Six Reasons to Reduce Paper Usage in the Office

Wadih Pazos October 1, 2021

6 reasons to reduce paper usage in the office
Document Management
Blog
Document management software allows companies to easily organize electronic files instead of fussing with paperwork. However, the dependence on physical reports may have supervisors seeing through rose-colored glasses, as many often believe paper is more reliable and efficient than electronic documents.

This penchant for tangible files can make corporate processes slow, unreliable, and at risk for human error. Instead, companies should consider researching ways to decrease the need for physical reports.

Here are five qualities of paperless document management that can encourage businesses to reduce paper usage in the work environment.

1. Digital signatures

Many seem to still fear digital signatures. This hesitation is because of discrepancies about their authenticity and security.

A report by AIIM reviewed the benefits of digital signatures and highlighted that they are just as legally binding as handwritten ones. Organizations no longer have to fear how whether the electronic signature will hold up within a contract.

The source added that many are lacking knowledge about digital signatures in general. They are beneficial, as signing with a pen and paper can make it difficult to determine forgery. Instead, e-signatures offer the opportunity to use usernames, passwords and other cybersecurity measures to ensure the signature is legitimate.

2. Environmental benefits

The Independent Tribune discussed how paper can overwhelm employees in the office. It comes in so many forms—including bills, forms, and receipts. These add up and those piles make trees.

According to the Conservatree, one ream of paper—or 500 sheets—uses 6% of a tree. Businesses have the chance to reduce their environmental impact by adopting document management software and eliminating paper entirely.

3. E-forms

Electronic files have many features businesses can use to their advantage. With document management software, reports can be customized in many ways.

There are annotations employees can use within these programs: words can be censored and only accessible to certain users, personalized with notes, or have stamps of approval.

4. Conversion and workflow

The system of converting physical documents into digital ones can be made into an efficient workflow system. Workflow helps employees use streamlined processes to get the job done.

Clients notice how much customer assistance improves when staff members have the opportunity to make their jobs faster and easier.

5. Organization and ease

When businesses use electronic forms, there’s less room for human error. AIIM noted that document management software provides drop down lists and fields to ensure employees enter detailed information properly.

The other option is stuffing documents into file folders for archival. Physical paperwork also needs to be updated and organized every few months. Electronic files don’t have to be touched after they’re entered into the system.

6. Efficiency

Document management software is not difficult to use. Although training may be necessary, employees quickly realize the benefits of using it.

Creating e-forms is all about making a system and having a step-by-step process staff members use everyday to convert their paper documents to digital. Once that is in place, the path for creating a paperless office is clear.

Wadih Pazos

Wadih founded PairSoft and PaperSave, and he currently advises non-profits on business process improvement and technology.

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