When you hear the phrase ‘paperless office’ what do you think of? What image comes to mind? For most people, it’s the image of an office that is completely devoid of any and all forms of paper – no notebooks, no post-its, no files or folder, and no printers. People usually think that a paperless office strictly deals in nothing but digital documents. Although this could be an actual representation of an office, but this is not what is really meant by a ‘paperless office’. Nowhere it says that it is the requirement. What has happened is that businesses now think that going ‘paperless’ is an impossible task and they have stopped trying to do it altogether.
Now, we have two groups that are standing at two extremes. There are the newly built companies that don’t use paper at all and then there are organizations that are continuously printing heaps of paper. So now the problem that businesses are facing is that they think they have to join either one of the groups and that is one of the biggest misconceptions of today. What they don’t realize is that a ‘paperless office’ isn’t just the one that has no paper in sight, it can also be the one that uses paper only when it is absolutely necessary.
So, what really is a Paperless Office?
According to the founder of DocumentSnap.com, Brooks Duncan, going paperless is not at all about taking all the paper in your offices and throwing them away. It means that you seriously look over your paper expenditure and do away with anything that is useless or anything that can be replaced. In another words, it just means that you have to make smart choices whenever using paper.
Here are some of the myths related to paperless offices and the truth about them.
Many organizations falsely believe that the expense of having digital documentation and getting the proper security for it are very high. They still maintain that sticking to the old routines is much cheaper. Although there is the upfront cost to it, but in the long run it will prove much more cost-efficient than the old paper trail. Not only will it save the paper cost, but also the cost of ink and energy. According to MerusCase:
• It costs around $500 to store 10 boxes of paper per month.
• It takes around $700 to properly recycle and shred the 10 boxes of paper per month.
• It costs $100 to carry paper to and from your office every month
These are just the upfront costs. Don’t even get us started about the electricity cost and other costs.
Even in 2019, the misconception exists that paper based documents are safer than digital documents. How can people believe this when surveys have found that 23% of data breaches in companies that have 500 employees or more involve paper in its physical form. If you include small companies as well, this statistic jumps up to 61%. Papers cannot be tracked or protected.
Now if you went paperless, there are a number of measures you can take to ensure that your digital documents are completely safe and secure.
All in all, staying with the paper trail is a risky and more expensive way that will only day bring the company down. What you can do is to go as much paperless as you can and implement a data security solution that will take care of all of your security issues and problems.