A Guide to Creating a Paperless Office

A Guide to Creating a Paperless Office post images
Image courtesy of Matt Ridley

Written By : Jordan Beaumont

Posted 08/04/2022

Save paper, save the planet, and save yourself the admin headache! Going paperless is about more than just reducing your footprint. It’s the easiest, most cost-effective and most environmentally responsible way to streamline your business.

As a web and app design agency that has achieved amazing results for clients with our bespoke systems, we’ve seen first-hand what benefits an automated, paperless office can bring.

From business process automation tools and app development to changing workplace culture, here are some ways you can cut back on paper.

Firstly, change your way of thinking

Before you create your plan for going paperless, it’s important to assess attitudes and mindsets within your business (including your own).

Digitalisation is a culture, not just a concept for transformation. In order to nurture a digital culture, you have to provide teams with the right tools and knowledge…..the latter being key in convincing everyone in your organisation of the benefits.

If you need a powerful way to deliver the message, there are some stats you can use to promote a paperless office. For instance, did you know that workers can lose up to 40% of their time looking for paper files? And around 20% of all print jobs are never even picked up from the printer?

Automate business processes

The next step is to look at which business processes can be automated. By automating paper-based processes, you can reduce manual paperwork and create auditable records that can be accessed easily at any time.

Paper processes also kill your productivity, so automation is a great investment, saving you time and money, and helping your teams work smarter.

Here’s an example of how we helped our client, DSEC Rail, simplify and automate business processes for their admin, engineer and management teams. We developed an intuitive business management system that helped DSEC Rail achieve the following:

  • Streamlined operations
  • Reduced admin time for workers
  • Higher productive ‘on the job’ time
  • Auditable health and safety compliance

Digitise your documents

If your company relies heavily on paper, you’ll need a full paper audit to assess what documents need to be recorded, and which can be discarded. To create a seamless system that doesn’t slow your employees down, create a digital filing system that is easy to use, with consistent and standardised file names and folders.

You should also take your faxes online, enable digital scanners, and use digital agreements and e-signatures instead of printed documents.

Remember though, digitising documents at work is a team effort. So make it easy for your teams to access the tools they need – otherwise people will just end up returning to their old habits.

Use online invoicing

As well as digitising internal documents and contracts, you can also adopt online invoicing. With our bespoke app development service, we can help you create a paperless office with an in-built invoicing system.

We can automate the invoicing process too, which reduces admin time for businesses across every industry and sector. We’ve seen this work particularly well for appliance repair and field engineer businesses, where app design has been proven to save up to three hours per day for staff members!

Enable digital note-taking

Try to encourage digital note-taking by providing employees with tablets and laptops. While many people still prefer handwritten notes in meetings, there are some benefit of digital note-taking to bear in mind:

  • Digital notes can be edited easily (and can include multiple editors)
  • Digital notes can be instantly shared with other team members
  • Digital notes can be styled and formatted for presentation purposes

There are arguments for writing by hand (for instance, it can improve memory and recall), but many tablets come with a stylus to allow for hand note-taking. For some businesses, there may be some instances where paper is still important, such as for brainstorming sessions. But the key is striking the right balance, and removing paper from the equation wherever possible.

Do you want to move to a paperless office with bespoke system and app development? We can help you automate business processes and future-proof your business in a time of digital transformation.

Identify Digital is a forward-thinking app development company with years of experience in app design and system development. To chat about your requirements, call 01924 911 333 or fill in our online enquiry form.

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