Not only due to the serious environmental impact, remember paper production is the third most energy-intensive of all manufacturing industries and has been heavily criticized due to its unsustainable deforestation of old-growth forests and illegal practices in some regions, most notably in the Amazon Rainforest. If we also include the odds of paper being an infectious surface of Covid-19, it is clear we do not have a deal.
Avoiding the use of paper in the companies, not only the offices, is directly proportional to embracing IT changes in your companies and of course, it’s about learning how to use online tools in a paperless workplace. How? Let’s take a quick look at how a paperless corporate environment should look like.
Make your team part of this paperless transformation. Big changes start within the organization. A good start is introducing company-wide initiatives to discourage printing, boost reusing and recycling habits, and promote the use of digital tools as alternatives to paper. But the real challenge is implementing some digital tools, so your team can see how effective they can be in achieving any paperless goals. The first step is to start taking notes digitally. Stop digging through those handmade written paper notes. There are several note-taking apps you could share across different platforms and from many devices.
No more business cards. Remember when visiting conferences and networking events and ending up with a huge stack of business cards? With Covid-19 that is over. Several Apps or OCR (Optical Character Recognition) will make it easy for your company staff to quickly scan and store business cards on your smartphone. The time of cloud-sharing and instant messaging apps has arrived. Let’s cut down on printed documents, reports, and memos. Last year, millions of workers had made acquaintance with online apps that allowed them to communicate easily across the globe. Organizations are now more connected than ever. Not only in the next step is to combine this connection with improvements in efficiency and productivity.
Make your projects global and share them with your team. It is time to finish with the post-its era and the to-do lists. The project management office must handle the project-related tasks and be enough fit to carry on project activities through completion. Many Apps will allow you to manage and share tasks with the rest of your team. Track roadmaps and deliverables in many platforms and devices allocating responsibilities and creating a real Digital Archiving structure, transforming the physical warehouse into digital long-term storage.
Digital agreements instead of printed ones. Technology allows us to ditch printed legal documents and agreements by using eSignature procedures that protect the confidentiality and appropriate access to relevant individuals. Replacing the ink signature on paper with a biometric electronic signature on the tablet not only cuts down on paper usage also speeds up the process for customers, clients, and visitors to sign and share any agreements.
Therefore, paperless companies are more cost-effective, reducing expenses of printing, ink, paper, stationery, etc. Besides, space can be used to further expand services. They are also more secure since data is protected by updating the latest antivirus systems, instead of keeping them in files, cabinets, stores, and which can be stolen or lost by fire, by the rat, insects, etc. Accessibility is granted to a few authentic people just so that the Client’s Confidentiality remains secure. And let us not forget that paperless promotes remote work, not to mention productivity. You can access the documents from anywhere at any time, if one is not available at your workplace, they will also be able to access your data and work will not suffer.
And if all these arguments are not enough let us not forget the environmental issue. Because even the advancement of internet technologies end-use paper usage is rising, only in the US is expected to grow by 7.2% in 2021, and the growth in the industry has also quickly expanded in countries like China and Russia where low wages and a lack of environmental consideration are common. Going paperless could not be simple, especially at the beginning. But if the whole team, starting with the CEO, is on board the experience not only will improve productivity but could be quite enriching and surprising for everybody involved… and we will give a break to exhausted Earth. What do you think?