More than 400 million tonnes of paper is produced each year1, making it the fifth largest consumer of energy worldwide2. In Australia alone, we use an average of 230kg of paper per person per year, with 50% of that paper ending up as garbage. Considering it takes a staggering 90,000 litres of water to produce one tonne of virgin paper3, it’s clear we need to rethink the way we use paper at work.
In addition to reducing our impact on climate change and protecting the environment for generations to come, there are a range of business benefits to going paperless in the workplace. The transition can take time, particularly for large organisations, but with the right leadership and technology solutions, it can be a simple and streamlined process.
Benefits of Using Virtual Workplace Tools
- They support Activity Based Working and allow staff to be more agile.
- They increase productivity by ensuring documents are easier to store, find and share.
- They increase collaboration among teams, particularly those spread across vast geographical areas.
- They protect your business from physical disasters such as fire or flood, which can destroy paper.
- They enhance the security of sensitive documents by limiting access to files.
- They reduce costs associated with printing, filing and storage of hard copy documents.
- They reduce clutter and enhance the look and functionality of your office.
- They reduce your carbon footprint and make your office more sustainable.
If you’re ready to take the next step, here are the top five virtual workplace tools you’ll need to transition to a paperless office.
It’s important to start with the basics. Does everyone have access to a computer, laptop or tablet? Do they need dual monitor arms so they can view more than one screen at a time? Understanding the hardware that staff need to work with digital files will help them become more efficient and productive.
Another fundamental need that is often overlooked by many companies is a strong, fast internet connection. It should have the capacity to upload and download significant file sizes, without compromising other communication tools like emails and website browsing.
Scanning files is an easy way to reduce clutter and storage, while retaining important documents. You can physically scan files in the office, use one of the many scanner apps available, or outsource the job to a company that specialises in enterprise-scale scanning and digitising of documents and other file types.
4. Virtual Note Taker
Virtual note-taking tools like OneNote or Evernote allow you to scan or import documents, make notes or collaborate with others online, then archive the file without printing a single piece of paper. They can be used on any device and platform, and even allow you to import information from emails and other files.
5. Archiving Software
Digital archiving not only protects your business from physical threats, it allows you to store, search, retrieve and share documents quickly and easily. There are many options available, whether you use a small-scale solution like Dropbox or Google Docs, or an enterprise solution that’s custom designed for your business.
If you’re looking for technology solutions that will help you transition to a paperless office, contact the team at Axiom Projects today.