Paperless office: How to digitise your workplace
What are the benefits of a paperless office?
Where to begin? As we look for more ways to practice sustainability, one of the first places to start is evaluating current business operations, and really questioning whether they’re efficient. It’s thought that the average office worker uses around 10,000 sheets of paper each year, which is not only a major pocket burner, it’s also devastating for the environment. Not to mention, a workplace that relies heavily on their printer may start to become cluttered and unorganised. So, if you’re looking to work towards an eco-friendly office by gradually introducing the notion of paperless practices, having a read of this article is a good place to start.
The first step to going paperless in your office is to scrap in-hand documents that require an ink signature, instead choosing to go digital. Opting for e-signatures is one way to reduce clutter and paper expenditure, plus you can send signed documents across immediately without having to wait for snail mail to deliver. This method could be used for anything from contractual agreements to invoices, being a straightforward alternative that reduces the risk of human error.
By using applications such as Dropbox or OneDrive, you’re able to store any office documents in the Cloud, rather than keeping them in paper form. This is a more organised file storing method, making sharing files between colleagues effortless, and it’ll enhance your workplace’s security by allowing you to backup and restore data. Gone are the days of rummaging around your filing cabinet in a desperate attempt to find that one important bit of paper, panicking that it may have accidentally found its way into the shredder.
Virtual note taking
When it comes to meeting productivity, ditch the notebook and pen and immerse yourself in the conversation. It’s easy to become distracted by feeling as though you have to scribble everything down in record time, which can lead to certain points being left unregistered. If you do feel as though you need to make a couple of helpful notes, use a laptop instead to save on office paper. There are various apps you can download too, such as Evernote, that you can also add audio, scans, PDFs and more to, to make sure that you’re totally clued up on the task at hand. Plus, all of your notes will be saved in one protected place, to prevent any critical bits of information from getting lost.
Virtual communicative methods
Communicating via email, or by using any other online messaging platform (take Slack and Zoom as examples), is another way to contribute to your office going paperless. By sending an instant message, you avoid any time lost spent sending a letter, and you can be sure that the recipient will definitely receive it. There are now also ways to see whether people have opened your email too, so there really is nowhere to hide anymore.
Not only this, encouraging people to jump on a video call, rather than trying to write out a letter, makes the whole process more personalised, creating a reason for company and client (or your colleagues) to get to know one another.
In order to uphold an eco-conscious office culture, it’s important to firstly acknowledge and communicate any current business operations that are causing a build-up of waste. Rather than simply enforcing a rule that your office should go paperless, make sure that your employees understand the importance of sustainability and why they are making the change. Going paperless may be a gradual process, but it’s one step towards acting more eco-consciously.
If you’ve been inspired by this blog post and are aiming to make your office both as efficient and sustainable as possible, have a chat with our team of experts today. Our office furniture is both sustainably sourced and designed to last, ensuring that you can achieve your desired workspace aesthetic, without causing harm to the environment.