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How Your Business Can Go Paperless

With the degree of freedom that technology offers business these days, going paperless should be a no brainer for all companies. A paperless company does wonders for the environment, and in turn, can save a significant amount in the long run as well. If your business isn’t on the paperless fast track, today is the day to toss out those filing cabinets and set your sights to the cloud.

A Paperless Workplace

Transitioning to a paperless workplace is hardly as easy as it may seem. Getting out of the mindset of printing everything will require a total shift. However, businesses that do make the transition are better for it in the long run. If your business is considering going green, read on for the easiest ways to help your business go paperless:

Make the Jump

Many companies don’t go paperless simply because they are afraid to take the first step. The old-fashioned information management system of printed papers and disposable content can seem like the best way for a business to operate, but it isn’t. The best way to get out of this mindset is for a company as a whole to make the conscious decision to leave the printed life behind.

Studies have shown that employees are much more likely to choose greener habits once management has put into place initiatives for going paperless. Business owners should set goals for employees and departments to ensure a greener workplace. This may mean challenging the workplace to stop all printed forms of communication by a certain date.

Additionally, business owners should be the first ones to lead the transition. Bosses and supervisors should set the new standard by investing in virtual communication and information management methods.

Get Everyone on the Same Page

Once the paperless example is set throughout the workplace, your team needs to be fully committed to your green goals. The best way to achieve this is for business owners to reach out to their employees and hear their fears and concerns about going paperless.

Departments like legal and finance are the most hesitant about making the jump to a paperless workplace. The best way to combat the fear of going paperless in employees is to make it clear what they stand to gain by making the transition.

Truthfully, going paperless will make employees’ jobs easier, as well as save money, time, and, of course, the environment. With a clear understanding of all the benefits they stand to gain with going paperless, employees will be more comfortable with following through with a commitment to go green.

Address Concerns at the Workplace

Employees and management in workplaces that utilize a lot of paper resources may find it impossible to go green. Many departments fear that becoming paperless will result in compliance issues. However, the truth is that a paperless workplace is actually more compliant. With printed documents, a company is more liable for a breach in security or misplaced documents.

This is where project management software comes in. With all secure documents stored virtually, workplaces are guaranteed security and protection for their most sensitive documents. Plus, employees will be able to access everything easily and you can keep an eye on their workload.

Additionally, when using automation software to store, protect, and manage information, workplaces can dramatically reduce the margin for human error. You may consider switching some of your jobs to software like inventory software. This can lessen the workload of your employees, and give them more time to do more meaningful work. If your company is worried that destroying paper-only communication will open your company up to a lawsuit, explain that virtually stored information offers the most protection for all documents.

Transitioning to Virtual

The physical act of going paperless can be another deterrent for some people. Actually making the transition from a workplace that uses a significant amount of paper, to one that stores everything on the cloud will require that the information be physically transitioned to a digital format.

To ensure that all paper documents are salvaged before the company goes completely paperless, workplaces will need to collect and organize all of the paper items that they would like to digitize. This can be the most challenging aspect of going paperless as it requires a lot of time and focus.

As you go through this process, ensure that each department is responsible for handling all their own files. Additionally, each department throughout the workplace must use the same organization system. This will allow files to be easily located virtually.

Utilize Software as You Digitize

Actually turning your paper documents into a digital format should be achieved with the use of a document management system. Have your workplace choose software that meets your company’s needs. Generally, a business will want to choose a system that has access to the internet, allows for storing a large number of documents, the ability for users to create an unlimited amount of folders, as well as the ability have an unlimited number of users.

Once one or several forms of software is chosen, your workplace can get down to business. While the entire team may be trained to use the software, in some cases, only particular departments learn how to use this type of system.

For example, an accounts payable department would learn how to use AP automation software–resulting in saving time on tedious tasks. However, all employees that need access to this information should know how to use the software.

How to Simplify Your Work

Following all the hard work, business owners and employees will soon understand that paperless really is the simplest option. In the long run, operating a paperless business allows companies to save more time and money, while more accurately protecting sensitive information. Many businesses realize that going green not only saved the environment—it has saved their business as well.

About the author: Charles Mburugu is a HubSpot-certified content marketer with over eight years experience in various industries. Check out his portfolio and connect on LinkedIn.

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