Today, almost all employees have access to computers and mobile devices, but so many are yet to fully embrace the paperless office. This is despite anecdotal evidence that paperless offices are more efficient.
Below are some of the technologies you can use to create a paperless office and how these technologies will improve the efficiency of your office.
1. Use an Online Accounting System
Regardless of how you handle your bookkeeping and accounting, you should complete payment transactions online. The online transactions are not only faster but also lead to use of less paper in the office. You can also file taxes electronically instead of sending paper returns, and request paperless statements from financial institutions.
Xero is a digital accounting tool which helps you reduce paperwork and get paid quicker. There’s also a range of apps such as Square that allow receipt of payment through a smartphone. If you’re worried that you might miss something, set up alerts to warn you when your bills should be paid.
2. Operate Paperless File Storage
For most offices, a disaster or emergency such as a fire would cripple their activities for months or even lead to the failure of the whole business enterprise. A paperless office using online file storage and transfer systems such as Dropbox can ensure that the files your office stores are not only secure but easy to transfer from one employee to the other. Dropbox will enable you to create folders for your employees or business departments.
This will enable you to download important paperwork directly to the folders which eliminates the need for paper trails. You can add any document you’re working on to your Dropbox by scanning. It also makes it easier to receive reviews for the work you send to employees. There are features especially made for that such as Dropbox Paper which will help you capture ideas quickly.
3. Digitise All Paper Documents
The conversion of paper to digital information is one of the ways in which your company can reduce the amount of paper in the office.
You can start by scanning all the existing paper documents in your office. Some of the top vendors you can choose from are abbyscan and ccscan. Document scanners are reasonably cheap so digitising your documents doesn’t have to break the bank. Searching through digital information is much faster than going through multiple filing cabinets! Now that you have your existing documents in digital copy, you should save digital copies of all documents on an ongoing basis to reduce the manual workload of scanning documents.
4. Implement a Visitor Management System
Visitor management systems are a digital version of the paper visitor books that were commonly used at reception to monitor visitors and contractors. VisiPoint Visitor Management System is a self-service solution that handles all visitor greeting, vetting and data capture. The intuitive visitor interface guides the user through the entire process of signing in, eliminating the need for paper sign in books. If your company has cards for door access, VisiPoint can use integrate them for quick staff sign-in.
Ultimately, a visitor management system has a number of benefits for an organisation such as improved front desk efficiency, enhanced health and safety procedures and complete compliance with data regulations such as GDPR.
5. Embrace Document Collaboration
There are a number of tools which helps you share files between employees, teams and departments – or even external agencies or business partners – without printing them out or sending them via email. Using a document collaboration tool eliminates the creation of a multiple copies of one file – so you don’t end up wasting precious time trying to work out who has the latest copy! It allows you to work on documents and spreadsheets simultaneously with other people. See free tools such as Google Docs. Google Docs even let’s you chat with other people viewing the document.
6. Create a Digital ‘Paper’ Trail
Most offices still keep paper communication, because it provides a paper trail that can be used as future reference. The good news is that a paperless office creates a digital paper trail which is easier to trace and can’t be destroyed or lost easily.
Digital project management tools allow managers to monitor collaboration in real time and lets them identify any bottlenecks in the processes. Using paper diaries and calendars should be a thing of the past – all your team’s tasks, to-do lists and calendars should be managed online. That way, managers can see easily what everyone is working on, monitor project timelines and maximise efficiency. Try a tool like Bitrix24.
When it comes to marketing, paperless marketing is a dream for monitoring results and return on investment. Instead of printing out large amounts of brochures and promotional material, you should put them on your company website. Then you can analyse what content performs best and generates the most opportunities.
There are a huge variety of tools that businesses can use today to digitise their processes. Moving to the paperless office has the potential to save space, reduce manual admin work, make files easier to access and transfer and increase collaboration. Are you ready to make the move?