The paperless office is not a new concept. In fact, it’s been around since the technology enabling paperless processes first appeared. These days, it’s more possible than ever to remove paper from your office. Unfortunately, too many businesses continue to produce enormous amounts of paper waste.
There are a few reasons for this; primarily, many organisations simply don’t understand how simple the process of going paperless can be. On top of that, there’s a distinct lack of organisation when it comes to leading paperless initiatives… Perhaps, most managers are just too busy to take the time.
However, the benefits of going paperless are enormous. We’ll take a look at those below, along with step-by-step tips on creating the perfect paperless office in Sydney.
Do your research first
You’ll need to do your research before taking any action. This means understanding how much paper waste your office currently produces, where it’s coming from and where this paper can be reduced. Without those key pieces of information, your quest to go paperless will be much more difficult.
Collecting this information can be done in a number of ways. You could send out surveys to employees, create trackers for printing and document creation, and extract statistics from printers. This will allow you to accurately learn how much paper is being printed and used each day in your office.
Once you have analysed the data on how much paper waste your organisation produces, you can begin to identify alternative processes, in place of the paper. Usually, the most effective alternatives will involve applications and programs running on your office network. For example, instead of printing out statistics and data on a project, simply utilise Google workspace or an application dedicated to producing easy-to-read statistics.
Go digital… everywhere!
There’s an app or a program for everything, so really, there’s no excuse! Printing, letters and all sorts of other forms of record keeping and communication can be handled without paper. If you have an in-house IT team, they can be tasked with locating and implementing the best applications for your business.
Educating your employees is critical, because they will play the biggest part in creating a paperless office. Most of the time, they will be the ones making the decision on whether to print, or to use an available application. Therefore, educating them on why they should be minimising and eventually eliminating paper use is of the utmost importance.
Information sessions are a great way to instil the right knowledge into your employees. You can bring in sustainability experts, who will explain the positive impact that they can have. Moreover, they’ll also teach your people some excellent strategies on minimising waste. From there, educating them on the latest information and paper-minimising techniques will ensure your office has the best chance of going paperless.
Create an office policy
Lack of leadership is the most common reason businesses fail to go paperless. Therefore, it’s essential that a manager or an employee is delegated with leading the paperless charge. This person can craft an office policy to implement, which will guide employees on reducing paper useage. A well-written, concise policy will make it much easier for your people to use less paper, thanks to clear guidelines and dos and don’ts.
Encourage reuse and recycling
Once your employees have been educated on paperless practices, you will need to consider old paper files and documents. There will likely be a sizeable number of archiving boxes in your space which need to be dealt with. This is where recycling and reuse (if possible) is a must.
A professional Sydney rubbish removal company can deal with old archiving boxes and the associated recyclables. Sydney City Rubbish will come to your workplace, remove old files and ensure that they are destroyed securely. Then, this paper will be recycled and avoid the waste stream entirely.
Who knows, this recycling and reuse attitude might even catch on at home!
It’s quite easy for your employees (and anyone, really), to lapse back into old habits. In this case, that’s using paper in a blase fashion, and failing to recycle. However, consistent reminders will ensure that your people stay on track, and will reinforce the positive habits they have been fostering.
Effective reminders can come in a wide variety of ways. That might be email blasts, education sessions, quick meetings or signage around the office. Brainstorm with your people, and ask them what will work best for everyone. That way, it’s a collaborative process.
So, what are the benefits of a paperless office?
More efficient systems
Your employees won’t have to go sifting through piles of paper to find an old file. Digital processes and applications will be much faster. With the right training, apps will speed up the entire operation of your Sydney business.
A paperless office produces far less waste. Therefore, it’s much better for the environment. Less energy will be spent recycling paper, when it isn’t even used in the first place! This also means less paper will be manufactured, resulting in fewer trees cut down to make paper pulp. In short, going paperless can have an exceptional impact on the environment.
It’s more cost-effective
In the long run, digitised files are far more cost-effective than paper ones. You don’t need to pay anywhere near as much for storage, and there is no physical location to worry about!
Digital files are much more secure, especially when your IT team is on the ball. There’s no chance of someone simply walking into your office, rummaging through paper files and obtaining sensitive information. However, you do need to have proven antivirus software and constant protection.
And what are the downsides?
It takes time
It will take time to implement policies and strategies in your office to go paperless. Unfortunately, that time may well take away from other tasks. But in the end, it will certainly be worth it!
There will be additional expenses associated with creating a paperless office. That will include outlay for digital programs and applications, removal of old files and more. However, in the long run, these expenses will be the much smarter move.
To discuss your Sydney office design and creating a paperless office, get in touch with Niche Projects today.