Have you been considering a paperless filing system for your office?
Paper files are such a natural part of the business that they seem necessary, but you can go paperless and enjoy many benefits.
With the options for digital signatures, it’s easier than ever to convert to a paperless system. You can eliminate the need to print out hard copies just for signatures.
Ditching paper documents may save you money, increase productivity, and improve your environmental stance.
Check out these benefits of going paperless in the office.
Extra Physical Space
Look around your paper-filled office. How much space could you reclaim if you ditched the massive filing cabinets? How many cleaners would your desktop be if you could look at digital copies of documents on your computer instead of having stacks of physical paperwork?
Reclaiming physical space makes your office more functional. It may help you move around better or open up space for other uses.
Eliminating physical files could also let you downsize to a smaller and more affordable commercial space.
Less clutter around the office creates a more positive environment. You may find it easier to focus when you’re not surrounded by all of the paper clutter.
Decreased Business Costs
When you go paperless, you eliminate some basic office expenses. You may not think you spend much on documentation, but paper management costs U.S. businesses $8 billion every year. Filing a single document costs a business an average of $20.
Beyond the labor costs of managing paperwork, you also save on office supplies.
Your paper and ink or toner budgets drop significantly when you rely on digital versions of paperwork. You’ll also save on other office supplies, including staples and paperclips.
You also reduce the need for filing cabinets, file folders, and other storage items. If you have those items in your office already, you may be able to sell them to make a little money.
You’ll likely still want a printer or copier in the office just in case. But you won’t need to use them as much. That reduces the wear and tear as well as the maintenance demands for those machines.
Secure Virtual Paper Trail
Physical copies of paperwork may seem more secure, but they’re more vulnerable to tampering than digital documents.
Paper files can disappear, either intentionally or accidentally. It’s also easier to pen in different information after the documents are signed.
With digital documents, you can use digital signature software to track all of the changes that take place on the document. It’s more difficult for people to change the document without leaving behind a digital trail.
Having the virtual paper trail ensures you always have the documents you need. This can come in handy if you’re audited or otherwise need to prove information based on documents.
Do you have employees who work remotely? Maybe an issue comes up outside of normal working hours that requires you to look at the documentation from a deal.
When you use traditional paper documents, you can’t access that paperwork from any other location. That can limit your ability to work remotely.
If one person is using a document, it’s not available to anyone else. That can slow down productivity if multiple people need to work with the same documents. Depending on your digital storage system, this problem may disappear, as many systems allow multiple people to access a document at the same time.
Digital documentation also gives you access from anywhere. Employees who work remotely can easily view the necessary paperwork. Employees can also look at documentation outside of working hours if the need arises.
Increased Convenience for Clients
Working with digital files can streamline processes for your clients. Instead of requiring them to go to the office to sign paperwork, you can send them digital copies and get legal digital signatures. That can speed up processes and allow for greater convenience for everyone involved.
If you visit clients in person, you can pull up documents on a mobile device if you need to show them something.
Traditionally, you’d have to lug files of paperwork with you when you go on business calls. If you forgot a document, you’re out of luck. Not so with digital documents.
Traditional filing systems require you to physically grab the documents you need for work. Even if you have an efficient filing system with stellar organization, it takes time to get what you need. Stopping to grab paperwork interrupts your workflow and can slow down productivity.
When you have digital access to paperwork, you can retrieve the information much faster. You don’t have to get up from your desk and dig through files. It’s easier to enter a search term on the digital storage system to find what you need.
You also don’t have to worry about employees returning files properly. With multiple people pulling files, you may eventually end up with disorganized paperwork. A paperless system eliminates this concern.
Over time, paper documents can break down. Sunlight can damage it or cause it to fade.
When employees work with paper documents, they might spill on them or smudge the print. Files also go missing sometimes.
All of these situations can cause you to lose important information. Some of the paperwork may be required documentation to meet various requirements. If something happens to it, the loss could put you in legal trouble.
Paperless storage systems have backups to ensure your information stays safe. You don’t have to worry about your digital files being destroyed or lost.
Minimized Environmental Impact
If one of your company’s goals is to reduce your environmental impact, going paperless is one way to support that. When businesses reduce paper consumption, they decrease the demand, which can save trees from being cut.
Paperless systems also reduce waste in landfills. In 2017, paper and cardboard accounted for 67 million tons, or 25%, of municipal solid waste, making it the largest category. In that same year, 18.4 million tons of paper and cardboard ended up in landfills.
Create a Paperless Filing System
The benefits of a paperless filing system make it worth the work of converting your current files. Going paper-free makes your office run smoother and help your employees work more efficiently.
Are you switching to a paperless system? Check out our digital document signing solutions to make the transition easier.