While a lot of people are focusing their efforts on office cleaning and finding more eco-friendly solutions, a lot are forgetting that by reducing the use of paper, they can contribute more to a greener tomorrow.
It makes a lot of sense to implement such policies in your office that involve as little use of paper as possible. This will not only make your office greener and more eco-friendly but also save you money. And yes, going paperless may seem a bit of a wishful thinking. However, there are certainly steps you can take to make a transition like this over a period of time.
- Budget for paper restrictions – going paperless suddenly is almost impossible and is very likely to cause a lot of disruption to your company’s workflow. Instead of putting the business through this much stress, you should aim to gradually reduce paper. And the best way to do this is to start with the budget. Try to reduce a department’s budget for supplies by a little every month, so that the transition is smoother. You can also aim to change paper use in the entire company, in which case you should introduce a percentage reduction each month.
- Use electronic backups – many people like having more than one copy of a certain document. While archiving like this makes things easier in many ways, when it comes to internal reviewing or an external audit, it is a complete waste of resources. Not only does the physical space required for these backups grow, but also the price, since paper costs money. Instead of printing everything on a physical copy, you can back up your important files on your computer. Using external hardware for this task is also a viable option.
- Electronic transactions are a thing now – in case there is a lot of procurement going on around your company, you should look for alternatives to printing purchase orders and sending cheques. Direct deposits are one way to drive your B2B e-commerce transactions. This method is much faster, as they are sent directly, without you having to wait for days. There are numerous software solutions out there that streamline the process and cut down paper usage.
- Use internal communications software – when it comes to internal communications, you should keep those on email and instant messages. Send agendas of meetings online and use software for making presentations.
- Print less – you know that there is a great deal of information you can share electronically, instead of having it printed. For instance, accounting documents are best managed on-screen, in an easy to read format, rather than a pile of papers. Maybe there is some info you want to print, like statements on finance and formal materials for presentations, but that is only normal. The thing is to reduce the print to only important data that you cannot use electronically.
As you can see, these tips don’t really involve drastic changes, but a rather smooth transition to a paperless office. If not 100% reduction of paper, you can at least achieve less clutter and piles of needless documents on the side of your desk, which only make office cleaning more difficult.