How Businesses Can Keep Up as the World Goes Paperless

By Adam Taylor
Now more than ever, the world is becoming increasingly fast-paced, interconnected, and environmentally conscious. As the professional landscape continues to grow more complex, tried-and-true organizational methods are becoming obsolete. Going paperless can help an organization keep up with the competition in this constantly shifting business environment, while also benefiting the actual environment. This might seem like a complicated change, but it doesn’t have to be. With these tips, you can take your business paperless and do your part to make a difference.

What Are the Advantages?
When converting data and documentation to a digital system, the advantages are worth the effort. General office supplies such as paper and toner need to be purchased less frequently and in smaller quantities. Bulky equipment such as faxes and printers become less of a necessity. The cost of waste and recycling management is also reduced.
This makes room not only in the literal office space but in the budget. Studies show that reproducing and distributing a single-page file costs a company $180 on average. Also worth considering is the boost a company’s reputation can gain from a “going green” initiative. Modern consumers appreciate an environmentally friendly organization, and one of the most common and comprehensive ways to achieve that image is by going paperless.

How Can Employees Benefit?
With such a large undertaking, it’s important to have the support of the entire workforce while making the switch. Fortunately, a paperless initiative benefits much more than the company’s bottom line. Employees can communicate more effectively, and a lack of handwritten information reduces the chances of human error. Information is both more secure and more widely accessible when backed up digitally. Workers do not need to track down a physical document or for that matter even be on-site to access it. These advantages can assure the team’s desire to buy into the concept of a paperless office.
Is Going Paperless Safer?
The security benefits of going paperless are twofold. Documents are far more secure behind digital login credentials than filed away physically. Besides preventing unauthorized access or tampering, digitizing documents also protects them from loss and damage. When information is backed up to the network, it’s out of the path of any on-site catastrophes.
Where Do We Start?
When going paperless, it can be a challenge to know where to begin. Existing documents should be digitized wherever possible and meticulously filed away if not. On the employee side, everything from payroll to health benefits can be converted. Many companies utilize direct deposit now, but some still provide paper paystubs by mail when an email would suffice. There are also apps employees can use to track data such as hours worked and insurance information.

How Do We Continue?
With existing documents organized and digitized where possible, how does the company move forward? Luckily there is an ever-growing variety of tools, software, and strategies to streamline the switch. Premade templates for anything from paystubs to memos are widely available.
Rather than rely on paper forms of marketing, switching to digital marketing and social media marketing can save on paper and costs. This is where social media can be a godsend. In the past, businesses would have to rely on expensive print ads and direct mail campaigns to reach their target audience. However, with the advent of social media marketing, companies can now reach a much wider audience at a fraction of the cost.
Online ads, for example, allow businesses to target specific demographics with laser precision. This means that businesses can save a significant amount of money on paper and postage costs. In addition, social media marketing is highly effective in building brand awareness and generating leads. As a result, it is an extremely cost-effective way to market any business. Plus, the process to design an online ad is simplified when you rely on templates that allow you to fully customize your ads to fit your needs. Look for free tools to make this a quick and easy task.
How Does Going Paperless Help in the Long Run?
While it may at first seem like a massive undertaking, going paperless is becoming a necessity for modern business. The improvements to productivity, efficiency, budget, and the environment will continue long after the initial effort is spent. All aspects of life are becoming increasingly digitized. The sooner companies convert, the better they’ll be able to compete in this ever-changing landscape. So revisit your methods for storing documents, switch to direct deposit, and turn to social media marketing to save money and make inroads for the environment.

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