With today’s technology, it is possible for every business to go paperless. No more overflowing file cabinets, lost documents, or tons of papers stacked on your desk. Instead, you can arrange all your office documents in a digital format and store your records on a server, NAS, or cloud account for easy access and retrieval. However, going paperless isn’t for everyone. Before deciding if your small business should go paperless you first must understand the pros and cons of a paperless office.
Pros for Going Paperless
- Environmentally Friendly Office: Having a paperless office would help reduce 25% of paper in our landfills today. If you just reduced your paper usage in your office by 10% you could help prevent millions of tons of greenhouse gases. Furthermore, you will no longer need to dispose of ink cartridges or spend money on electricity to run your printers.
- Save Money: A paperless office can save you money each month. You no longer need to purchase paper, ink cartridges, envelopes, postage, and other office supplies. Furthermore, you can save money on office space for storing your supplies and large file cabinets.
- Easy Access to Important Documents: All your company’s important documents are digitized. Therefore, you have access to your documents through your cloud account or remote desktop. Therefore, you have more freedom to work away from the office and your important notes for your meeting are just a download away.
- Easy File Organization: Digitized documents are easy to file and organize on your computer. You no longer have to worry about filing papers in a file cabinet and having a problem finding them again.
Cons for Going Paperless
- Hard Drive Failure: If all your important business documents are stored on your hard drive and if your system fails you have lost all your documents. Therefore, if you decide to go paperless your computers need a safe and secure off-site backup.
- Document Security: Digital documents can’t be protected by a lock and key. Furthermore, if your employees remove a digital document from your office, your company is at risk if their computer, tablet, or smartphone is stolen. Therefore, you need to consider encryption, data handling policies, and document restrictions before going paperless.
- Office Procedure: When an office goes paperless, they need to review all their current office procedures. Therefore, you must consider adequate alternatives for signing documents, security of documents, and document handling. Furthermore, your office personnel will need training for the new paperless system and data security.
- Takes Time: Before an office goes paperless there are many factors to consider which take time to implement. Furthermore, you need to change your company’s operational procedures to support a paperless office.
It is easier for some small businesses to go paperless than others. A new business owner has the perfect opportunity to start his company off paperless. But, an existing business has many problems to consider, procedures to implement, and security to worry about. Going paperless isn’t for all businesses, but reducing the paper in your office can easily be accomplished with a few minor changes.