How To Achieve the Elusive Paperless Office

Experts have long declared the impending arrival of the paperless office, especially given recent technological advancements of the past few decades, including the Internet.  Yet, as a society we are printing, using, and wasting paper more than ever, especially within corporate settings.  In an effort to reduce paper-related costs and apply eco-friendly practices, companies across the country have tried to make their offices paperless ones.  Learn effective and efficient ways to drastically reduce the volume of paper documents in your office and achieve the paperless office.

  1. Document Management Software - While there may be some documents and records that cannot be kept in digital format (e.g. employee records, etc.), document management software can significantly reduce the volume of paper documents created and managed within the office.  Furthermore, a paperless office system can also minimize typical expenses associated with hard-copies, such as printing supplies and storage costs.
  2. Think Before You Print - A true paperless office can really only be achieved if everyone in the office is on board.  In conjunction with document management software, encourage employees to think before they print. If they have an electronic copy of a document, do they really need a printed one as well?  Can company meeting minutes, announcements, and memos be distributed via email?  Encourage employees to print only when absolutely necessary and promote double-sided documents.
  3. Utilize Print Preview - The average office produces thousands of wasted prints annually simply because employees fail to preview what they’re printing.  Select the “print preview” option to see exactly how the document will print.
  4. PDF Files - PDF, which refers to portable document format, is simply a way you can electronically send formatted documents, and the recipient can open and view them on his or her computer.
  5. Offer Paperless Invoicing - If you send invoices regularly to customers, give them the option of paperless invoicing.  You can either send them PDF invoices via email or if possible, offer online billing.
  6. Backup Electronic Copies - Employees will often print a copy of an electronic document as a backup method in the event the electronic copy is deleted or destroyed.  Use an online data backup solution to ensure electronic documents can be quickly recovered if they were ever deleted, destroyed, or damaged.


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