Flying cars and the paperless office have something in common. They’re both advancements that people expected technology to bring about by now. But our tires are still firmly on the ground and offices are still using paper, though much less than they used to.
Someone once said, “Bathrooms will be paperless before the office is.” It’s true that in some industries paper documents are still vitally important, such as when paperwork is faxed for signature to complete a home purchase.
But, for many industries a major change has taken place over the last 20 years to significantly reduce the amount of paper files have with digital documents instead. This saves organizations money and helps the planet too.
According to Boost by ADP, 50% to 70% of office space is typically devoted to storing paper files.
They also noted that companies spend the equivalent of $80 per employee on paper annually. Going paperless has been a major initiative in many organizations, from banks that push paperless statements to retailers who offer to email you the receipt instead of printing it out.
Our Clockwork Networks team has also seen this trend with our customers in Castle Rock, CO that are subject to HIPAA compliance. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulates the privacy and security of patient medical information.
Security “danger zones” that revolve around paper files and HIPAA compliance include when they are faxed, scanned, and printed. Digital files are often easier to secure as long as you have the right computer repair and IT service company helping you with digital security.
What Are the Benefits of Going Paperless?
Many businesses do understand the benefits to their organization for gong paperless, but it’s still easier said than done. 92% of organizations say that using less paper is a constant objective, but only 17% say they are “mostly” paper free. (Nitro)
Reasons to Go Paperless Include:
- Cost savings
- Increased productivity
- Being sustainable/lowering carbon footprint
- Increased control of where the information is shared
- Physical space savings
- Eliminate need to shred older files
So, let’s break each benefit down a little more…
Not only are you saving money on having to purchase paper when you move to digital files, you’re also saving money on printer ink, stamps (if you were mailing paper checks), and the time it takes to process printed files as compared to digital files.
How long does it take to search through a filing cabinet to find a paper file as opposed to doing a keyword search to locate a digital one? The extra time spent searching through a filing cabinet adds up to lost productivity that could be used elsewhere.
Sustainability is a big corporate initiative these days. Energy savings, lowering carbon emissions, and reducing waste are three key areas going paperless can positively impact.
Paper files can get lost or destroyed forever in a fire. If you have the right type of cloud backup and recovery system, digital files are stored safely and securely and easily recoverable. If you’re subject to HIPAA compliance, as many of Clockwork Networks business clients in Castle Rock are, paper files can make it easier to lose control of who sees patient records than a protected digital file.
Physical Space Savings
How many filing cabinets has your office accumulated over the years? Going digital can give you the breathing room you need to grow without the expense of buying a larger office space. We help companies take paper files and make them digital all the time to increase floor space. We’re more than just a computer repair shop, we’re a total business technology service provider.
Eliminate Need to Shred Older Files
A huge undertaking by companies is when they need to shred older paper documents for security. Once a document has outlived its usefulness (and is taking up valuable file cabinet space) shredding is done to ensure no one gets their hands on sensitive data that’s thrown away.
Imagine never having to go through that process again. With digital files, storage ability is unlimited, and if you do want to get rid of something, DELETE takes just a keystroke.
What’s Getting in the Way of an All-Digital Office?
There are many reasons that companies will need to hold on to at least some of their paper files for now and in the foreseeable future. So, for most companies aiming for less paper is much more realistic than zero paper.
Some things that hold companies back from going completely paperless are:
- Regulations that require a paper or signed document to be kept
- Fear of not being able to access a digital file
- Being unsure about the security against hackers of digital files
- Not sure where to start
Need Help Reducing Your Paper Files the Right Way?
We can show you how to reduce the use of paper files in a way that saves you money, keeps them completely secure and absolutely accessible anytime. Just give us a call at 303-588-9019 for a game plan on how to get started.