More and more companies and organizations around the world are increasingly eliminating – or at least significantly reducing – the use and consumption of paper supplies in the office. For many of them, this goes beyond mere ecological concerns for the environment – though there are those, too, of course – a paperless office is tidier, more organized, and saves a lot of money on office supplies (paper, notebooks, calendars, printers, ink cartridges, etc.) in the long run.
So let’s explore some of these reasons in greater detail.
You Are Making a Positive Impact on the Environment
When it comes to the environment, every little bit counts – and that starts with personal responsibility and accountability. Because, as much as we may deny it, humans have had a profound effect (unfortunately, a mostly negative one) on the planet we live on.
Paper manufacturing is one of the leading causes of deforestation, with an area roughly the size of Panama being permanently cleared out each year. While the majority of this is done for farming and housing purposes, a lot of trees are also cut down to produce paper.
So if your brand is one of ethical, clean living, you should definitely consider doing this.
More Space in the Office
Freeing up space is always an issue in any busy, crowded office. Tables and workstations are often moved around to make more room for another colleague, or new appliances. So, not having to worry about where you will have to place those massive filing cabinets to house all your paperwork is yet another plus to going paperless.
While some of that paperwork will, for legal reasons, have to be stored as in physical copy form, you will soon find that the vast majority of it is better off being kept in digital form, stored on servers and free hosting services such as Dropbox and Google Drive.
Less Paper Clutter Means Less Chaos
When our desks are cluttered, so are our thoughts. We waste time trying to find just the right paper with just the right information on it. We scribble a reminder on the back of some random piece of paper and then completely forget about it.
By employing digital notes, or software that has built-in reminder features, we can clear away all those papers that slowly pile up and eventually take over our desks. You would be surprised how much easier it is to navigate in our professional work if we don’t have to worry about misplacing, misfiling, or even losing non-essential documents.
Involve Everyone in the Office and Take it Gradually
To begin with, you should inform everyone about your plans to gradually phase out the use of paper in the office. Of course, you won’t be able to completely eliminate all use of paper, but you can surely aim for at least an 80% overall decrease.
This can’t – and shouldn’t – happen overnight. Just like with any other habit, it takes time to get used to storing files online and using other apps instead of writing things down. But if you stick with it, you will find that the pros far outweigh the cons.