Make Your Workspace Paper-Free – Working Towards a Greener Earth
So it was Monday morning, and my boss wanted to see me right away. Tensed by the urgency of his tone, I assumed something was serious enough to cause apprehension. As I made my way through the doorway and entered his office, I found him looking for something under his desk. Making him aware that I was there was all he needed to enquire about where I had placed the payment receipt for the invoice issued by our recent vendor.
I told him I left it on his desk, placing the paperweight on top and notifying him about it as he left the office after the day's work to check first thing in the morning. None of what I said made sense to him as he was agitated to find the important receipt. As we both got on to continue searching for it, we wasted almost the whole of the Monday morning in the utterly unplanned activity.
Sounds familiar, right? It is relatable enough for you to understand how often we all can misplace our documents and spend an indefinite amount of time locating it. Well, all this hassle can be avoided if our offices go paper-free.
According to a research estimate, employees can lose as much as 40% of their time looking for paper files and documents. Not only this results in an utter waste of resourceful time as described above, but it also makes are data vulnerable to exposure. Today, over 80% of small to medium-sized businesses are looking to paper-free to cut out such inefficiencies, costs and reduce waste.
So considering the numbers, as a business owner, if you feel that it is high time to go paperless to increase work efficiency and enhance management, then look no further.
Here I have listed down ten useful tips for you to go paper-free in your workspace easily. You can use it to instruct your vendors as well.
Technology has advanced leaps and bounds in the past decades. You do not require extra special equipment for scanning bills and receipts anymore. Especially if you are a startup business and budgeting is essential, then you can slowly progress towards a paperless workspace with the help of your smartphones. Our smartphones now come with the best quality cameras and built-in software to scan QR codes, texts, bills, and receipts for safekeeping, mobility, and easy access.
Many banks now provide this feature in their policies called e-statements. When you open your account with them, you are given an option where you can request an e-statement instead of the monthly document delivered to your address. This not only helps you go paperless but also the banking organization.
Also, you can request an e-statement almost any time of the month rather than waiting for it to arrive by the end of it. It makes budgeting, fact-checking, and keeping records easier than all the bulk load of files, invoices, and transactional notes you have to keep safe for the same purpose.
Ask your managers and other employees to use note-taking apps on their laptops and smartphones instead of keeping actual paper notebooks with them. It dramatically reduces the burden of carrying a notebook around as you always have your phone with you. It makes taking notes and keeping records of essential pointers easier and more efficient.
You can readily pull out your notes on your phone to repeat anything important during a meeting or presentation. You can use apps to make daily to-do lists, agendas, and event planners through digital calendars than using the old fashioned way of having a table calendar.
Digitizing your documents as a backup or a Plan B to keep them safe is great, but why to not use it as a Plan A? It is safe, clean, and efficient to digitize your documents instead of getting into the paperwork and documentation of things. You can now even create your digital signature and sign those important documents like contracts, policies, and vendor bills all on your computer.
It saves loads of space, keeps important information safe, and allows easy access to it whenever you would want. You can just pull up a document and check for the data rather than waste your time first looking for it.
The next logical step from digitizing your documents is to upload it on your cloud server. Integrating a cloud server system is the best way to keep your corporate documents safe and secure. It allows data security and mobility.
You get real-time access to all your older and current records, as well as complete control over who you allow. Cloud computing also provides unlimited data storage, depending on the contract you sign with your cloud computing service provider. It even helps if you have remote employees.
Many people will argue that printing is crucial for their mode of business. There are hundreds of documents every week that need to printed, signed, and filed for safe record keeping. But in order to go paper-free, try working around printing. When you access an efficient cloud server and upload your necessary documentation on it, there will be little to no need to print the new ones you get.
If your coworking space can't completely avoid printing, read this useful guide on how to introduce an efficient, eco-friendly cloud printing solution.
Also, digitization of your signature helps mainly because we feel the need to print documents is to sign them with our credentials officially. But once that is not an issue, you can easily operate without a printer.
Thinking about what to do when it comes to credit card receipts and bill payments, well, there is an app for that. In fact, you can find many apps for both Android and iOS to accommodate you. The apps would help to scan your cards or take your information to pay the bills.
Learn more about:
- Best Payment Software for Billing & Invoicing at a Coworking Space
- Payment System for a Coworking Space
- Charge Card — the Next Level of Coworking Payment Methods Usability
There are also many virtual wallets available that exist separate from bank accounts. It is not only going paperless but also technically cashless as you start making most of your payments through such applications.
It can be challenging as a coworking business owner to get your whole team on the same page when it comes to making decisions against the norm. Despite being aware of the environment's current situation, people don't take it as seriously to go paper-free for a better, greener Earth. Your advantage is that you are the boss and you make the decisions so you can easily incentivize this opportunity.
Put forth bonuses, gift cards, and other gifts on the line for employees (and members) who go paper-free for the upcoming month. Align a score structure to see who makes copies and prints more often and announce results at the end of the month. You'll have healthy competition as well as a paperless workspace in no time.
Integrating a project management system will be an upscale and more advanced upgrade than others we have mentioned on this list. If you are already in an established business and your functionality would not suffer much then, you can go for it. It makes work efficient to be distributed among employees without involving any paperwork. You can even manage your remote employees very efficiently with a project management system by allowing them remote access on the mutual company platform.
Lastly, a complete shift of change is a big step in any type of business, but it would create long-lasting benefits. Upgrading to newer, more environment-friendly technology is the best way to go paper-free and yet be significantly efficient and relevant in the market at the same time. Older technologies and equipment were detrimental to the environment, even though they were advanced and worked seamlessly.
Pro tip: Reject pen and paper approach to bookings, adopt awesome member-friendly coworking space software that will integrate all other apps you use, and allow members book, pay, and apply for all your services remotely.
However, as science has evolved and improved over time, it has created more awareness for people to do better. Now it is our responsibility to do our part where we discard the old technology and upgrade to a better, paper-free version of operations.
Many more prominent and globally renowned companies (Nimble, Maxwell Health, Bank of America) have started working towards a paper-free office then ask yourself, why can't you become one of the pioneer coworking brands contributing to environmental protection.
Adopting digital tools is a great way to start with a lower budget and high efficiency. However, going completely paper-free would be a gradual process, but once you start, staying consistent on your path in the key.
Schedule a demo call with andcards coworking space app to learn how it can digitalize your workspace.
Eradicate step by step things that might be causing you to not give up, for instance, old documents, records, routine paperwork, documentation for financial reasons, etc. You would find it smooth sailing for then onwards.
The article was written by Samantha Kayle. She is currently working as a Planning Manager at Crowd Writer, one of the best dissertation writing services UK. Samantha is a strong advocate for saving the environment and keeping it pollution-free. She regularly writes about her opinions in this regard on her blog.