If you have seen any news channel these days you will be aware of the importance that is being put on helping the environment by reducing the use of plastics. Well, minimising the use of plastic is not the only way that your company can help the environment. As a business you can also help by removing paper from your workflow.
The removal of hard copies is not only better for the environment, but removes the worry of losing that ever important document, saves storage space, makes your office tidier and is often cheaper.
So is your firm in a position to make a switch from paper to data? Could your business be 100% Paperless?
Unfortunately, even though the concept of a 100% paperless office sounds great, it is often impractical.
You may run a business that relies on having that physical contract handed to you from a client, maybe as a team, you rely on brainstroming that requires your employees to record ideas on paper, or it could be case that you simply prefer having a hard copy of data in front of you.
So, maybe a paperless office does not suit your every need, but as mentioned, saving the enviroment is a topic that is in the headlines and if your business is seen as being a firm that is leading the way i.e. being 'Green'; it could help you gain contracts with other companies that also want to follow suit.
So how do you as a business start down the route of being 100% paperless?
1. Start by getting rid of any paper that you already have.
Do you have a storeroom full of old contracts, invoices, applications etc If so, audit them. Do you need them? If you do scan them.
Dont have a scanner? Not a probem. These days there are numerous Apps for your smart phone such as camscanner. These apps turn your smartphone into a scanner. Some have annual fees so in the long term purchasing scanner is probably the best bet, but it does leave you with no excuse for not removing all that old paperwork
2. Restrict printing
How many printers do you have in your office? Do all you employees have easy access to a printer? Have you tried removing a printer or two? Or if you only have one printer try putting it further away from the users desks. By making it a bit of effort to be abe to print off a hard copy, you may find that people think twice about pressing that print button.
An even harsher rule you could implement is putting a restriction on the number of documents that employees can print each day!.
You could install a software such as Papercut. This software can tell you what is being printed, who is printing it dociument names etc. It will allow you to monitor exactly how many documents are being printed and will then allow you to determine what is waste and what is actually required.
3. Use Electronic signatures
According to the E-Sign Act in 2000, electronic signatures are just as valid legally as handwritten signatures. So, instead of printing out pages in order to sign them, use electronic signatures. There are numerous software programmes out there that are cheap and effective. So if you need clients to sign contracts, simply get them to come into the office and sign. Saves sending out a hard copy and saves the storage of it.
4. Electronic clocking in and Removal of payslips
Gone are the days of your workers signing in and being handed a brown envelope filled with money and a copy of their timesheet at the end of the week. If you need to monitor your workers hours, get an electronic clocking in system.
These days everyone gets paid via BACS and payslips can also be captured on electronic pay systems. These are also helpful for your employees as it stores all their information payslips and their P60s on a database so that they can be printed off if ever required.
The transition to a paperless office will not happen over night. It will require a change in your employees thought process, but it is possible and in the long term you will find yourself saving money and helping the enviroment..
As Swindon's IT experts we specialise in helping small business set up their IT systems and with the use of software programmes that can help you achieve goals such as becoming a paperless business.
Does your business need a hand becoming IT efficent? If so contact us today and let help you reach your goal.