desk is quickly becoming a thing of the past in thousands of businesses around the globe. More and more companies switch to paperless systems, which helps protect the environment, saves costs and increases work efficiency. Although running a paperless office needs getting used to, those who already made the shift have already discovered a plethora of benefits. If you are thinking about going doing the same, here are a few biggest advantages of having a paperless office.

Paperless office desk Paperless office desk

It’s easier to find documents – Finding that one paper that you seemed to misplaced somewhere won’t take you hours. The ability to retrieve documents, notes, and presentations in a matter of seconds is one of the biggest advantages of going paperless, especially if your business is dealing with tons of paperwork. Going through vast archives consisting of tons of paper is a thing of the past.

It’s safer – Paper documents can be stolen or accidentally destroyed; if you digitalize all your important data you’ll never have to worry about losing any sensitive information in case something happens to your office space. Digital databases can be encrypted which will make them unreadable even if the hard drive storing them is stolen. In the end, the files don’t even have to be on a hard drive in your office space; storing them in the cloud ensures their safety. You can also limit access to particular documents to selected employees only.

It is environmentally friendly – Going paperless helps protect the environment; for example, if all the offices in the USA would stop using office paper, it would reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by 1.6 million tons! Not to mention the pollution caused by ink cartridges and printing equipment. Running a paperless business, besides being an environmentally conscious choice, is also seen as a good choice by potential clients: many people are more willing to buy services or goods from companies which have established themselves as environmentally friendly. Thus, going paperless may and adopting an eco-friendly policy might even increase your earnings.

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It will save you money and space– If your business has to handle a lot of paperwork, you probably use a lot of office space for storage. Why waste your precious space with piles of paper? Digitalizing documents will save you a lot of space (you can use that space for other, more productive uses) and reduce storage costs. E-mailing your documents instead of sending physical copies saves you the money for postal and courier services. Perhaps the biggest financial gain is the reduction of printing costs; copy paper, ink, toner, printers, printer spare parts and maintenance costs will be a thing of the past. And, mind you, these tend to cost quite a lot, meaning you’ve got a huge potential for reducing the costs of your business.

It will improve your customer service – Hearing the often repeated phrase “Let me just check the documents and I’ll get back to you” triggers dread in many of your potential customers. If you could replace it with “I’ll pull up the file in a second, stand by” and resolve their questions in a single phone call, you’d establish yourself as a reliable and capable professional. Having such an efficient service means your clients will be more satisfied and use your services more often.

You and your staff will be more efficient – Group projects often include a fair amount of frustration caused by improper handling of physical documents; nobody is sure who has the files, simultaneous work is hard to achieve, there is only one up-to-date copy... Such problems are safely avoided when you use the digitalized files; the whole group can work on a single version of a document through the office network, meaning the editing is happening constantly, people will be more collaborative, deadlines will be met and no time is wasted on printing revisions.

The files you need are more accessible – If you or your employees spend time working outside of the office, digitalizing all your documents will give you a key advantage of easy access, regardless of your location. Forget carrying tons of paper in a briefcase, if you’re attending a meeting or just want to grab a coffee at the local coffee shop and work on your laptop, all your documents can be just a few clicks away.

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Less chance of error – Digital databases mean there won’t be any lost documents or unreadable files damaged over time. This might seem unimportant, but digitalized documents will also protect you from any bad handwriting related issues, which, let’s be fair, happen pretty often. Back-up copies will ensure your business safety and stability; with everything running smooth, you and your employees will perform faster and with more confidence.

We understand that you might be unwilling to make any changes if you run a company which is efficient and successful; many business owners like to say “Do not fix what is not broken”. But, then again, those successful business owners, and perhaps you among them, also know that adapting to market conditions and using useful new assets are crucial when it comes to the survival and prosperity of your business.
Employing new technologies means you’re preparing for the future – today. It is true that going paperless requires some transition time; time necessary to digitalize your documents, to carefully analyze how your business currently operates and what will need to be changed when you adopt a paperless system. This may mean you’ll start using an electronic signature device, online payment services or any other applications which will make physical copies of documents unnecessary.

It’s not a process which can happen overnight – you and your staff will require some training, once you set up your new system, but it’s nothing complicated or hard to grasp – after all, as we’ve previously stated, simplicity of usage is one of the biggest advantages of going paperless. Having some patience and willingness to invest your time and effort in adopting a paperless system will definitely pay off in the long run; leaving the paper behind is a bold step towards the future.

 

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