How to Create a Paperless Office

The advent of computers has automated many processes in companies. However, paper is still widely used and most work places have dedicated storages for files and documentation. Moving towards a paperless office can have several benefits. It reduces costs of purchasing, printing, filing and storing paper alongside creating more room. Information is also more efficiently stored and easily accessed by everyone. An organization employing around 500 people may have thousands of papers to deal with if only their personal details are filed; all this paper work not only reduces efficiency but also requires a lot of manual labour and man power for organization.

Instructions

  • 1

    Start briefing your employees

    The transition to a paperless office will take time. The employees need to be briefed and trained before the process can begin. If most of your work was being done manually, the workers will need to be trained in the use of computers and equipment.

  • 2

    Assess your paperwork and requirements

    You will have to assess the existing paperwork and decide how much of it you need to transfer to digital mediums. Time frames will also have to be considered alongside available budget. You will also need to consider the fact that all documents cannot be transferred, for instance legal papers, deeds, contracts and tax related papers. Existing or new computers will need to be checked to ensure they can handle the transition and have required storage capacities and ability to run new software.

  • 3

    Acquire hardware and software

    You may need to hire a consultant to set up new equipment and network systems. While computers can be purchased in bulk, you may have to order customized software according to your needs. If the software is custom developed, training will also be required.

  • 4

    Start transferring documents

    After the training process, gradually start digitizing your documents. Most of the paper can be scanned for records; however, typing files will also be required. OCR can be used to scan documents, allowing characters to be recognized as text which can later be edited on the computer.

  • 5

    Reduce paper use gradually

    Stop printing every document and instead keep digital copies. Reduce the use of paper gradually and implement the new systems. Every employee can have personal storage space for his work. Cloud storage is also something you can look into. Services like Dropbox offer storage space for companies and their employees.

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