Making the Paperless Office Transition: Advantages and Disadvantages

The entire world is going digital, particularly in the commercial sector, but many small businesses are still weighed down by their enormous paper trail. During this day and age the decision to change to paperless offices is becoming more of a necessity as opposed to a choice, as many businesses prefer the efficiency of emails and cloud computing. However, the transformation to a paperless office does pose some difficulties. Furthermore if a paperless office is not managed correctly, the results could be disastrous. This article outlines the advantages and disadvantages of a paperless office and tips to ensure that your paperless office remains resourceful, effective and secure.

The Advantages of a Paperless Office

According to reports by the environmental publication The Daily Green, around 25% of landfills in the United States consist of paper. Considering that paper is one of the easiest and most effective waste materials to recycle and also a material that can largely be substituted due to digitalisation, this percentage can be realistically reduced to zero. If the amount of paper in landfills was reduced by a mere 10%, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.6 million tons. By making the transition to paperless offices, the disposal of used ink cartridges, stationery and printers would also be reduced. Thus a paperless office is environmentally friendly.

Besides the environmental benefits of a paperless office, it is also cost effective. Businesses can save costs by reducing the use of paper, ink, stationery and postage. To add, the physical storage needed to store paper documents can also cost a considerable amount. Paperless office systems also allow documents to be accessed easily, even from remote offices or foreign locations. If a correct system of naming documents and organising files is implemented, a simple search will retrieve the correct documents.

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The Disadvantages of a Paperless Office

Making the transition to a paperless office also comes with risks, which can be avoided if the correct procedures are put in place. If digital documents are stored locally only and the system crashes, the worst case scenario is that all business documents will be lost. Thus all paperless offices must back up documents using preferably a cloud service or offsite location.

The second risk of having paperless office is ensuring that digital documents, especially sensitive ones, are secure and safe from malicious hackers. Paperless office solutions for security include encryption, restricted access and local servers. IT specialists should be able to make the best recommendations for a secure paperless office.

Penny Munroe is an avid writer in business related news and tips. Articles include implementing good SEO practices to sourcing the ideal office space London has on offer.

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