Organisations increasingly want to reduce their reliance on paper, and whilst it might not be possible at the moment to eliminate every piece of paper, there are some good ideas that can help organisations on this journey. I wouldn't go as far as calling this "ten easy steps to a paperless office" but there are ten ideas and some of them might suit your organisation, and be relatively easy to implement:
- Report on individual printing numbers monthly, and encourage colleagues at the top to reduce their printing quantity for the next month.
- Remove all fax machines, unless absolutely essential. But start the conversation with those using fax machines to consider email as an alternative.
- Reduce the number of printers within your organisation, and also consider reducing the quality of the printers. Essentially aim to make printing less convenient and more of a chore.
- Request paperless invoices, statements etc.
- Introduce more scanners within the building, or on work phones, encouraging colleagues to download apps so that any paper as it hits a desk is automatically turned electronic.
- Look into creating a policy which accepts and encourages electronic signatures.
- Work with an organisation like Restore to make scanned documents editable but with OCR and RPA added to ensure the information stored in a PDF works harder.
- Create a policy around electronic notebooks for meetings to stop everyone using paper pads.
- Digitalise archived paper files so that the whole organisation, including legacy work is electronic. This helps to create a culture that supports a paperless organisation.
- Remove paper at source - e.g. create a digital mailroom where all paper letters are collated with faxes, emails etc and this information is scanned where necessary; indexed and then pushed out electronically to the correct parts of an organisation.
If you want to chat to me about implementing any of these ideas, or brainstorm the old adage that everyone wants their organisation to change, as long as they themselves don't have to, feel free to get in touch; firstname.lastname@example.org