As technology has moved on and improved over recent years, the concept of a paperless
office is becoming a more plausible way of working. There will be certain exceptions such as
legal documents that have to be preserved in paper form for a certain length of time.
However, despite a growing trend towards cloud-based working, many companies are still
reluctant to give up paper. The United States uses nearly 3.7-million tons of paper every
year, but if more companies were to switch to a paperless office, that number could be
Both your physical paperwork and any saved on your system will need to be stored in a secure location for the duration of their use. They will also need to be kept for the legally required amount of time before being destroyed. A paperless office can still use this system provided the documents can be retrieved easily. If your company were to be involved in a lawsuit, then it will be easier for companies like Secure Data Recovery for help with the electronic data discovery process.
A Reliable Document Management System
The first and most important thing when trying to go paperless is to have an effective
document management system in place. Many companies now use these systems as it
helps your workers to store, share and edit documents online. It also helps with collaboration
as one or more people can work on a document without having to leave their desks. The
guidelines regarding storage and retention times for documents remain, so your staff should
be made aware of the correct procedure.
With some companies, most of the paperwork they own comes from outside the company. If
you can set up a scanning system, then you can save on space and paper. You should also
encourage all of your clients and customers to contact you electronically so that you don’t
receive so much paper. You suppliers are another area that can generate a lot of paper from
invoices. However, if you start a system of emailing across digital copies of your invoices, it
will be faster and easier to process.
Part of the progression to a paperless office is getting your staff onside. Many will never have worked in a paperless environment before, so they will need to know how to handle the documents and where to store them. They will need to be trained on the new document management system and shown how effective it is at sharing documents. Once they have had the training, you can monitor them to ensure they are followed the correct procedure. With a paperless environment, comes a higher threat of cybercrime, so you should also teach your staff to be vigilant especially when dealing with emails.
A paperless office doesn’t have to be implemented in one day, give your staff the opportunity
to gradually move over to this new way of working over a period of months.
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