We’ve become obsessed with the idea of paper and documents being part of our lives without asking ourselves the question of how relevant it needs to be.
We lose so much precious work time when we go searching for a lost paper on a cluttered desk. One international survey showed that information workers lose up to two hours a week searching for lost digital documents. Other studies show that employees can lose as much as 40% of their time looking for paper files.
Aside from the time wasted, there is huge paper waste with a US study showing that 45% of the paper printed in offices ends up in the bin by the end of the day – accounting for more than a trillion sheets of paper per year, worldwide. There’s a whole host of benefits to eliminating paper from your workspace:
A cluttered workspace has been proven to negatively impact employee productivity, creating a distracting environment to work in – especially when your desk is so cluttered you can’t find things when you need them. Improved document workflow means you can access documents exactly as and when you need them, saving you valuable time throughout the day to focus on your work. An example is invoicing. Paper invoices are not the most efficient way to bill customers. You spend a lot of time writing, printing, and sending invoices on paper. And, you spend money on the paper, envelopes, and postage.
Reducing the amount of paper your office uses means you’ll need to shake up many of your business processes but paper accounts for 26% of total waste from a landfill so by going paperless you are certainly doing your bit for the environment.. Before you can begin your journey to use less paper though, you need to think deeply about where there is unnecessary day-to-day paper consumption. Paper can be cut from so many office tasks. Do any of the following apply to you?
- Printing out emails.
- Photocopying files for office distribution.
- Printing presentation outlines.
- Using paper notepads.
- Mailing letters.
- Receiving paper bank statements and invoices.
Work with each department in your office to identify the biggest culprit tasks for excessive paper use and use these as the basis for developing your paperless office strategy.
How many times have you tried to find something on your desk and you couldn’t? Having a paperless desk saves you time so that you can spend it efficiently on productive activities. Not having to dig through filing cabinets to find documents means always having information at your fingertips and more time to spend on strategic work.
Cut overall costs
Some collaboration tools are free or low cost. These kinds of applications reduce the amount of paper your employees print, saving you money. With online cloud sharing apps, employees don’t need to print paper every time they want to share information. A paperless workplace doesn’t mean you need to completely overhaul your operations but a few adjustments to your processes could save you money on overhead expenses.
Albert Einstein famously quipped, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” As well as the time and paper wasted, cluttered spaces can have negative effects on our stress and anxiety levels, as well as our ability to focus, our eating choices, and even our sleep. Interestingly, scientists at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute have used fMRI and other approaches to show that our brains like order, and that constant visual reminders of dis-organisation drain our cognitive resources and reduce our ability to focus.
Do you need help decluttering your paper office? Let LeanBPI help! Chat with us today to begin your paperless journey and drive efficiency for your business.