Even though we’re well into the 21st century, companies still face challenges in trying to adapt to our smart, eco-friendly, technology driven society. The notion that in 2014 every company should be running a paperless operation is a bit aggressive of an expectation. It’s a notion that’s appealing, but it’s a process that takes time and effort. However, this shouldn’t frighten even the smallest business. Luckily, we have access to technologies that provide a multitude of smart tools that help offices of all shapes and sizes reduce paper consumption and waste. With every step a company takes towards a paperless work environment, there are sure to be immediate, visible returns and money, time and storage savings.
If your company isn’t already using comprehensive software to streamline tasks in the office, it’s a good idea to start with the basics. Most businesses adopt separate technologies and tools for different aspects of their paperless office. For example, if your accounting department isn’t operating electronically, it should be. Invoices, checks, envelopes, postage, you name it, it all adds up. Paperless statements and the option for online bill pay will drastically cut cost, too.
Internal document sharing and storage is another great place to start transitioning. Most businesses would admit they’re still Xeroxing copies and distributing them to mailboxes or cubicles. There are programs and software that provide an interactive file platform for sharing and collaborating. These technologies are a secure way for employees to access internal information. They also enable more efficient (and safe) ways of electronically distributing information outside of the office.
Tablets and e-readers cut the need for paper substantially. These portable technologies are a better replacement for paper printouts, and even offer enhanced readability. A unique advantage of these devices is the ability to share with others, or send to another reading application on a different device. The BYOD trend in today’s workplaces is a driving factor for the adoption of portable devices. More companies are moving resources to this part of their budget because of the productivity and efficiency it produces across the board.
A truly paperless office remains somewhat of an illusion, a dream perhaps. However, the potential in the latest technologies, software and tools can get us that much closer to the idea. Whether you’re already halfway there, or are looking to begin the journey, there are several starting points. Call ILM to learn more about making strides towards a paperless office.