Everything You Need to Know About a Paperless Office

Businesses are the largest users of papers and this is taking a heavy toll on the forests and other natural resources. The paper production process consumes a lot of wood and water, besides generating effluents which are harmful for the environment.  One of the best ways a business can become environmentally-friendly is to minimize the use of paper in the workplace. Going paperless is one of the essential features of an eco-friendly office. The conversion of paper files into electronic documents is a key step in the journey towards a paperless office. But what is a paperless office and how can it benefit your organization? Read on to know more:

What is a Paperless Office?

A paper-free office uses the lowest amount of paper and relies heavily on digital documents, thus drastically reducing the use of paper in workplace.  But going paperless is not a magic wand and requires careful planning, organization and employee participation. The right set of tools and proper employee training is required to realise the dream of a paperless office.

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In addition to being eco-friendly, a paper-free office should also provide tangible benefits in order to motivate the office staff. Saving time and efforts through easier filing and document retrieval system is an important step in eliminating paper from the workplace. Another notable step is to replace individual printers with a centralized network printer to track paper usage and restrict the purchase of ink and toners.

The digital filing system is the heart of a paperless office. Digitizing your documentation will not only help in easy document filing but also aid in smooth and fast retrieval. Infact, a cloud-based document management system will enable employees to access important documents off-site, besides safe storage of documents.

Benefits of Going Paperless

Going paperless has numerous benefits for both the business owner and the employees, ranging from saving time and money to boosting security. It is important to analyse the use of paper in the workplace from an individual level upto the organizational level.

Let us analyse the major advantages of a paperless workplace:

1. Saves Time and Space

The filing, organizing and retrieval of paper documents is a time-taking process. Having an electronic filing system will enable file management to be done at the click of a mouse, thus helping business owners to assign employees to more productive and revenue-generating tasks.

Finding ample office space for the filing cabinets is a nightmare for many business owners as the files keeps piling up with each passing year. In particular, the problem is serious for industries having a long document retention time, such as government departments and financial sector.

A digital document management system allows you to store the documents in a cloud-based server with negligible physical footprint.

2. Saves Business Expenses

A paper-free office will reduce the business costs incurred on paper, printers, toners, files, filing cabinets and office space. Studies have shown that a paperless office has a better process efficiency and can handle a larger volume of documentation than traditional offices, thus making a significant savings in employee time with respect to repetitive tasks like expense reimbursements.

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3. Protects the Environment

The production of paper and related products leads to the emissions of greenhouse gases, causes deforestation and precipitates climate change. Paper recycling can reduce the environmental impact of paper in the workplace, but only upto to a certain extent. Employees may engage in group activities, like making paper bags from waste papers, to know the importance of waste reduction at work stations.

In the absence of source segregation, most of the paper ends up in landfills or waste-to-energy plant. In addition, toxic chemicals in inks and toners are detrimental to the health of the environment. The most sustainable solution to all these environmental problems is to transform your workplace into a paperless one.

4. Improves Security

A chronic problem in traditional offices is the hardship in tracking paper-based documents on account of misfiling, accidents etc. Moreover, it is difficult to monitor the access, printing and copying of sensitive business documents. A paperless office has a digital document management system with advanced security features to prevent such incidents by restricting access rights at different levels.

How to Tackle Stress in a Paperless Office?

A paperless office may create stress among employees due to increased exposure to technology. Static work postures may also lead to musco-skeletal health issues. An excellent solution to relieve stress is to use art therapy. But, what is art therapy?

Art therapy is a type of therapy that enriches the life of a person through art-making activities , such as drawing, painting, collage or sculpting. It helps in developing self-awareness, boosting self-esteem, trauma-coping and fostering social skills, under the guidance of a qualified therapist.

Conclusions

A paper-free office will not only save time, natural resources and money but also help in smoother and safer flow of information in an organization, thus helping in quick decision-making and responsible business growth.

How to Become More Energy-Efficient at Work?

Nowadays, smart business owners are taking steps towards making their company more efficient in every way. By establishing more efficient processes, these businesses are capable of getting more done in a shorter amount of time, and they’re also saving money along the way. But, beyond helping their employees perform better, business pros are also working on implementing tools and strategies for becoming increasingly more energy efficient so that their business can be greener and so that they can save money on their energy bill.

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If you are ready to take your basic eco-friendly office to the next level, keep reading for some helpful information on how to become more energy efficient at work.

1. Make the Switch to Laptops

Desktop computers that are always plugged in are always consuming some level of energy, even when they are turned off. Unless you have all of your electronics plugged into a power strip that is turned off at the end of every workday, those devices will continue draining energy, and you will see it on your energy bill. For this reason, a lot of businesses are opting to make the switch to using laptops rather than desktops.

Laptops only need to be plugged in when they are in need of a charge; the rest of the time, they use a built-in battery to function. This can help you save quite a bit of money on your energy bill, and it can also help you save much-needed space because laptops are smaller than desktop computers with separate monitors. This is one of the easiest ways to make your office more energy efficient, and your employees will likely welcome the change to laptops as well.

2. Purchase Products Having Energy Star Seal

Another way to save money on your energy bill while making your office more energy efficient is by switching to Energy Star appliances and office products that will use up far less energy than their counterparts. Properly dispose of old appliances, such as your office’s refrigerator and microwave, and replace them with Energy Star appliances so that you can start to save money and allocate it towards more important aspects of your day-to-day operations.

Beyond appliances, office products like printers, scanners, copiers, and computers can also come with the Energy Star seal, so be sure to stick with those as well. Because you use these products every day, and for hours on end, making the switch to energy efficient office equipment is wise.

3. Get Smart About Lighting

Another way to become more energy efficient at work is by focusing on the lighting throughout your office. It is important to replace outdated light bulbs that are less efficient than modern options. So, for example, you could replace incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs, which do not contain the harmful mercury that compact fluorescent light bulbs contain. Beyond that, you can check to see if there are any light fixtures that you do not really need to have in place after all. Plus, simply turning the lights off when you leave a room can be a great way to save money really easily.

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You can even opt to install light fixtures that use sensors to determine when there are people in a room, thereby allowing the lights to turn on and off automatically. And, finally, whenever possible, take advantage of natural light during the day so that you can rely less upon artificial, energy-consuming light.

4. Keep Your Staff Comfortable, but Save Money Too

What temperature is your office thermostat currently set to? Do you think that you can maybe tweak the temperature a bit so that you could save money, while also keeping everyone comfortable? Many times, office thermostats are set at temperatures that end up costing the business a lot of money. Small changes in temperature can make a big difference in your energy savings, but your staff are not likely to notice the changes because they will still feel comfortable while they work.

To keep the workers productivity high enough, you should definitely keep your office warm with the minimum cost incurred. It is more reasonable to use the energy efficient radiators that enable you to control the heating easily from anywhere you want. For instance, you can use BestElectricRadiators to not spend much money and keep the heating as well as the productivity of the workers.

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For example, you can save money during the summer by setting the thermostat to 78-80°F. When the workday is over, you can allow the office to reach 80°F because no one will be there anyway, so you don’t need to bother keeping the air conditioner going. In the winter, on the other hand, you can keep your thermostat set anywhere from 65-68°F, and you can let it drop to 60°F overnight when no one is in the office. Go ahead and change the temperature setting by a degree or two for a month to see how much you can save.

Conclusion

It is pretty clear to see that it is very important to become more energy-efficient at work. The first step involves setting up an eco-friendly office. But, once you have set the foundation, you can go even further by becoming energy efficient for the planet and for your bottom line.