Going paperless is not only good for the environment but will save your business time, money, and space. Any business will benefit from the switch by saving money and raising productivity. There are plenty of resources to help you reduce paper use, so it's never been easier to make the change.
Starting the Transformation
If you rely heavily on paper, it can seem like it's used everywhere and for everything, and making the switch is nearly impossible. This is untrue, and there are plenty of simple steps to create a paperless office. Begin by spreading the message to the entire team. Let them know your goals and lead by example. Encourage staff to upload documents to a cloud-based file sharing platform, such as Google Drive or Dropbox, rather than storing them physically in the office. Introduce limits on printing and paper usage, and introduce alternative document sharing platforms.
Step by Step
Focus on implementing paperless methods in one area at a time. Begin at reception and make scheduling, sign-ins, and memos paperless. Going paperless at the entry point to your business will encourage the same behavior across the team. Next, promote paperless internal communication. Use team-focused digital solutions such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Trello for project management, collaboration, and company notifications. Finally, make your external documents paperless. Create forms with the ability to accept digital signatures for customers to fill out. You can easily add this with software like PandaDoc or Adobe Sign.
Once your office has begun to use these digital solutions, start uploading existing records and files onto a digital platform. It's essential to organize these documents well. Be sure to combine PDFs into one file. Once you've done this, you can arrange the pages into the most logical and efficient order. Over time, this online organization will save hours once spent searching through filing cabinets and drawers full of documents. Once your team adjusts, it will be faster and easier to share information and collaborate on different projects.
In addition to saving time, these documents will now be more secure. You can easily add password protection to any of the items you're storing on any platform. Storing and sharing files digitally also creates clear paper trails across all daily operations. From a legal standpoint, this enforces a higher level of security and accountability within the company. The added protection, in addition to the environmental benefits, will create a better impression on existing and prospective clients. However, make sure that your office knows how to safely dispose of sensitive paper documents after they have been digitized. Shred all material containing private information before recycling it.
Finding More Resources
Find other great ideas by joining your local chamber of commerce, which allows you to network with other companies, promote your own, and get involved with decisions that affect commerce in your area.
Take advantage of this boost to your business by joining your local chamber of commerce today.