If Your Human Resources Department Went Paperless

It is common knowledge that human resources departments go through a lot of paper while carrying out their organizational duties. Some estimates claim they use about 10 times as much paper as the average office worker does. If the Federal Government claims the title of the largest consumer of paper in the U.S., human resources departments across the nation as a group probably don’t fall too far behind.

Going Paperless

The subject of going paperless is not a new one for HR professionals. Making the switch to a paperless document management solution can seem like a daunting task. This is completely understandable, but any way you slice it, there are just too many benefits to going paperless to ignore it any longer.

The cost savings of going paperless have prompted the U.S. government to transform many age old practices. Savings bonds are now available only in digital format. Social security checks will soon be replaced by automatic electronic credit. It is time for corporate community to follow this example by taking up the initiative to go paperless as well.

  • Cost Saving—Switching to electronic data management saves money in many ways. There is no longer any need to keep spending on paper, ink, printing supplies, etc. There is also no longer a need to invest in equipment such as printers or copy machines. There is no need to employ staff to do the filing or for materials such as folders, binders, and file cabinets. All of the money saved in these various areas can add up to substantial savings year after year when you go paperless (see this infographic for more cost saving details).
  • Space Saving—Going paperless eliminates the need for shelving and filing cabinets to store data in paper form. These storage facilities take up enormous space in the office, on your desk, or in the warehouse for some organizations. Switching to digital data management systems can free up much needed real estate in your work environment.
  • Operational Efficiency—Accessing data is easy and quick when the information is stored electronically. Searching through files and folders and going through papers for vital information may take hours of work by a team of people. However, searching through electronically stored data can be completed in minutes by a single person. The time saved here can be optimally used by the employee elsewhere, where his contribution can make a marked difference to the firm’s bottom line. Plus, when information is available with ease, processes that follow can be carried out without delay, which further enhances the HR department’s efficiency levels.
  • Ease of Researching—HR work often involves a good deal of research. This can become a hugely labor- and time-intensive task if all the records are in paper form. Going paperless and digital makes researching past cases incredibly easy.

There is simply no doubt that by going paperless, your HR department is bound to start making a difference in your company’s bottom line, in addition to doing their bit for the environment. There is no legal requirement that will cause companies to switch to digital data right now, but given the savings they can have, it would be a crime not to make the switch to a paperless document management solution.