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Transforming your office into a paperless environment.

Operating a paperless office is more achievable than ever with new developments in digital applications. With organisations such as HMRC leading the way with the recent ‘Making Tax Digital’ initiative, many more businesses are set to follow their lead and become less-reliant on paper processes.

The term ‘paperless’ means moving away from traditional working processes that rely heavily on paper, to new tech-based digital processes requiring less paper. Not only is this method of working better for the environment, it also offers a host of other benefits to your business and customers.

Recent reports have highlighted that the most common usage of paper in the office occurs when emails are printed, fax is used instead of email and the use of envelopes for posting correspondence.  All of these processes can easily be replaced by modern digital alternatives without too much disruption to your workforce.

What are the benefits of a paperless office?

Transforming your office into a paperless environment helps your staff, customers and business in a variety of ways.

  • User-friendly: Offering your customers digital alternatives such as online forms with automated submissions and responses, makes their journey faster and more efficient. It also requires less time for processing applications and sending or receiving letters.
  • Digitally storing files instead of keeping hard copies makes your office organisation much more effective. Digital documents are far easier to catergorise and search through than paper documents.
  • Reduce cost: Less printing means less paper and ink. Opting for a paperless office is a great way to reduce your operating costs.
  • Faster communication: Documents sent via email arrive almost instantaneously whereas waiting for post or fax communication takes far longer.
  • Environmentally friendly: Cutting down on paper usage is better for the environment, saving the amount of trees used to make the paper and cutting down on transport emissions too.

Going paperless

Switching to a paperless office isn’t an overnight task, changing fundamental businesses processes takes time and commitment from all members of staff. There are, however, a few things you can do to make your paperless journey easier.

  • Spend some time analysing your current business workflows to identify where paper is being used. You can then start to work out the ways it can be cut down. For example, if members of staff are routinely printing emails you could educate them on alternative ways to store the documents and remind them of the negative environmental impact of printing.
  • Find digital alternatives to printing. There are many great tech alternatives to printing and storing paper. For example, a good CRM system like Act! will store emails and correspondence against customer contact records making it easy to quickly locate records and documents.
  • Take small steps: Your business won’t become paperless in one day, encourage your staff members to make small changes where they can to cut down on paper use.

Its easy to see why so many businesses are taking the leap to become paperless and with the right technology and processes you too could make the switch. For advice on selecting the right technology for your business speak to our experts.

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