The Paperless Office: Zero paper or much less paper?

By NE Docs | September 29, 2016

Paperless Office

If you look around the most modern business facilities, you’ll notice less cluttered spaces and the complete absence of space-hogging filing cabinets. Desks are free of paper clutter and people are using tablets and other devices to record and transfer information.

Will you find any paper anywhere in these 21st century offices? Well, maybe here and there. Do some people still use pen and paper to take notes? Do artists still hand sketch and draw things? Is marking up a document by hand still the favored way for some executives to give feedback? The answer is yes to these questions, unless perhaps you work at a company like Google or Apple. Tour the offices of these tech giants and you’ll be hard pressed to find a single sheet of paper anywhere. They seem to have all but banned the use of paper for regular correspondence.

We understand that many people still appreciate the physical medium qualities of paper for handling, reading and studying text and graphic content. However, when you compare the ease and fluidity that digital technology offers compared with printing, duplicating, binding and physically distributing documents, the preference for using paper declines dramatically. Only a few legitimate or preferable uses remain, and when you think about it, even hand-written notes can originate conveniently from an electronic device today.

You might think that a document management company would want to convince you that paper is bad and should never be used. After all, we offer the solutions to implement a paperless office and workflow. However, we, just like almost every company has and uses printers for specific purposes and we’re certainly not out to shame paper users. What we will tell you though, is that our clients who have gone “paperless” are reaping huge benefits by saving money and boosting revenues.

About a year ago, we reported on how the City of Boston, all the way back in 2011 endeavored to reduce paper consumption and started saving the taxpayers $35,000 a year in labor and purchases. We also posted an article in June last year that showed how BlumShapiro, New England’s largest business advisory firm, managed a “good problem” – rapid growth and with it, big invoice volume increases. By automating their accounts payables, they eliminated large volumes of paper accounting records and reduced invoice processing time by 40%.

As you can see from these and other examples, the whole idea of going “paperless” is simply to improve business operations and return more money to the bottom line, not to mention help the environment.

What’s left for paper to do?

Are there times when paper is preferred over digital media and tools? We can think of fewer and fewer instances nowadays but a few come to mind. Printouts for temporary signage and most kinds of packaging are common uses of paper that probably won’t go away anytime soon. And sometimes it’s just good to unplug. Team leaders have found that getting people together with colored markers and plenty of paper to write and doodle on can help them bond and boost creativity. Physical, freeform expression by hand creates new ideas and fresh content to work with. And if you ever decide to use that brainstorming approach, take good photos of the work or have it scanned so you can leverage the ideas even further – digitally!

If paper reduction or going paperless is on your priority list, the best way to begin the process of conversion is through Document Scanning, which will lead to:

• Reducing or eliminating the need for filing cabinets, freeing up space
• Ease of searching for and sharing files
• Safely and professionally managed accounting and HR records
• Security compliance and control of business-critical files

At NEdocs, our document scanning services are supported by over 30 years of experience in the industry working with some of the most prestigious organizations in New England. Please feel free to call us if you have questions or need to get the paper reduction process started. (603) 625-1171.

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