Tips for offices keen to become paperless

With electronic devices such as tablets and smartphones playing an increasing role in both our personal and professional lives, it’s probably not surprising to hear many businesses have embraced the paperless trend in recent months. If this is something that you’re keen to do within your organisation, it’s important to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Here are some of the things you ought to take into consideration.

paper less office

How will information now be stored?

One of the vital issues to be aware of when making the move to a paperless office is that you’ll be doing away with offline storage systems. So, where you once may have had paper copies of important business documents like contracts and invoices kept in filing cabinets, these will now all need to be stored electronically.

These documents may be already stored on an individual computer, but failing to have them backed up elsewhere in a non-paper format will mean that if a PC is damaged, lost or stolen, this information will be lost forever.

Consequently, I think it’s a good idea to invest in a least one backup solution. This could take the shape of having a secondary main hard drive in your office or distributing removable storage devices such as USB sticks among employees, but whichever you choose, you need to have a way to minimise the chances of losing data in the event of a computer failure or theft.

I also advise you to use a cloud storage system. Doing so not only allows employees who are out of the office to access vital documents while working from home or out on a client meeting, but also means precious data will not be lost in the event that a hard drive or server in your office is damaged.

The change will take time

Despite its many benefits, the transition to a paperless working environment can cause significant upheaval in an office, so it is not a change that you should expect to happen overnight. The process of creating electronic versions of documents is likely to take some time, especially if you have to scan pieces of paper to be stored on a computer, and you may still need physical copies of contracts while the move progresses.

As such, it’s a good idea not to destroy any paper files until you are completely sure that you have comprehensive electronic records in place. If you attempt to make the switch too soon, you could accidentally get rid of data that you have no way of getting back.

Communicating the changes you’ve made

Once it is established, a paperless office offers a multitude of benefits to a business. Not only will the absence of paper make a workplace look less cluttered and more professional, but it also provides the opportunity for a company to reduce the environmental impact of their operations and produce less waste.

This, of course, is something to be proud of and it’s a good idea to highlight your changes to both staff and clients. As I mentioned before, USB sticks can play a vital role in creating a paperless office and by distributing branded memory sticks, you can publicise these efforts to recipients as well as encourage them to use less paper.

Flash drives can be customised with your call to action as well as marketing information such as your telephone number and Twitter handle. Each time a recipient goes to use one of your USBs, they’ll be reminded of your company’s environmental credentials and should think of you in a positive light.
Are you creating a paperless office? If so, please share your experiences of doing so by posting a comment below. Don’t be shy, we’d love to hear your views on the subject!

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