Going “green” at home or at work has many benefits. Case in point: Being a better steward of the environment can save you money, reduce your environmental footprint and even keep you better organized.
But going completely paperless starts with converting paper documents to electronic files, opting out of paper statements (like bank statements and utility bills) and moving your company’s call center into the cloud.
Here are four reasons why you should consider ditching paper and go electronic:
1. Reduced Environmental Footprint
Adapting a paperless lifestyle reduces your environmental footprint and, more importantly, cuts ties between you and the paper/timber industry. Not only does the paper industry use more water to produce its products compared to many other industries, but it’s also the fifth largest consumer of energy in the world.
Limiting or even completing dissolving yourself of using paper means you’re no longer contributing to the deforestation of our forests and wildlands as well as contributing to increasing global greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, not all paper is actually recycled, and discarded paper is still a major component of landfills.
2. Improved Organization and Higher Productivity
Whether you’re gathering materials to file taxes or looking for an old bank statement, organizing and keeping track of paper documents can be daunting. But, by going digital, it becomes easier to track down these and other materials that have been saved in labeled folders on your desktop or even in the cloud. Ultimately, this can increase your efficiencies and reduce the amount of time it takes to sift through filing cabinets and piles of papers looking for what you need.
Having a paperless office doesn’t have to mean purchasing expensive equipment or hiring more people. Outsourcing document scanning can save money, improve the imaging and quality of each and every important document in your office.
Going digital also allows you to work from anywhere with an internet connection without having to lug paperwork. It also allows for easy collaboration with others and the sharing of documents with colleagues. Referred to as the “one app to rule them all,” Evernote is a great tool for organizing notes, to-do lists and documents, with the option to access these materials from anywhere and even make them collaborative.
3. Increased Security
Despite the threat of potential cyber attacks, using electronic documents and operating in the cloud is a more efficient, safe and secure practice than using paper.
By making digital documents unreadable through encryption, controlling access and viewing privileges, and maintaining an electronic audit trail, going paperless will increase the security of your personal and work-related documents.
Plus, with a variety of document management software from which to choose in today’s marketplace, finding the right tools for your home or business can help protect you in the event your printed documents or filing cabinets become compromised.
4. Lowered Costs
Printing is expensive; after all, you must constantly contend with the cost of purchasing new paper, toner and ink. Of course, you have to store this documents somewhere; thus, the cost of shelling out money for new filing cabinets and folders can create a hefty bill.
But if going completely paperless isn’t in the cards for your business, then consider going paper-lite. Work on making sure your office has a eco-friendly culture and it will help you save money by cleaning out the process, using fewer supplies, and having happier more productive employees.
Technology is changing our world. Gone are those days of messy filing cabinets and being unable to find important documents. While leading a paperless lifestyle is environmentally-friendly and cost-effective, it also can help to declutter your life and save you time, increase your overall productivity at work and at home.
Is your office paperless? If you have any suggestions or ideas on how to help declutter, go paperless and increase productivity please share your ideas in the comment section!