Making the Paperless Transition a Team Effort

Wadih Pazos October 1, 2021

Document Workflow
Blog
When making the move to document management software, things aren’t always smooth sailing. Although the technology offers improved electronic workflow like the office has never seen, the transition process can be rocky for project managers. It can be easy to be overcome with scanning and organizing all the paper that belongs to a company. According to advocacy group The Paperless Project, the average employee spends about one-third of their day looking for the correct papers to be able to do their job – imagine what this mean for the project manager, who can’t possibly be familiar with the data stored in every department!

The solution, as with paperless document management, needs to involve team work. For the stressed-out manager trying to get a paperless system deployed, here are a few tips on how to involve your office employees without bringing down productivity.

Make team members accountable for their own paper

It should be made clear to everyone working at a given business that paperless is a final solution, and that they will be expected to learn and adapt to the new electronic workflow. Part of this responsibility is taking claim for their existing piles of paper accumulated from overuse of old copy machines and printers. There’s a high possibility that many of these documents will be necessary moving forward, but it should be up to the individual employee to determine what needs to be scanned into the system, and where these documents will be housed within the new infrastructure.

To expedite this process, project managers can increase electronic document workflow by presenting staffers with some general categories where digitized files will end up, and allow workers to essentially sort their own digitized data into the larger system. It will save time, make the team feel included in the effort and, most importantly, it will get rid of paper for good.

Implement long-term paper-saving solutions

Another fringe benefit of paperless office culture is the space saved, which opens new areas up that hadn’t been used in years. What better way to use this newfound room than by reinforcing the paperless office mission? CIO writer Paul Mah expanded on this useful best practice.

“While it’s decidedly low-tech, actively advocating a culture of reuse and recycling can modify prevailing attitudes toward paper usage,” he explained. “An empty box for collecting non-confidential documents for recycling can help, as do email signatures that discourage the unnecessary printing of emails messages.”

As with any major business change, some staff may resist change in favor of old, familiar processes using hard copies, but project managers should put their foot down in this regard. The only way a new system will deploy effectively is if all members of staff are fully on board and willing to engage with the document management software, because it is designed to optimize organization and collaboration. With a little discipline and a lot of productivity, employees will soon see what makes the paperless office such an undeniably positive business idea.

Wadih Pazos

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

View all posts by Wadih Pazos
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