What’s the latest in the paperless office revolution?

What’s the latest in the paperless office revolution?

Paperless offices have been a buzzword in business circles for years but are still hard to come by. That’s because the reality of going completely paperless is only possible for some companies or industries.

For example, the legal industry isn’t known for being an early adaptor of the new technology. It’s not surprising that a survey of law firms found each lawyer used a staggering amount of 100,000 sheets per year. That’s 50 sheets per hour!

That’s why the term “paperless” has evolved to “paper-light” for many businesses. Here’s why it’s still a great move:

Benefits of going paperless or paper-light

  • Reduce paper waste
  • Reduce the time spent filing
  • Reduce the time spent retrieving files
  • Reduce the time spent searching for files
  • Reduce the time spent retrieving documents from archives and storage

When should you start going paperless or, at least, moving to less paper?

Anytime is the right time to start because the sooner you do, the sooner you’ll realize the benefits.

When you have a large amount of paper documents that you want to convert into a digital format, that’s the time to begin.

You can scan everything yourself, which means you’ve got complete control, but it can take more of your and your team’s time. Or you can outsource the work, which means you trade off control (and cost) for expediency and time-savings.

Either way, your best bet is to use software that converts flat files that aren’t searchable into searchable text using OCR (Optical Character Recognition). That will ensure that you and your team get the most use out of everything you’ve got lying dormant in all those paper documents.

How do you get started with digital filing and management?

The first step to a paperless office is to start with converting physical documents into digital documents with searchable OCR text, as discussed.

Scanned documents made searchable via OCR can be saved as PDF files. PDF is an easy resource for archiving, and everyone has access to it. And if you use PDF/A, the official archiving format, you’ll ensure anyone can read the file regardless of the time.

Finally, you’ll need a digital file management system allowing you to organize your files and share with others in your company. This can be as simple as using folders on a desktop, laptop, or local hard drive, or it can be more sophisticated by using cloud-based storage.

Going paperless or paper-light may seem daunting, and putting it off can be tempting, but the benefits far outweigh the detriments. As you can see, you don’t have to scare employees by announcing a move to digital only. Paper light is an excellent solution. And less paper isn’t just a good idea—it’s the right idea.

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