Going paperless in the office seems like a daunting task when every cubicle has access to a nearby copy machine, and every employee needs to print out important documents for sending in a report or filing their paperwork. But once November 4th was dubbed World Paper Free Day, businesses were soon encouraged to go paperless by switching to electronic documents stored on cloud drives that are visible by everyone. This raises the productivity rate in the workplace as communication becomes faster between coworkers, who can simply email their attached documents to their manager with few delays from delivering the news.

The Pros of Establishing a Paperless Office

It also saves the trees from being cut down when employees rely on their smartphones, tablets, and company PCs to narrow down the information they need. Did you know that the average office worker uses over 10,000 sheets of paper annually? Although digital information is widely distributed among peers, companies can still reduce their expenses by replacing filing cabinets with compact USB devices that store important folders and link up to just about any computer. An electronic workflow is more efficient, especially when employees can edit multiple documents from the same folder using software such as Sharepoint or Onedrive.

In terms of accessibility, paperless businesses are less likely to lose their digital records, from handling payroll information to customer orders or even keeping track of tax forms. Management has the say on which documents are restricted or open to copying and sharing via implementing encryptions determined by access controls. Working without paper leads to reduced search times with online storage, cleaner offices from fewer piles of paper, and of course, less stress associated with organizing your notes before you present during a meeting.

How Businesses can Remove Paper-Related Expenses

According to the Medium, a traditional approach to processing documents will consume tons of paper for faxing messages, printing presentations, printing legal procedures, printing emails for reference, using note-pads for appointments, sending enveloped benefits or paychecks, and misuse of recycling bins. Adopting digital copies of financial records will help corporations save paper since they don’t have to send billing information through the mail anymore. One good example is Bank of America, which has its own app that lets users pay bills on their mobile phone.

To what extent can offices become fully paperless? While it’s true that tech companies are releasing new software into the digital market, people still prefer to use paper forms because they’re accustomed to having the records on hand in case the office experiences technical difficulties. You would lose a lot of data without the proper backup system in place. Then again, do you really need that expensive scanner set up knowing that you can just attach files through email or even send text messages linking to the document of interest?

What Businesses are Substituting in Place of Paper Documentation

Forget the loose notes and why not introduce company-wide cloud storage solutions? For instance, Dropbox or Google Drive will organize all your documents, data, scanned papers, and performance reviews into separate folders that are easy to locate. Instead of sorting through filing cabinets, many HR personnel prefers to store documents on a central dashboard that connects Microsoft Outlook, medical benefits, PTO balances, Kronos, and shared calendars. Currently, flexible screens are in development so that more data can be condensed into smaller monitor devices.

In particular, mobile technology has transformed countless industries including healthcare by giving medical staff tablets for processing insurance plans. These e-readers help businesses keep electronic copies of their reports that will be distributed to multiple recipients. This process should reduce the consumption of paper by international organizations that require a transfer of files across different countries. Now they can work remotely by communicating through Skype or instant messaging with clients overseas.