Top 4 Tips for Making Your Business Paperless

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As businesses became more dependent on electronic communication, experts predicted that the paperless office era had arrived. Despite this, transitioning to a paperless office is still challenging for small manufacturing companies, law firms, and retail establishments. However, the rewards sometimes outweigh the effort: Going paperless reduces office waste, saves time, minimizes physical contact, aids in securely storing important documents, and might even save a few trees! 

How to Go Paperless at Work  

Before going paperless in your small business, you must have a plan. You do not, however, need to change overnight completely. Choose one or two methods for going paperless, implement them, and then move on to other areas. Here are 4 helpful ways of getting started with a paperless office. 

Migrate Documents to the Cloud 

The ability for your business to store documents and files in the cloud permits it to the following things.

  • Utilize cloud storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox to store and back up important files and documents. 
  • Automate data backups to help ensure the safety of your crucial documents. 
  • Quickly and easily share files with coworkers and clients without having to pay extra for faxing or mail services. 
  • Increase security and control over document access to make sure that your private data is less likely to end up in the wrong hands. 
  • You can access the documents and files you’ve saved from any location using a variety of devices. 
  • As your small business expands, it’s crucial to scale your data storage capacity. 

Transition to Paperless Meetings 

In order to go paperless, businesses are replacing printed presentations and notepads with information-sharing technology. Providing hard copies of presentations is expensive, they could be misplaced or damaged, and getting them to remote employees can be challenging. Additionally, in hectic office settings, notepads may not be effective for taking notes. When conducting business meetings, avoid using paper. 

  • Use an easy HDMI cable to cast slideshow presentations from your laptop or phone to a television or projector for in-person meetings. Press the button that allows you to share your screen to present your slideshow during video conferences with remote employees. 
  • One person should oversee recording meeting notes on a laptop. 
  • Once the meeting is finished, distribute presentations and notes to attendees via the cloud. 

Everyone who has access to the documents will be able to add notes once they are shared. You can also change the document’s settings to grant different levels of access to those you share it with, such as viewing only, viewing plus commenting, or full editing rights. 

Use Electronic Communication 

Switching to electronic communication is among the simplest ways to go paperless at work.

  • Email is quicker to send than letters, the recipient typically responds more quickly, and you have a record of every email on your computer
  • With the click of a button, project management tools like Basecamp let you keep track of and get updates on the status of your projects
  • Internal communications in your small business are made more effective and convenient by instant messaging platforms like Slack or Skype
  • Sending memos via text message is becoming more and more common
  • Paper waste is decreased by using paperless billing for telephone, internet, and utility bills
  • Small businesses can schedule conference calls, client calls, meetings, and vacation time using electronic calendars without wasting paper

Scan Documents 

What should you do with the paper documents you currently have while making the switch to a paperless office? You could scan the documents into a PDF format and upload the copies to the cloud as an option. You can download a scanning app to your tablet or phone or use the scanner on a printer. After uploading documents, shred them as a safety measure. As part of your small business disaster recovery plan, keep hard copies of documents in a safety deposit box if you absolutely must have them. 

Advantages of Eliminating Paper 

Although saving trees is a noble goal, there are numerous other compelling arguments for going paperless in the workplace. 

  • Restrict physical contact. Less interaction between coworkers, clients, and customers results from the absence of paper. A business that doesn’t use paper might be more secure in times of medical emergency. 
  • Make files and documents accessible. It’s simple to share files with customers and coworkers. You can quickly find documents using electronic searches from any location with an internet connection. 
  • Boost the data security of your company. Only authorized users have access to the digital documents because they are kept on safe off-site servers. 
  • Save on storage. Records must be kept for a long time by medical offices and other businesses that must adhere to strict regulations, which poses storage problems. Going paperless has many advantages, including the ability to store documents virtually, which frees up space in the office. 
  • Defend your business from disasters. Going paperless has a positive impact on your business’s emergency plan. Virtual documents are protected from fire, theft, and other disasters because they are kept in safe, off-site storage facilities. 

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