Is a paper free office achieveable?
Are you striving for a paper free office but drowning under piles of documents?
The quest to become a completely paper free office is not an easy one. Thankfully simple, gradual changes mean that you’ll not only save money but help the environment too.
What is a paper free office?
The term ‘paper free’ means the usage of digital data rather than printed material in an office to conduct business. For example, in previous years a document would be printed out, faxed or posted to a client for approval. Today we have access to email and scanners to send to customers, to save time, resources and postage. Electronic filing systems mean we’re able to minimise the amount of paper we use. This allows us to help save trees and ultimately the environment.
Benefits of paperless
A paper free office helps to reduce the chance of a document being physically misfiled and saves time searching for a paper document. Documents are filed electronically and if misfiled, they can be easily searched for and located. There’s also the freedom accessing a document via cloud storage systems, allowing staff to work remotely.
The environmental impact of a paper free office is also prominent. Preserving a precious resource such as paper prevents millions of trees being felled every year, along with saving water that would be used in the production process.
How can you reduce your paper consumption?
Simply think before you click on the print icon! Could you send or read a document electronically rather than printing it? Could you print office policies just once for all see rather than everyone printing out the same document? Switching to electronic payslips and creating online portals for employees to gain access to HR documents is another easy way of reducing paper.
Will we ever be have a paper free office?
Whilst you can take steps to cutting down on your paper waste at work, there are still many sectors that rely on paper records such as legal, estate agents and governments. These documents need to be retained for a set period of time. Most companies keep paper documents for a specific time period and then shred any out of date records once scanned in and documented electronically. For these companies, paper is still a vital way of keeping important records.
Plus, despite our quest for a paper free workplace, there’s still a strong demand for printed material. Whilst the popularity of e-books and online catalogues has increased over the last few years, the fact is some people simply prefer to browse through a brochure rather than shop online. In the age of electronic communication, we all secretly love to receive a letter or card in the post!
What can you do with paper waste?
The most environmentally and secure way of disposing of your paper waste is to send it to be shredded by a paper shredding company. All paper waste is securely stored until collection to eliminate the risk of a data breach, then either shredded in a mobile shredding truck or taken to a depot to be fed into an industrial paper shredder. All pieces of shredded material are then baled and transported to a paper mill to be mixed with new fibres and turned into paper or other paper products.