While it may not be realistic to create a workplace that is completely paperless, there are certainly advantages to significantly reducing the amount of paper used in the office, such as cost savings and increased efficiency.
Here are 5 tips to reduce your reliance on paper:
1. Implement a print policy. Make your team aware of your goal to reduce paper use by implementing a print policy. For example, this policy could specify employees/departments that are authorized to use certain print technology, require that default printing be in black and white and on both sides of the paper, and enforce a company-wide recycling program. By communicating how your employees can do their part to help you accomplish your goal, you will be much more successful in reducing the amount of paper waste in your workplace.
2. Digitize records and documents. By converting documents into a digital format, you can make them easily searchable and indexed for convenient use. This increases employee productivity while reducing the need for storage space. Multiple employees can access the data at the same time, improving cooperation. Digital records are often more secure than their paper counterparts and can be easily backed up.
3. Make employee work spaces paperless-friendly. Providing employees with multi-monitor setups often allows them to work more efficiently without the need to print documents for reference. When employees have more screen space, they can keep multiple documents open side by side for quick reference and comparison.
4. Switch to paperless statements. Pay checks, bills, account statements and more all create piles of paper. Encourage employees to use direct deposit with electronic statements to reduce your paper use. Request electronic statements from your service providers, and make electronic payment easy and convenient for your customers.
5. Replace faxing with fillable PDF forms – Take advantage of fillable PDF forms that can be submitted by email or via a web browser.
Once you have identified the largest areas of paper use in your business, you can work towards paper reduction. With a few simple changes you can see the benefits in both cost savings and productivity.