5 Steps Closer to a Paper-free Business

5 Steps Closer to a Paper-free Business

Are you interested in becoming a paperless business? There are many reasons that more companies than ever are making the switch away from paper, from the environmental benefits to the cost-saving implications. No matter why you are doing it, the whole process can be enormously worthwhile and make a real difference to the way that your business runs.

But some companies really don’t know where to start as much of their working day may be utilise printouts and other paper materials one way or another. So here are five steps that can take you closer to a completely paperless business.

Remote working at a cafe

1. Instigate a remote working policy

Faster internet speeds and the changing face of technology has meant that it is now possible for many workers to do their job from almost anywhere in the world. This has led to many businesses embracing the option for their staff to work remotely. Of course this can offer a huge range of practical advantages including less need for expensive office space and reducing overall operating costs, but it can also contribute to removing paper from the business.

As clearly there is no need for paperwork in order to work in an online environment, it can remove some of the common reasons for waste paper such a reports and printed documents.

2. Scan and store documents on the cloud

One of the things that make it very difficult for businesses to go paperless is that they keep many of their most important company documents in a paper form. It would be too much hassle, they assume, to try to bring in a system where their key documents are put online. But it’s actually easier than ever before thanks to companies offering a smart solution.

Document management specialists Images Online are at the forefront of the industry, offering state-of-the-art document scanning. You can have all of your documents collected, catalogued and scanned into multiple file formats, and these can then be stored on cloud storage, completely removing the need to have paper copies.

3. Paperless statements and invoicing

One of the biggest wastes of paper in many businesses is the fact that invoices, bills and statements are all printed or provided in physical copies. This is usually due to a legacy issue where this is how a company’s system has worked for a long time and there has been no effort made to modernise the process. But it is actually easier than ever to complete invoices, send them and pay them through a computer without ever having to involve a paper copy.

Banks now offer online statements and you might find that the majority of clients and suppliers will prefer online billing, invoices and payments. This is something that is actually very for businesses to do and it can make a huge difference to the amount of paper you use.

Working with laptop, reducing the use of paper

4. Invest in technological infrastructure

One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make when they are interested in becoming paperless, is that bring in policies to get rid of the paper, but they don’t invest in any kind of technology that it will make it easier to do it. This results in employees falling back on old habits and soon using the same amount of paper that they were in the past.

It can be hugely useful for employees to have company tablets which can be sent reports and any other materials pertaining to their job. This makes it unnecessary to print out documents for meetings and keeps it as easy as possible to ensure that paper is not wasted.

5. Change the attitude of the business

Ultimately the thing that makes the biggest change in a business will not be individual ideas for getting rid of paper, but an overall change in the attitude of the business. It is up to managers and team leaders to set an example and encourage everyone to cut down on their use of paper and consider different ways of working.

With so many technological making it easier than ever for businesses to be paper-free, there really is no excuse to keep the printouts. It can be a long process but with small, incremental steps it is something that can achieved for the majority of businesses.

Ivan Widjaya

Ivan Widjaya is the Owner/Editor of Noobpreneur.com, as well as several other blogs. He is a business blogger, web publisher and content marketer for SMEs.