When it comes to creating a more sustainable office, there are few steps are beneficial to the environment as going paperless. From taking that single step, you can cut out up to 60% of the waste produced by the average office environment. However, there are benefits well beyond the environmentally friendly nature of paperless business. Here, we’re going to look at other benefits and how they affect your bottom line, customer satisfaction, and more elements that can make or break your business.
It saves a lot of money
Aside from cutting down on your waste, going paperless also cuts down on your reliance on physical resources that can be, above all else, expensive. When your business runs on paper, it also runs on the need for printing technologies. As such, you need to purchase not only the paper, but the printer, ink, and toner. Furthermore, you are likely to purchase a scanner to make sure you have a digital backup of your most important files. All of this can be very costly and they’re not one time costs, either. You are even going to need to pay for printer and scanner maintenance, repair, or replacement, as some point down the line. While going paperless isn’t cost-free, due to the need for storage devices and (in most cases) Cloud backup, it tends to be a lot more cost-effective.
You can free up a lot of space in the office
Not only do you have to purchase all the resources for printing those documents, but when you have a lot of paper, you need to spend even more money on storage. However, that storage doesn’t only take up funding, it also takes up space in the office. Filing cabinets are far from small, too. The more paper you use, the more quickly you can eat up space in your office. Having more space freed up in the office can help you space out employee workspaces, allowing them to work more productively, to reduce accidents and injuries, and generally improve their satisfaction with how they work.
It can lead to more efficient communication
Paper has long been one of the most important tools in business communication. From mailing important letters to keeping documents internally, it was all done on paper not too long ago. However, by moving to digital alternatives, you can greatly improve how your business communicates. Document templates and signature management, for instance, can help you create a consistent, professional image that applies across the whole business. It’s also a lot easier to manage and organize an email inbox and to respond to customer queries and concerns a lot faster when you don’t have to worry about posting them. More efficient communication means fewer misunderstandings and greater collaboration in the workplace.
Secure your important documents
One of the benefits of not having all of your most important documents printed on paper is that they are harder to simply snatch from the office or to lose along the way. There are some risks, of course, with digital documents. However, by investing in cybersecurity measures like encrypting important data and backing them up on Cloud storage servers, you can make them much safer than they would be if they were kept in physical form. As such, you can make sure that important business and customer data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. When it does, it can lead to major financial, legal, and PR liability for the business. Invest in paperless storage alongside the right digital security and the chances of this happening to you will diminish tremendously.
It’s easier to organize
One of the security risks of going paperless is that important documents can simply get lost, even if no-one nefarious has taken them for their own ends. Even when you invest in organization and storage tools like filing cabinets, having too much paper will eventually make it nigh-impossible to keep track of all of the documents that you need. There’s a risk of losing track of digital files, of course. However, it’s much easier to organize and store them, and you can quickly find them by searching your hardware and Cloud storage for relevant terms, as well. This makes sure you can keep track of important documents and also reduces the time spent locating and fetching them when needed.
They allow for much more flexible work
Let’s consider the situation: you’re out of the office but you’re in the middle of talking to a client and you need a certain document with relevant information quickly. If you’re working in an office that relies mostly on paper, then you might have to drive into the office to retrieve that document or risk giving misinformation to the client, leading to potential problems down the line. If your office is paperless, however, then you’re more likely to be relying on Cloud document storage, which means you can simply go online, find the document that you need, and make sure the client gets the right information.
It’s good marketing
A lot of business owners will opt for more sustainable measures because they believe in them and they believe in their part in protecting the environment. However, there are also market motivations to go sustainable, as well. There is a growing portion of consumers that are much more concerned about doing business with those who reduce waste as much as possible. By making a commitment to sustainable work practices such as going paperless, and even publishing case studies on how your business has managed it, you can give your brand the kind of boost it needs to make a connection with customers. Fulfilling your social corporate responsibility can help you maintain your business reputation, leading to a stronger connection with your customers.
All of the benefits above can make the decision to go paperless all the more convincing. However, it’s important you keep the sustainability of it all in mind first and foremost. If you’re not committed to making the business a more environmentally friendly body, it’s easy to go back to bad habits.