The idea of a “Paperless Office” was first conceptualized in an article in Business Week in 1995. Though it seemed to be a lofty idea then, it is quite possible to achieve it now with an appropriate paperless document management software. Not only does a workplace dependent on paper have a high environmental footprint, but it also poses serious concerns regarding the safety of the documents and the productivity of the employees. When technology and mindful paperless office practices meet, a more sustainable workspace becomes feasible. What’s holding us back then, and how do we combat the issues? Let’s find out.
What are the Benefits of a Paperless Office?
This list of benefits that you will enjoy once you go paperless will be enough to get you over the line.
- Robust Security
Even with expensive file cabinets and paper shredding mechanisms, breaches can happen when you opt for paper. However, the high-tech, bank-level security mechanism of top-notch paperless solutions like Docsvault will ensure that you enjoy a blissful night’s sleep.
- Easy Access
By switching to a paperless office, you can access your data at any time and from any place with just a click of a button. Docsvault even lets you adhere to your business goals and needs while providing access to selective employees and teams. A paperless document management software makes it easier to find, share and store data than ever before with properly indexed files and easy conventions.
- Promotes Sustainable Business
By switching over to a paperless office, you can do your bit for society. Not only will the paperless solutions reduce the number of trees cut for office work, but they will also reduce the carbon footprint of your workplace.
- Automatic Data Retention
A paperless office immensely reduces the risk of data misplacement, damage, or loss through automatic data retention and backup. The valuable time of employees would be saved, and they wouldn’t need to create a backup of every file manually.
Though there are a plethora of benefits, there are challenges too. You need to be aware of them to finally defeat them and successfully go paperless.
What are the Challenges?
If you are already thinking of doing away with paper, you must first consider the following challenges before switching over –
- The Cost
The hardware and software costs of a paperless office can be high – think of the required IT staff and the constant updates the infrastructure would require. You would also need to take stringent steps to ensure cybersecurity if you go paperless. Though cloud platforms provide a more affordable option, they don’t come without security risks either.
- Lack of Employee Training
Since a paperless office is still a comparatively new trend, employees are often not well versed with the best practices. It implies that human errors can creep in. Yet, there is nothing that proactive training sessions cannot take care of.
- Legislative Obstacles
Some legislative obligations might require you to retain hard copies of “wet” signatures even when you go paperless. Have the compliance requirements in your industry changed? In most of the sectors, digital signatures are now as valid as the “wet” ones.
Fret not; it is still possible to do away with the stacks of files on your table. Let us elaborate further.
Steps Towards a Paperless Office – Overcoming the Hurdles
By following these simple steps, you can efficiently transition to a paperless office.
- Organize Your Paper Documents and Files
Chalk out a plan to organize your existing paper files and documents. It is pertinent to divide the teams and delegate the work appropriately. Once this is done, you will be one step closer to the paperless era.
- Get Software and Training
Make a list of the features your business needs in paperless document management software. Decide the budget and conduct intensive research to choose the best fit. Finally, you should devise a plan to train your employees appropriately for a smooth and confident transition.
- Get Started
Once your employees are trained, you can start scanning your existing documents. Ensure that all the newer ones get stored electronically, and everyone is on board regarding the same. You can set benchmarks for different teams and can also hire interns if they feel overwhelmed. Remember to keep a backup of your files in case of an accident.
- Spread the Word
Next, it is vital to keep your clients in the loop. Resolve every query that they have to make them comprehend how your company cares about their success, and how a paperless office will be beneficial for them too. You can also introduce them to electronic sharing and electronic document signature services to expedite the transition.
Companies spend almost 120 billion USD a year on paper forms, most of which are outdated within three months. Moreover, merely looking for paper files takes as much as 40% of an office worker’s time. Building a paperless office is a journey that Docsvault promises to help you through. Bolster the productivity of your employees and make your business more economical and sustainable by switching to a paperless document management software that has everything you will ever need and more.
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