The term paperless office has been around for decades. However, it still isn’t a reality for a majority of businesses. Even with new digital technologies and pressing environmental implications, paper is a standard in almost all offices, in the form of printed documents, sticky notes, business cards and much more.
That being said, we can still make a effort to cut down on the use of paper. To help do this, here are some tips to reduce paper in the office:
Let’s face it; there’s an online solution for any problem, including the need to use less paper. There are a number of options when it comes to storing, and updating documents online including Google Drive, Evernote and Dropbox. Not only are you able to create those documents online, it also makes it easy to share them if needed. You also have the ability to access these documents across devices including mobile.
One reason as to why so much paper is used in an office is because employees may be unaware of other options. For example, beside the printing station, set up recycling bins, and an area to store paper that can still be used (ex. re-suing once used paper). Communicate to your employees that reusing paper is easy and should be a valid option before printing or using new paper.
Your desk is not the only place that could produce paper waster in an office. It may be also due to paper use in the kitchen. To reduce paper in the kitchen, consider replacing paper towels with cloth towels. Another area is to to provide dish drying racks by the sink, instead of using paper towels to dry dishes. Remember to keep you eyes open for other areas in the office that consume paper.
One of the biggest reasons someone may to choose to make notes on paper is to refer to that information while they work. If you have the resources to provide your employees with Dual or Multip-Monitor desk set-ups, it may help to reduce the amount of notes they take by hand. This solves the issue of having to flip back and forth between important information.
Another reason people may take hand written notes is to organize thier to-do list or brainstorm ideas. However, another great option to do this is with a whiteboard. These can be use instead in meetings and in groups or for jotting down individual tasks. Many of us enjoy the action of crossing out an item on a to-do list, and a whiteboard can provide the same satisfaction while reducing paper consumption.
See if it is possible to switch all business transactions to online. This can include salaries for your employees to eliminate pay-stubs. Conducting transactions will also ensure that all your past records are safely protected and reduces the risk of loosing important bills or pay information. Additionally, if you ever need to check older documents, they are much easier to access.
Although the tips mentioned above will take us one step towards a paperless office, it won’t necessarily completely eliminate paper consumption for businesses. However, if you do need to purchase paper, you have number of options to remain environmentally conscious while still getting quality paper products. For you next paper purchase, think about selecting paper that has been recycled.
Reducing paper in the office doesn’t have to be a huge task. A few small changes can make a big impact on how your business consumes paper.
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