Going green has never been easier! Today’s world of cloud computing puts everything you need to run your business at your fingertips without wasting paper and losing your mind filing or finding things. Take a look at these 5 steps to “go green”.
What’s a paperless office?
While this is not a new concept, it’s been around for a few decades, many companies are still struggling to let go of paper. A paperless office is just what it sounds like, an office without filing cabinets and paper pushed all around. No more tracking that darn contract or scrounging up that invoice to pay. Employees can lose as much as 40% of their time chasing paper files. With a paperless office, everything is filed digitally so you can pull it up anywhere whenever you need it. Here are five steps to go paperless.
1. Cloud storage, cloud-sharing, and an instant messaging app.
These are the first steps to break the reliance on paper documents. Open up a cloud-based document storage system so you have all the items you need to conduct business right at your computer. Give your
employees a platform to share these documents with one another so you don’t have to rely on scheduling
time to get the items you need for your next meeting. Open up a messaging application for your employees to communicate online and see how much more freely they can check in with one another without losing time at the water cooler or wandering from office to office asking questions.
2. Get your stuff in the cloud!
Once you’ve adopted a cloud storage system and put in place the tools you need to share and communicate, it’s time to move all your existing documents to the cloud. This may be the biggest drawback to going paperless. It is time-consuming to scan and save your existing work. Many companies select a base time range that they want including in the cloud, then keep the other paper files for as long as they need them, but move them to storage. We’ve seen people go back as far as 5 years or just elect to start with their active client base and move forward.
3. Use a note-taking application with “to do” lists for everyone.
These applications are fantastic for capturing information from meetings or calls. Digital note-taking offers a more organized and shareable format for all the information you may need to complete your duties. The best part? These digital notes are searchable and generally update live from all participants. Applications like Microsoft OneNote, GoodNotes or Evernote give you all of these great benefits and offer access on a variety of devices. Microsoft To-Do is one of many great tools to keep your teams organized and accountable for their tasks too.
4. Remote access can boost productivity.
Ever worry that your office could be more productive if your employees could work remotely? If you are ready to offer this benefit, you may find that your new paperless office is a great framework for remote workers. They are able to access the resources they need in real-time and collaborate with colleagues no matter where they are located. This way, when Sharon’s son is ill for the third time this year, she can stay on top of her high-priority projects.
5. Dump your old mail service.
Do you still pay someone to sort the mail? If you are truly looking for a paperless environment, online tools like Traveling Mailbox can help you digitize your physical mail. They offer a fantastic program in which they open, scan, and e-mail your physical mail directly to you. You can even set up a special service with them to have them deposit check payments from your clients.
5. Paperless office training.
Don’t forget the human element. As you implement new tools, be sure to update your employees and set good expectations for your operations. Create new employee training or documentation to explain how the company operates and how to access the resources they need for their job. Cloud services, collaboration tools, and even mail services can greatly improve productivity saving you a bundle of time and money.
Ready to go paperless? Give us a call to explore cloud services, new applications for collaboration or even remote access to your network and “go green” to save some green. We will review your network and offer a full report of your current structure as well as a few options to help you go paperless.