The biggest reason paperless offices mean less time at the office is that a paperless office leads to increased efficiency. This is accomplished in 2 ways:
1. Less time to find information.
2. Less time to process information.
Of course, there are many other ways that a paperless office can lead to increased efficiency and less time at the office. Let’s take a look at some of the specifics.
Less time spent at the copier:
Did you know that the average document is copied 9 – 11 times? This can result in millions of pages of paper, and a lot of time spent in front of the copy machine. When you have a paperless office you can save time by simply hitting a button on your keyboard, rather than standing in front of a copier, then distributing memos, newsletters, and other information that employees need to see, but likely won’t keep.
Less time spent on document revision (including fixing unnecessary revisions):
A paperless office that uses an electronic filing system can save time by tracking revisions made to documents, and saving them as drafts. This allows users to see already made changes, and accept or decline them, rather than have to transfer them from paper to the electronic copy. In addition, if revisions are made that do not work, it is easy to go back to an earlier version.
Less time communicating information:
A paperless office means sending information electronically. Use emails instead of fax or mailed letters. Not only is it better for the environment, and reduces paper waste, it is faster. Paperless systems for filing reduce unnecessary forms, labor, and hassle with communication. Electronic documents can be shared electronically via email, shared servers, a cloud system, posted on websites, etc., all which streamline communication and document workflow.
Less time looking for files:
What happens when Tom, Dick, and Harry are out on a family vacation, and you need the file they have been working on? What if their computer is password protected, or you can’t figure out the name they saved a document under? An electronic filing system eliminates these problems, making documents more accessible, and providing for quick, easy retrieval, even when you don’t know the name of the document. You can locate an electronic document quickly through a file search, which can search content, not just file name.
Less time spent on security:
Security is one of the big benefits of a paperless office, as it is much more enforceable with electronic documents than paper. Electronic filing systems can be set up by department, providing access only to those authorized to see certain documents. Because of how these documents are stored, they are more difficult to hack. Having secure documents means not spending nearly as much time at the office worrying about security.
Printing is still an option with electronic content, and having a paperless office doesn’t mean you actually have to have no paper; but having an electronic document management system will increase workflow and efficiency, requiring you to spend less time at the office.