Is your office inundated with paper? Do you want to be more environmentally-conscious? Converting tangible documents into digital formats can make a serious impact on your business in several positive ways. When your office goes digital:
- There are Various Storage Options
There are several storage options, including on a local drive such as an external hard drive or in the cloud. The cloud is preferable since it's off-site and protected against hardware failures. There are many reasonably-priced, secure options for cloud backup. Ideally, your files will be backed up in a couple of different locations and the most important items kept as hard copies, as well.
- Accessibility Is Easy
Having your files in the cloud will allow them to be accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. This could open the possibility of working from remote locations, which is also good for the environment; it will save on gasoline and ease commuter stress. Digital documents are much easier to search and retrieve than paper files. With just a few keystrokes, you can search in different ways, such as by keyword, date or category. It’s easy to send electronically, and if you need a hard copy, it’s also easy to download and print.
- The Files Are More Secure
Documents will be more secure since they’ll be backed up, especially if they’re in the cloud. They can be password protected and encrypted. When you go paperless, employees will no longer have to worry about files being misplaced. The digital copies of the documents are also safely off-site should a disaster (e.g., a fire or flood) occur.
- The Process Is More Efficient
An electronic document management system (EDMS) is a more efficient system that can be used for organizing documents and keeping track of them. They can be organized in the same way as a paper filing system, but are so much easier to manage. Dragging and dropping electronic files on your computer is a major time-saver compared to the trudge to the file room with a handful of papers.
- There’s No More Paper Filing
One of the best things about converting to digital files is that the days of manually filing a seemingly endless amount of paperwork is gone. Standing at a filing cabinet adding files or searching for them can be a pretty mindless task. However, it can be backbreaking work if you’re stooping to reach files on low shelves or reaching at arm’s length to grab folders on the top shelf. Let’s not forget searching in the jam-packed, semi-organized folders — oftentimes the only thing you find is that the paperwork you’re looking for isn’t there. You wonder, “Did someone misplace it? Throw it away accidentally? Is it in a pile on a co-worker’s desk? Now what?” Oh, and paper cuts…
- Desk Space Is Freed Up
Gone are the days of paper shuffling and having heaps of paper on your desk. Think of how much time you spend searching through piles for that one piece of paper. You may think of it as “organized chaos”, but it’s not nearly as organized as an EDMS. What if your paperweight could merely be desk decor?
- Office Space Is Freed Up
Paper filing systems can take up a lot of office space. You could possibly even free up a whole room by going electronic. This free space could make room for more workspace, a meeting room, an employee breakroom. If the room is no longer used, it could even save electricity by keeping lights that used to be on all day, off.
Going paperless is all about working in an atmosphere that’s free from unnecessary clutter while running a more secure, efficient and environmentally-conscious business. It’ll require an initial investment in time and money, but you’ll quickly find that it was all worth it. Put out some recycle bins to encourage tidiness while cutting down on trash. You and your employees will enjoy the results and Planet Earth will thank you.