A study by the US Environmental Protection Agency estimated that the average US office worker generates two pounds of paper every day.
As well as contributing to environmental problems, like deforestation and the production of greenhouse gas, paper production also harms your bottom line through the costs of constant printing and the time spent printing.
Countless hours spent copying, printing and scanning by your employees also wastes valuable time and results in unnecessary costs.
It doesn’t take much calculating to estimate the cost to your business every day due to paper production.
if you are looking to reduce the amount of paper used in your office, we recommend the following:
Only print when absolutely necessary
Many employees feel that they need several copies of paper to refer to in meetings. This may be to refer back to certain points, or just to make the person feel comfortable that their work is backed up by the figures and statistics in front of them.
To avoid this, only print the essentials and consider making notes for the meeting and setting a strict agenda.
It’s likely that the majority of written material brought to a meeting will never be discussed, particularly if it’s several pages in length.
Brevity can be difficult, but keeping to a strict agenda with concise notes will allow your meetings to go much more smoothly and
Reduce communication by letter
Letters can take days to come through, and once printed the recipient only has one copy.
Factor this in with the chance of the letter going missing, or being lost amongst a pile of junk mail, the risk of your recipient not receiving your letter is much higher than with electronic forms of transport.
Whilst this is unavoidable in many cases, for official documents for example, it’s not that necessary to communicate via letter for general communications.
The time and resources saved from stopping this can be a huge benefit to your business.
It may be hard to believe but even in the present day, many businesses choose to communicate primarily by mail. If you factor in the average number of written communications sent by a business every day, this soon adds up to a large cost.
Get a digital signature program
One of the biggest advantages of letters is the ease of signing documents.
However, several programs now exist which allow you to sign digital documents. Easy Signature and Docusign are two softwares that allow you to do this.
Digital bills and invoicing
There are several benefits to setting up online billing and invoicing. As well as reducing the use of paper and speeding up the process, you will have a digital record of every transaction, bill and invoice.
Scan your old documents
Another step in reducing the amount paper in your office is scanning your old documents.
The constant production of paper documents also creates a space issue. Filing cabinets and boxes eventually take up lots of valuable floorspace, which will increase in cost as time goes by.
We accept that it can be highly impractical trying to organise your office documents and it’s essential for some paper records to be kept.
However, it’s not just the cost you will be saving with converting your documents.
It could take you hours to sift through a stack of papers looking for one particular letter.
You might even spend a considerable amount of money paying one of your employees to do it.
If your documents are archived digitally, you could retrieve the same information in a matter of seconds.
Security issues are an issue with digital documents, and is a particular concern with some industries where confidentiality is an absolute priority such as the medical and legal sectors.
However , You can’t password protect or encrypt a paper document, it can only be protected physically. Once it’s in someone’s hands there is nothing stopping them from reading it.
Numerous security solutions are available for digital documents, and secure systems can be developed for archiving these documents with advanced encryption.
If managed correctly, converting your confidential paper documents to digital can actually provide an increased security benefit.
At MBS we have successfully delivered quality document scanning services to businesses and organisations for decades.