Technology is advancing at a rapid rate, making a paperless office a tangible choice. Businesses choosing to switch to digital document handling will find the systems simple to use, and in many cases more cost effective. Looking at the bigger picture, reducing paper use also helps the environment and projects a fantastic, sustainable message to customers.
Scanning and faxing equates to a large amount of paper wastage. Many people still insist on using fax machines, so the answer is to sign up to an online fax provider. You have a normal fax number, and can have incoming messages delivered straight to your inbox.
For example, eFax lets you send and receive faxes from any device connected to the internet, including a smartphone. When you receive a fax, it's as easy as opening an email with a PDF or a TIF attachment. Likewise, to send a fax is similar to sending an email, and it can be received on an ordinary office fax machine.
For scanning requirements, you can use your smartphone camera as a scanner, and convert the images to PDFs so you can fax them quickly and easily. You can even add a digital signature to documents, really reducing the need to print sign and send hard copies.
You can use the cloud to help go paperless in other ways as well. It offers the capability to easily share and store files.
Rather than distribute hard copy documents for a meeting, share them via a system such as Google Docs, which allows everyone to collaborate on a single document. It makes more sense for employees and clients to access information simultaneously, and without the need for printed document distribution. You can also send large files over the internet with eFax, simply by uploading documents to the cloud and sending a link to recipients so they can download. No printing required!
Instead of printing out business critical documents and keeping them in filing cabinets, store them in digital form in the cloud.
You only pay for the amount of storage you use, and you can add or reduce the amount depending on your business needs, which means less expense and less clutter in the office.
Design a new system for paying bills, by requesting paperless statements from banks and any service providers you use. Also, rather than spending money on postage and envelops, incorporate online payment options into your system, to streamline productivity and paper usage overall.
In many ways, some printing in a busy office is still inevitable, due to government requirements, legal necessities and the simple fact that employees are used to paper-based systems.
Make it less convenient to print documents by reducing the amount of printers, which can improve productivity and cost effectiveness. Invest in high-quality printers that are capable of printing high volumes, and print on both sides of the paper, which will cut your usage in half.
Last, but not least, create a culture of recycling and reusing in your office, to implement an attitude of non-waste and encourage the move towards a paperless environment.