It’s amazing how advanced technology has become. There’s a solution for almost everything nowadays, such as mail, documenting, faxing, and storage. And yet, some offices still fully depend on paper efficiency. Shocking, I know.
Smart business owners know how to take advantage of technology in their best interest. For example, by turning your office into a paperless environment, you won’t only be using an eco-friendly approach, but you’ll be saving money and consuming less time.
A paperless office is not something that’ll happen overnight because old habits die hard. But it’s time you start taking active steps towards this, however, this is not something you can do alone, but you must get the whole team aboard. If everyone works on consuming less paper, like printing once instead of three times a day, sending documents by email instead of fax, or recycling paper, then you’ll soon have a paperless office.
Below are a few steps to reach this goal as soon as possible without upsetting your employees or consuming more money!
1- Online Time Tracking:
If you’re still using paper timesheets or punch cards to track your employees working hours, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. So why are they the most outdated ways to track time? Because they are highly error-prone, can easily get lost or ruined, and aren’t reliable.
RescueTime is web-based time management and analytics tool that anyone can use to track how they spend their time and learn how to be more productive and efficient. You can get a productivity score and even track your offline time.
RescueTime can help users prevent distractions, regain their focus, and increase their productivity and efficiency. It runs in the background and tracks time spent on every web page and application to the minute.
The free version
RescueTime’s basic version gives you time tracking on multiple devices, detailed logs, daily, weekly, monthly reports, and productivity scores.
The premium version costs $9/month and adds offline time tracking, more detailed reports, focus time (the feature that prevents distractions), and alerts. The premium version also keeps your data for longer (the free version only keeps the data of the last 3 months).
2- Paperless Bank Statements & Online Payments:
Your accounting dept. Or accountant probably consumes most of the paper storage. With sending out checks for payments, receiving bank or credit card statements and envelopes, postage, and mail expenses, the reasons are many.
Most banks allow you to access your account online and download your bank statement or check your credit card history without mail you anything; you can contact your bank and make sure all your accounts are set to receive online statements instead of by mail. This not only helps achieve a paperless office but protects critical financial information that can put your business at risk.
Also, by using an online accounting system like Square you get all your payments done online, send out and receive online invoices, and send customer receipts instead of piles of paper invoices, checks, and messy timesheets.
3- Virtual Mailroom:
Turn your physical mailroom into a virtual mailroom, and utilize that wasted space in your office while saving up on postage and shipping expenses at the same time.
Virtual mailbox service offers a virtual mailroom solution for your business. Your mail and packages will arrive at secure facilities, where you can use them as storage space. You’ll be able to log into your online account and easily view all mail and packages received. Then you can sort into folders and send out mail requests to handle your mail.
You can open & scan, forward, shred, archive, or recycle any mail piece. This means the endless junk mail you get can quickly be recycled. So whatever couldn’t be sent electronically, and you get through the mail instead, will still be handled in an eco-friendly way. So choose your preferred address out of over hundreds of addresses nationwide and start your free trial.
4- Fewer printers, less printing:
Printing documents that aren’t necessarily needed is much easier to do with printers on every desk or printers available in every corner.
Reduce the number of printers in the office and lessen your paper storage so that your employees will start depending on PDFs instead. For example, instead of printouts for meetings, your team can use Teamviewer to remotely access each other’s computers or share their screens to present slideshows. Instead of printing out three copies of that contract, save it as PDF online (more below on cloud-based storage).
5- Online Solutions for Internal & External documents:
For internal documents that departments need to work on together, Google Docs is a charm. You can use it to share and edit documents online (Microsoft word docs too), where all adjustments will be automatically saved, or you can create reports.
For bigger files, you can use Dropbox for sharing documents; you can even sort them into folders and use it as storage with up to 18GB of space.
We all know that legal documents from government entities or business contracts are mostly in paper format. Still, it will actually be much safer to have all important documents stored online, away from curious peepers, and secured at all times. Using an online e-signature app, you’d easily be able to sign your signature and add the desired date. Check out SignMyPad to get it done faster through your phone (supports IOS and android).
By using online tools to help create faster operations and a smoother workflow, you’re not only using less paper but also managing documents efficiently.
6- Scanning Instead of Faxing:
It’s time to clean up the piles of mess and start organizing your office by backing up all important paperwork online. Next, you need to scan all your files and make sure they’re uploaded on your computer to create a better system for yourself. You can even use phone scanners like TurboScan to get scanning done quickly.
Going paperless saves you time wasted searching, faxing, printing, or more and makes office operations done faster and more securely. And the best part yet? It’s cost-efficient! Save all that money spent on paper storage (and save the trees from a horrid ending) and use it more effectively in your business.
By following these few simple steps and always remembering to recycle, nothing stops you from having a successful paperless office!