What is a paperless office?
A paperless office is a work environment, not necessarily an office, in which paper is altogether eliminated or used more sparingly. The concept of a paperless office isn’t exactly a novel one; its just that the idea of going
paperless is more feasible than ever due to great advances in technology as well as the great decrease in costs. With today’s advancements in technology and the daily use of computers, going paperless is easier than ever. Most offices today have tons of papers filed away in filing cabinets or individual folders, taking up precious space and lets not forget the time it takes to dig up old records. With many laws today requiring that copies of certain legal and financial documents be kept readily accessible for a period of 5 years or more, there is no easier way to store a large amount of documents than by imploring a paperless office in which all correspondences and documents are digitized.
The thought of going paperless today seems really awesome, not only to myself but for most people that currently work with a lot of paperwork. The problem that many people face is the sheer volume of paperwork that must be converted to paperless that seems so daunting. I know that at my office we have 20 separate filing cabinets of only invoices and accounts receivable/payable – this would take days to digitize but would free up a lot of clutter and save time when searching for old documents. What is important is to just start the project and don’t look back, grab it by the horns and finish it – converting your office to a paperless office is rewarding and a huge relief. You or your employees might lose valuable time during the conversion process but in the long run it will save your company time and money. My suggestion is to invest in a really good scanner that instantly converts all scanned documents to a PDF, making storage a breeze. Check out some of our Paperless Office Solutions.
The best way to go paperless is by using a network of systems or individual system that works entirely online or in a cloud which eliminates the use of paper and the need to print paper. These processes are rather commonplace today as many paper based businesses, such as accounting, medicine, legal, and financial, have adopted online forms and electronic records to replace paper forms. Entire encyclopedias, Wikipedia, have been relegated to an online format saving countless numbers of trees and empowering millions of people with an easily accessible encyclopedia. E-mail and internet chatting has already replaced the outdated letter and snail mail, the world is slowly but surely becoming paperless.
The introduction of enterprise forms automation, automating paper-based processes that rely on forms, applications and surveys to capture and share data, is one way to eliminate paper use. This paper saving method is typically accomplished by using existing print-perfect documents in electronic format to allow for pre-filling of existing data, capturing data manually entered online by end-users, providing secure methods to submit form data to processing systems and digitally signing the electronic documents without printing.
There are a few pros and cons of going paperless and they will be discussed in more detail but a few of the pros are: less clutter, decrease cost of paper, saving trees and the cons: takes a lot of time to convert, human factor, and cost.