There are many benefits to giving up paper in the office. Paper files take up a lot of space, cost money to buy/print and are often slow to share and distribute compared to digital files.
All in all, it seems like a no-brainer to go paperless in 2022. However, as many businesses realise, there are some challenges to giving up all paper. Below are just some of the challenges and what you can do to overcome them.
Digitizing old files
It’s possible that you may have lots of old paper files that do not have digital copies. If you want to get rid of all paper in your office, you need to be prepared to create digital copies of all these old paper files.
You can do this by using a scanner or by taking photographs with a camera/mobile phone. This can be a time-consuming process if you have hundreds or thousands of documents to digitize. One solution that you could look into is to pay a mass scanning service to digitize all of these paper files for you. Just make sure that you are happy sharing all of these documents with another company.
Many businesses still like to print contracts so that they can be signed manually with a pen. The same goes for forms, which may still require people to manually write information or tick boxes.
Fortunately, electronic document signing is now possible. There are also digital options for filling in forms such as using a PDF editor to digitally edit a PDF form. This could prevent you having to send out or receive paper contracts and forms.
Reducing incoming paper mail
How do you stop customers sending you paper newsletters and documents? In most cases, it’s possible to opt out of paper mail by simply talking to the company.
If a company prefers to send out physical documents, but you don’t want paper of any kind in your office, another solution could be to outsource a virtual mailbox. This is when another company collects your mail. They can then send you digital copies of all your mail so that you don’t have to physically receive it.
Preventing digital file loss
Digital files can be lost in various different ways. They could be accidentally deleted, corrupted due to software issues, lost as a result of faulty hardware or compromised during a cyberattack. This puts off some businesses from going paperless.
The solution to this however is simple – backup your digital files in different locations. This could include backing up files on the cloud or storing copies on an external hard-drive. Just as having multiple paper copies can protect against the risk of damage and loss, so can having multiple digital copies.
Dealing with digitally illiterate customers
What happens if you want to send information to a customer via email but they don’t have an email address? In this day and age, it’s becoming a much rarer occurrence, however there are still some older people who don’t use email and aren’t computer literate.
You have to decide whether to sacrifice these customers or make a special exception to cater to them. It may depend largely on who your target customer base is. If you’re an audiologist, you’ll likely deal with a lot of older customers, so it may make sense to still provide the option of paper newsletters and reminders. If you run a gym that is mainly aimed at younger people, it may be better to stick to digital newsletters and promotions.
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