Paper has been at the center of offices worldwide for hundreds of years. It seems to reproduce overnight, and the stacks of documents find a way to fill every available nook and cranny in your office.
This is unsustainable for a variety of reasons. First, in today’s increasingly digital world, using both paper and digital solutions can cause organizational chaos. Second, deforestation is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, and by taking more offices paperless, we can preserve more forests and help ease the pressure that paper products are putting on our environment.
We’ve compiled some handy tips that will help you create a paperless office environment that’s not only more eco-friendly but more organized and efficient as well.
- Use Cloud-Based Document Sharing
- Option for Paperless Bill-Pay Where Available
- Utilize Scanning Apps to Digitize Existing Paper Documents
- Implement Productivity/Project Management Software
- Implement Expense-Tracking Software
- Use E-Sign Technology Instead of Traditional Document Signings
- Use Online Invoicing for Clients
#1: Use Cloud-Based Document Sharing
One of the easiest ways for paperwork to pile up is with document exchanges. By putting your entire business on a cloud-based data-sharing network, you can seamlessly exchange day-to-day documents without touching a printer.
#2: Option for Paperless Bill-Pay Where Available
Most banks and other organizations offer paperless billing and online payment options, eliminating the need for monthly paper bills and statements. Check which of your banks and vendors allow for paperless billing and eliminate stacks of wasted paper each month.
#3: Utilize Scanning Apps to Digitize Existing Paper Documents
Chances are, you already have a lot of paper documents piled up that contain important information you need to run your business. You can eliminate the clutter while keeping the information by scanning and uploading digital copies of your documents to a secure, encrypted digital database. As a bonus, if you utilize cloud-based document storage, your important documents are always backed up, so there’s no risk of them being lost or destroyed.
#4: Implement Productivity/Project Management Software
We’ve all seen them: the wall of post-it notes, the stacks of memos, and the enormous paper calendars that seem more at-home in a funhouse than an office. There are now a plethora of productivity and project management software programs that will allow your team to stay organized and on-task without a single scrap of paper required.
From managing personal to-do lists to scheduling company-wide meetings, productivity software goes beyond just creating a more paperless office environment and allows your teams to work smarter, not harder.
#5: Implement Expense-Tracking Software
Receipts and expense reimbursement forms are some of the biggest snags in-office paperwork. They get lost, incorrectly completed, and are turned in late or even not at all. Expense-tracking software not only allows you to do away with all this paperwork and receipt management, but it also makes managing your business’s cash flow simple.
Investing in digital expense tracking apps saves you, your employees, and your accounting department valuable time and money by automating some of the most cumbersome elements of expense reporting. One great new expense tracking app is called Expense Sensei. In addition to providing easy expense submissions, approvals, and reimbursements, they have integrated top-tier security to ensure that user data is not compromised. Check it out to learn more of the solution that will let your accounting work on a paperless basis.
#6: Use E-Sign Technology Instead of Traditional Document Signings
Digital signature technology has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years, and many applications that allow for this have been deemed secure enough for even large financial agreements and legal documents such as homebuying. Using e-sign technology is not only great for reducing paper waste, but it’s also easier and more convenient for businesses and clients alike. Everyone can sign from their home or office without having to schedule in-person meetings and signings.
#7: Use Online Invoicing for Clients
Another way to go paperless and help your clients go paperless as well is to implement online invoicing for your clients. This also comes with the added bonus of making it easier to track what invoices are paid and what is still outstanding. Used in combination with digital expense tracking apps, digital invoicing will help you know exactly when money is coming in and eliminate lost or unpaid invoices.
Going paperless can be a big step to not only helping reduce carbon emissions and slow down climate change, but it can help your business stay more organized and connected. Also, by implementing more digital document and organization technologies into your workplace, you allow more people to work from wherever reducing daily commutes and keeping your employees happier and healthier than ever before. Going paperless is a win, whether in-office or out, and it’s a choice you can feel good about as you see productivity rise and paper stacks fall.