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Striving Towards a Fully Paper-Free Workplace

The benefits of going "paper-free" are well-documented - could your workplace be doing more?

Going without paper in any busy work environment may still seem impossible, yet more and more companies are striving to be eco-friendlier and reducing paper use is key to this. As long ago as 1975 articles were being published to suggest that paper use in the office would decline and be almost non-existent by 1990. While this isn’t the case, we should all be striving towards reducing paper use.

Shocking figures from the US actually show that paper use has increased by up to 400% and people are using more paper than ever, despite the fact it simply isn’t necessary with more technology available ensuring we simply do not need printed sheets, files and documents. The use of paper over plastic has been heralded as positive in reducing pollution and environmental impact, but there are ways to reduce the use of both and create cleaner, tidier and more productive workplaces.

Why Create a Paper-Free Workplace?

Postal mail has been replaced by text and email, so workers have moved away from paper in this instance, but this isn’t always the case in the traditional office. Phones and tablets are always at hand for information on a personal basis, but this isn’t always the case when it comes to work files. Some of the concern is that businesses don’t feel that digital office environments are secure enough but often it’s simply a case of not moving as quickly as the times. Below are some real benefits of going paperless at work:

Boost Productivity

Electronic and digital workplaces are usually much more productive than working on paper. Files are instantly available, and this reduces the chance of files being lost, delays in sharing and more than one person can access them without the need for several printouts. Multiple people can work on the same documents at the same time and co-working becomes much easier.

Save Costs

Keeping the business in the green is a key focus for all and finding ways to keep costs down is an essential daily task for the senior leaders within the company. Thousands of sheets of paper and the related ink and equipment adds up over the year and while it may not be meant to cause a huge cost to the business, removing this issue altogether ensures it doesn’t become an overwhelming expense. What’s more, without reams of paper and files around the workplace, there is no need for bulky storage furniture and filing cabinets, which also come at a cost.

Security and File Safety

While business owners may be worried about entrusting all their precious files and secure information to online sources, networks and cloud storage options, it is actually much safer than paper. Digital records can be rendered unreadable with the right encryption software and you can limit the possibility of taking sensitive files away from the work environment much more easily than with paper. Audit trails can also reveal an discrepancies and ensure a much more secure workplace environment and improved data security.

Minimize Clutter and Improve Accessibility

We’ve already documented the dangers of clutter in the workplace but files and papers often make up the bulk of this clutter. Minimizing paper and files spread across the workplace helps to create a safer and cleaner working environment. Digital access to files is much more effective and removes all physical accessibility issues and clutter problems. As paper piles it becomes a hazard and keeping on top of the cleaning and managing the office is much more difficult. Even your professional cleaning team will struggle if you insist on keeping a huge amount of paper on site, especially when it isn’t necessary.

A Greener Future for the Modern Workplace

As a company committed to green cleaning practices and a more sustainable Philadelphia, Penn-Jersey work to ensure all our clients have an eco-friendly work environment. This means we can help with the cleaning and management of old papers and files, creating a safer and more productive work environment for all.

“Going Paper-Free” can be a slow process but making small changes is a great start and will allow your business to function more effectively, more efficiently and without the risks that come with the clutter of files and paper around the workplace.

Photo by Marius Masalar on Unsplash