How can adopting a paperless office environment benefit your business? Oct 12, 2015Views: 1042
It is an all too common nuisance. Trawling through reams and reams of paper, much of which has nothing to do with you, just to find one invoice from two years ago. It may be that you needed to check the smallest of detail following a query, or perhaps you’ve forgotten major elements of something you worked so tirelessly on. A few heavy breaths later and you could be asking yourself why this process can’t be made easier. By switching to a paperless office, you may find the solution.
Just as the name suggests, a paperless office is a working environment in which paper is absent or greatly reduced because data is captured and stored electronically as opposed to the more traditional lever arch files and filing cabinets. Information is stored securely either on a local network or a cloud based system and is only attainable to those who have been granted permission. More often than not, the information contained within files is private and confidential. The paperless office can uphold such data and keep it concealed from people who should not be accessing it.
The biggest constraints that most companies are faced with are the limits imposed on both time and financial resources. Electronically storing documents either on or off site, and the advanced computer technology to which we have become accustomed means that required data is much simpler to locate through search parameters and fields. By entering a few key words, information is retrievable and at hand almost instantaneously without having to search through endless piles of paper and storage boxes. The transfer and accessibility of data can be handled with a great deal of ease. Files can easily be sent and received with minimal fuss and bother exactly to where they need to go. Several users are also able to access the same documents simultaneously without the need to wait until another person has finished with them. The time saved can then be spent more productively than before. A YouGov survey carried out found that 30% of business directors would use this time to enhance and develop business.
It is estimated that on average, a single worker will go through 10000 sheets of paper each year. If a box of printer paper contains roughly 2500 sheets, it can equate to each member of staff blowing their way through four whole boxes each every 12 months which will constantly need replacing – an unnecessary drain on finances. Don’t forget that not all of this paper is retained either. According to research carried out by the University of Colorado, a 12 inch wall spanning New York to California can be made with the paper that is discarded in just a year.
Some sectors of industry may be required by legal guidelines to keep records for a minimum fixed period of time. Once this time has elapsed, electronically erasing data is very a very simple operation. Sensitive paper documents on the other hand, need to be shredded which costs both time and money.
Space is a problem for small businesses.
Many small or medium businesses may lack sufficient space to file documents adequately. A switch to a system that negates the need for possession of original and sometimes old data can see such an issue, if not fully then certainly mostly, eradicated. Some businesses will still opt for storing their documents in an off site document storage facility to help save space in their office.
Campaigners for the environment and green minded bosses will see the paperless office as the ideal setup. One 15 year old tree is required to manufacture just half a box of paper and the process of converting trees to paper results in a continuous cycle of pollution being released.
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