The Paperless Office: Really?

The Paperless Office: Really?

The Paperless Office. It’s been “on the way” for at least 25 years.

Yet paper is still here. Everywhere. In folders (“for review”), on desks, in the output trays of your copiers and printers. And the largest accumulation of paper is in those omnipresent blue or green recycle bins. 

Paper is still prominent in all aspects of our business. There’s no question that paper is still critically important in our world. We just all need to admit that and move to a more “paper-light” environment. Yes, we can achieve that!

Did you realize that there are almost five generations in today’s workforce? There is a large part of those people who have spent their entire careers working and communicating with paper. This segment is having a hard time breaking away from paper. Paper is comfortable, and it works, even with advanced electronic alternatives. Paper is effective. It’s familiar. It’s easy to read and portable, particularly when comparing to viewing information from a mobile phone, laptop or computer monitor. It’s tactile. Holding that paper or book just feels more satisfying than clinging to a device. Even when the brainstorming happens on an Aquos interactive board, the content still seems to make its way onto paper.

So, it’s not surprising that we haven’t yet realized the paperless office.

Is the idea of paperless or even “paper-light” stagnant? Have all the tree-huggers stopped yelling about all the trees being destroyed? Did we stop worrying about the sensitive documents being left on printer trays, shuffled to recycle bins and the possible security and compliance risks? Studies show that 65% of the printed office documents are just thrown away within a day. Does this happen in your office? And then there is the legal files, Protected Health Information, HR and other documents that are filed away in boxes and sent to offsite storage. Are you still doing that? Are you paying a sizable fee to store the paper? Clearly, there are options and room for your processes to improve. 

Simple things you can do now to begin the change

Consider electronic file scan and storage. FileMax is a comprehensive document imaging, archiving and retrieval solution for any business burdened by excessive paperwork and the need to store it and access it whenever necessary. Add up what you spend on waste and storage, and you’ll quickly identify how much an online document management solution can save your organization. Saving in many ways; cost, space, and trees. 

Employ copiers and printers with secure release printing. Huh? Simply put, everyone performs a File, Print to a central “internal cloud” and then walks to any printer in the building, and by entering their ID number or swiping their ID badge or door card, release only their print jobs. Bam – no more waste. Bam – all print jobs are secure. And those “I NEED my own printer” conversations are gone. Talk about saving money. Ask us which copiers allow secure release printing. 

Look at your various business processes. Think about your Accounts Receivables. You can easily streamline this process by eliminating the duplicate tasks of creating paper invoices, sending them via snail mail, waiting to receive them back which creates even MORE paper documents and data entry…just to end up with the paper in storage). Implement a better process and at the same time, eliminate almost all paper. Move your process to electronic invoicing docs, electronic mailing, and electronic payments and adjustments. Your computer does what it’s supposed to. This electronic processing is far easier to implement than you might guess. Then there’s HR (same kind of simplification). Electronic HR documents make everyone’s life more comfortable, especially when you consider that you can unlock an entirely new set of HR capabilities to manage information and identify talent. Let us help you look at all of your business processes and engage FileMax, your document management solution, to help you. You don’t have a doc management, imaging, archiving and retrieval system, talk to one of our FileMax specialists.

For the paper you DO consume, plant trees! Studies reveal that around 8,333 letter-sized pages equal a tree. How many trees are you destroying? How many are your planting? Consider giving to any number of charities that plant trees, such as, One Tree Planted, National Forest Foundation, Arbor Day Foundation. 

If you love paper, don’t worry. Yes, its usage will decline and will be replaced in many business processes by technology. But there is no doubt about the fact that paper is here to stay. Just remember, like everything else in our advancing technological world, better ways are here. Embrace them! Let Valley Office Solutions help you!