The concept of the paperless office is not a new one, but it certainly is still a dream for many 21st-century business leaders, simply because it can be a cumbersome and difficult task to eliminate the use of paper altogether. Nevertheless, it’s doable, and it can benefit your business in numerous ways. To work without paper in a modern office space means to aid conservation and the preservation of the natural world – which will in turn boost your brand’s image.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Offices that run on digital only will make greater financial savings in the long term, as there is no need to procure or store large amounts of paper and paper products. And speaking of storage, imagine the floorspace you would be able to save by simply migrating all of your files to the cloud. With all of these and many more benefits in mind, here are the five steps you can take to create a paperless work environment.
Educate and train your employees
As a leader of a brand that nurtures a positive company culture, it is your duty to educate your employees on all of the operational changes, provide proper training, and help them adopt the new company mindset while transitioning seamlessly to a new way of doing business. Don’t assume that your employees will simply “stop using paper” because you’ve issued a new directive or sent an email – because people tend to stick to their old way.
What’s more, without proper education and training, this transition will prove cumbersome, time-consuming, financially stressful, and ultimately inefficient and ineffective. Much like with any other project, you need a solid plan and a way to ease your employees into the new mindset. Make a gradual transition, and most importantly, provide the tools needed for a paperless office.
Provide the tools needed to minimize paper use
The digitized office environment runs of software and hardware, and if you don’t provide your employees with the software needed to make, handle, send and receive, and store important files, you won’t be able to institute a paperless culture. With that in mind, you will need to transition to a cloud-based work environment where employees can work on all files, projects, and tasks seamlessly and in real time. Every employee should have access to all software and hardware tools necessary to make paper obsolete in their lives.
And this goes for personal paper use as well, as employees tend to combine technology with the good old paper notebook to note down their thoughts, tasks, and more. Encourage them to use their phones for this purpose, and give them a handy app that can help them manage their personal and professional schedules efficiently and effectively.
Optimize the payroll process
One of the best changes you can make for your internal organization, as well as your employees, is to optimize the payroll process by eliminating paper checks and all paper-related processes concerning payroll and employee compensation in general. By transitioning to personalized employee income cards to automate the payroll process and eliminate the need to print paper checks, you will be able to speed up the payroll process across the board, give employees quick access to their money, and boost the paperless culture in your company.
Not only will this boost morale and employee satisfaction, but it will also allow you to make greater financial savings over the long term. You won’t need to print checks, yes, but you will also avoid the need to cover check caching fees for your employees. On an annual level, this can help you save a lot of money.
Switch to digital storage
Another important change every digitized workplace needs to make is to switch to a digital storage space. There is only so much room in the office for paper files and folders, or their cumbersome cabinets. Before long, the paper documents will start to accumulate and clutter the work environment, and some of them are bound to go missing amidst all the clutter and confusion.
In a cloud storage space, nothing can go missing – it can only get deleted. Cloud storage makes data handling and retrieval a breeze, as you only need to search for the specified file and retrieve it in a matter of seconds. What’s more, you won’t need to physically send and receive documents, you simply need to share them with your colleagues on the platform you’re using.
Ensure long-term consistency and improve over time
For the paperless culture to take hold, you will need to ensure consistency, and you will need to create a set of long-term goals. As with every new project, this one needs to have a goal in order to incentivize your employees, ensure accountability, and generate the desired outcome for your brand.
Some of these goals could be to create a more eco-conscious company culture, to add a positive trait to your brand’s external image, to make long-term financial savings, and to make all of your processes more efficient over the long term to boost productivity as well as customer satisfaction.
Building a paperless office is a viable business strategy nowadays, as there is no reason to stick to the old ways in the digital era. Follow these steps, and you should have no problem creating a paperless work environment to push your brand forward as a whole.