The Benefits Of A Paperless Office
Can your business run without paper? It’s a question that’s been asked many times and never seems to go away. People have debated the benefits of abandoning paper for years, and here at Business Quotes, we’ve heard both sides of the argument. We’ve encountered organisations that have gone fully digital and thrived, but we also know some that couldn’t function without paper.
If you can see your office working just as well without paper, what are the benefits? Let’s take a look and get some ideas. Here’s all you need to know about running a paper free office.
First, let’s look at the most obvious point; going paperless is cheaper. The costs of printing and franking mail build up quickly; all those ink cartridges, envelopes, and Royal Mail fees take a big chunk out of your finances, and printer paper isn’t cheap either. When you factor in things like printer maintenance fees, it gets even more expensive. The average British office worker uses ten thousand sheets of paper a year, so if you can do away with paying for that, why wouldn’t you?
Want some extra legroom in the office? Going paperless could be the way to do it. No more paper means you can get rid of your printers, scanners, franking machines and filing cabinets. It’s remarkable how much office space is used for storage, and once it’s freed up, it can be used however you see fit. Ever thought of installing a vending machine but not had anywhere to put it? This could be the answer.
Going paperless doesn’t just free up floor space; it frees up time. Sending documents electronically typically takes less time as no printing or scanning is involved. If you replicate that across the entire business, your everyday processes may become more streamlined and efficient. We’ve all had a bad day where a stubborn printer refused to work correctly and lost hours trying to fix it, but that could be a thing of the past.
It’s not always safe to work with printed documents. They can be mislaid, filing cabinets can be left unlocked, and who can forget that news story about top secret documents being forgotten on a train? Storing things digitally isn’t perfect, but it is far safer than printing them out.
The Greener Option
This one can’t be understated; going paperless is better for the environment. Climate change has become a pressing issue, and modern businesses are always looking at ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Paper is widely recycled, but we still use an average of 4.48 trees per person yearly to satisfy the demand. Printers, photocopiers and scanners use a lot of power too, so going paperless will be a crucial benefit for the environmentally-conscious business.
Should You Go Paperless?
With all this in mind, we can understand why many companies are tempted to reduce paper in the office, or even abandon it altogether. That said, it’s worth figuring out the logistics before diving in head first. For instance, if you regularly send documents through the post, what are you replacing them with? The most likely answer will be email or some other transfer system, but you’ll need to check they’re secure first.
Additionally, if you go paperless, ensure it’s communicated to your employees well in advance. If you don’t have a fully realised plan in place, the sudden change can cause problems, and walking into an office one day to find all the printers missing can be horribly disorientating.
Going paperless is not possible for all businesses, but there are advantages to it. As we head into the mid-2020s, more offices will be abandoning paper, so it may be time to weigh up your options. Whatever you decide, it’s essential to understand the benefits and drawbacks of running a paperless office. That way, you can plan ahead and hopefully sidestep any problems that might arise.