How to Become a Paperless Business in 2020
Being an environmentally responsible business is no longer a novelty - it's a necessity.
10:24 17 February 2020
Not only are the regulations surrounding eco-friendly manufacturing practices ever-changing, but consumers are paying more attention as well.
Going paperless is one of the most effective ways to reduce your business's carbon footprint while improving your bottom line. It can also streamline your business practices to create a more modern organization that's ready to take on the future. Here are tips for becoming a paperless business in 2020.
Transition to Online Faxing
Learning how to fax from computer programs rather than having to print everything and scan it is a game-changer. With online faxing, you no longer have to worry about busy signals, getting your documents mixed in with someone else's or worrying about sharing sensitive data.
Furthermore, switching to eFax will reduce paper waste and toner consumption that go hand-in-hand with traditional faxing. Making this change will help you keep on top of invoices and contracts, whether you're in the office or at a conference halfway around the world.
Use Cloud-Based Storage and Sharing
One of the biggest challenges businesses face when considering going paperless is essential document storage. It's an unfortunate reality that the government and other regulatory bodies require a paper trail. If your business experiences an audit, you need to be able to locate and present proof of invoices, journal entries, etc.
To circumvent this issue, make the shift to cloud-based storage and sharing. By doing so, you'll be able to keep documents stored online and organized systematically for quick access. Not only will this transition help you go paperless, but it will make your task easier should an issue arise. Rather than having someone sort through file folders of paper invoices, you can use keywords to search and find precisely what you need.
Implement Instant Messaging Tools
For internal office communication, email is considered a big time-waster each day. Implementing instant messaging tools can help with quick file sharing without printing on paper. Using these tools will not only increase productivity, but it will also prevent the loss of important documents, which leads to more printing and consumption.
Slack is the best instant messaging tool for businesses. It allows you to set up separate threads based on different departments or projects, as well as private messaging capabilities for one-on-one discussions. There are also numerous integrations to help with project management and even planning company lunches. Slack is a tool built to make a paperless world convenient and profitable.
Switch to Digital Receipts
There are plenty of posts online that show the sheer amount of waste that comes as a result of receipt printing. CVS is notorious for printing receipts reaching up to six feet in length.
If you have a physical store location, consider shifting to digital receipts. As Apple Pay and applications like Square become more common for transactions, the world will eventually shift in this direction as it is. Additionally, as online banking is more prominent than in the past, many people take receipts out of habit.
On the other side of the equation, businesses that don't have a retail presence can also shift to digital invoicing and payment reminders.
Choose Laptops Over Desktops
To create a business culture that thrives on paperless operations, choose laptops over desktops. This is a tactical decision that makes it easier for employees to embrace the digital ecosystem, as they'll be able to take digital information with them rather than relying on printed copies.
If switching to laptops isn't feasible currently, consider getting a bank of tablets that your employees can sign out when they want to work from home or are heading out to an important meeting.
Modern business is paperless. Start by making small shifts toward a paperless environment while investing in cybersecurity to keep your business safe.