Permanent Remote Work Means Going Paperless Is No Longer Optional

by | May 21, 2021

Believe it or not, more paper is created and used now in business than at any other time in our history. In fact, every year, over 7.5 billion documents are created on paper, and 15 trillion paper copies get made. Meanwhile, the typical office worker will go through upwards of 10,000 sheets of paper in a single year. A paperless office is easy, cost-effective and doable for small and large business today.

Those stats probably surprise you…they definitely make me shake my head for a couple reasons. The ability to go paperless has been with us now for a couple decades. But maybe the full business case for going paperless hasn’t been made until now. I get that, and it makes sense…

Namely, the primary business case for going paperless now is that all office- or knowledge work-based companies must offer its workers the freedom to work from anywhere. You have to. It’s frankly overdue from the perspective of your average employee, who, unburdened from the daily stress and time sink of a daily commute, will now have more bandwidth for both work and life in general. In other words, going paperless will enable you to give your employees more time in their day. And there may not be a more valuable benefit you could offer your employees than that.

More Time for Your Employees: Paperless Makes It Possible

ImagingOffice_GoPaperlessHelpYour competitors are doing it. The talent you need to recruit is looking for it in their next job. Indeed, remote work is one part of the “new normal” brought on by the pandemic that isn’t going away anytime soon…

By default, that means becoming as close to paperless as possible—because paper just doesn’t translate to remote work and digital-based work processes.

OK, but you don’t know where to start. Well, don’t worry. That’s where I can help. Read on…

Preparing for Paperless: Your Playbook for Getting Started

Unfortunately, you can’t just snap your fingers and get rid of all the paper in your organization. However, we’re experts in this transition process. Here are the first four things your organization must do to make paperless possible:

  1. Identify the documents that can go digital. Some documents you’re obligated to keep as physical copies, but you’ll find that most aren’t. The key is understanding the rules and compliance regulations that apply to you and your industry. So, these are your first two “piles” of paper you need to make: what can become digital and what can’t.
  2. Separate your “can become digital” pile into long-term and short-term “sub-piles.” The nature of your field plays a big part here. Some files may be more temporary and transient, while others need to be kept longer for recordkeeping or compliance reasons.
  3. ImagingOffice_goingpaperless_drawingDevelop a records management policy and strategy. Now, that’s a simple directive, but this part is a lot of work—work you may not have time or manpower to complete. That’s what makes this point a good time to call in a partner like Imaging Office Systems. We’ll help you develop policies, strategies, and organizational momentum for your paper reduction initiative.
  4. Implement an electronic document management and storage system. Again, this is an area where Imaging Office Systems can be very helpful. Depending on the size of your organization and the nature of your work, we’ll recommend the best available options for cloud-based document systems that deliver the flexibility, features, and performance your organization needs to improve workflow and reduce errors and time spent searching for files. These upgrades will help you better organize and manage data and documents securely and efficiently. It’ll also set the stage for improved, data- informed collaboration and decision-making.

Imaging Office Systems Is Ready to Help You Go Paperless

We’ve been through this process countless times with our clients, and we’re ready to help you navigate going paperless in a way that won’t disrupt your everyday business operations, but still gets you to the goal quicker and easier than you could on your own.

To learn more about how we can work with you to make paperless possible, check out our case studies for GE Aviation and CE Machine.

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