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Is the paperless office still a dream?

Last Updated 2022/04/12

In a BBC news feature from 2012, the author pointed out that despite existing for 40 years as a concept, the widespread reality of an entirely “paperless office” had yet to materialise. The average administrative worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year, and 6800 of them are considered to be a waste. But there are some ways you can drastically reduce your reliance on paper printouts for business purposes. As well shrinking your carbon footprint, the following practices can lower overheads and spur greater business efficiency overall.

Promotional materials

Nobody likes receiving spam, but if you’re looking to inform existing customers of new products or offers, then a well-designed, relevant email campaign is the way to go. Services like MailChimp and AWeber give you the option of sending out emails with attractive pre-designed templates, segmenting recipients according to their interests.

Designing an HTML email template in-house is another option if you are looking for greater flexibility. Always keep in mind that your message should have some potential value to those receiving it, to avoid being lost amongst the noise, annoying potential clients.

Essential documents

The documents you need to send and receive for the day-to-day operation of your business don’t always have to go via post. As well as the option of emailing Word or PDF files, companies like Google and Zoho allow for the sharing and editing of documents online, which can be downloaded and printed if needed.

Enquire with your suppliers and customers which of them would be happy to send and receive digital documents rather than paper. There may be legal reasons (such as requiring a paper contract with an ink signature) that they are unable to make the change. The more contacts you get on board, the more paper you save.

Scanning and storing your paper documents online is a great way to achieve fast and easy access to the information you need. OCR (Optical character recognition) software can convert scanned images into text files, to enable search by word or phrase. Cloud-based storage solutions mean that you can grant secure file access to employees and clients, wherever they are based.

Notes and reminders

Paper is an inefficient and wasteful method of keeping notes and reminders. There are free programs such as Evernote and Onenote that do a much better job. If you already have a Google account with Gmail, then consider setting up reminders in the calendar app.

The option of searching by word or phrase and setting up timely reminders is far superior to rummaging through piles of paper and old notebooks.

Rethink business practices

Re-organise your workflow and business practices to cut out paper usage. Think about what documents you generate or notes you make at each stage of your workflow. For the most part, switching to a digital solution will save you time, money and headaches.

Rather than referring to a notebook or sheets of paper when working, consider investing in another monitor. Dual monitor setups are standard in many modern businesses and have become accessible in recent years.

How SwiftCase helps

SwiftCase is a powerful business process management platform that can drastically reduce the amount of paperwork your company produces. Automatically generate digital invoices, statements, proposals and more at the click of a button. Securely store all of your business documents in the cloud. Make notes and reminders that are always attached to the relevant tasks for easy reference.

If you’re interested in a free, no-obligation demonstration, get in touch today.

Adam Sykes