Want to Help the Earth? Go Paperless! Here’s How You Can Revolutionize Your NJ Office Space.
With global warming making its frightening effects clear, people are starting to care more about their impact on the environment. Plastic use is being reduced, water conservation programs are in motion, and people are reusing and recycling items. If you want to do your share to help the environment, try going paperless at your NJ office space. It’ll prevent trees from being cut down, create less waste for landfills, and it’ll also save you some money!
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the concept of a paperless office in more detail. What does it mean, how do you go about executing it, and what problems will it present? You’ll find out!
What is a paperless office?
According to Wikipedia: “A paperless office (or paper-free office) is a work environment in which the use of paper is eliminated or greatly reduced. This is done by converting documents and other papers into digital form, a process known as digitization.”
Digitization isn’t just limited to your NJ office space, however – it’s practiced throughout the world in creative ways. For instance, train and flight tickets can be sent via text or email rather than being printed, bills can be sent as PDFs, homework and exams can be completed on a computer, and many newspapers have an e-newspaper that’s free to read. Technology is amazing.
The environmental impact of paper
Have you ever wondered how exactly our use of paper hurts the Earth? It’s not just that trees get cut down to make paper – there are many other effects we don’t realize. From GoPaperless Solutions:
Consider some of the environmental impact of using paper in our business:
· Cutting trees that release oxygen for our environment
· Energy usage and release of harmful gases in pulp and paper industry
· Fuel consumption by air, rail, and road transport distributing reams of paper
· Fuel consumption sending paper documents via ground & air courier services
· Manufacturing printers, ink and toner cartridges
Consider the following facts about the paper and ink industry:
· Paper consumption has tripled since 1960 and Americans generate 85 million tons of paper into the waste stream
· The U.S. pulp and paper industry is the 2nd largest consumer of energy
· EPA estimates that more than 400 million ink and 100 million toner cartridges end up in landfills each year
· The average U.S. officer worker prints 10,000 pages per year
Consider the environmental impact of just 10 million pages:
· 2,500 trees
· 56,000 gallons of oil
· 450 cubic yards of landfill space
· 595,000 KW (kilowatts) of energy
What are the benefits of going paperless?
Reducing your paper usage won’t just help the environment – it offers many other benefits:
1. Saves money
You’ll save quite a lot of money if you go paperless. You’ll have no need for paper, ink, printer cartridges, printer repairs, and for various office supplies. If your office had a problem of mysteriously disappearing stationery, this is a way to kill two birds with one stone.
2. Boosts productivity
If your staff doesn’t have to spend hours printing, compiling, stapling and organizing stacks of documents every day, they’ll have more time for other tasks. So, you should see a huge boost in productivity. Paper is also very inconvenient – it can tear, fold, fall, get wet, and a large heap of papers can fall down and need reorganizing. You’ll eliminate that problem.
3. Saves space
If your NJ office space isn’t very large, you’ll appreciate this. Storing files and printouts takes up a lot of space. In addition, you need to order storage units, which cost money and need regular cleaning and maintenance. Digitizing your records will free up a lot of space and open fresh possibilities.
4. Makes documentation and file-sharing easier
Life is easier when finding documents, entering records and sharing files is a couple clicks away. Instead of copying out files and sending them via fax, you can simply attach them to an email. Documentation will take much less time, as will finding those documents later. Entering a serial number and hitting ‘Enter’ takes less time than opening a cabinet drawer and rifling through files.
5. Keeps personal information more secure
While sensitive documents can be kept under lock and key, there’s always a chance someone will get the key and get access to those documents. If documents are stored electronically, on the other hand, you can generate passwords to suit your needs – one-time SMS passwords, face recognition, etc. Digital storage offers many more security measures.
How to go paperless
These are the steps involved in going paperless:
1. Start by educating
While as the boss you have full control and you can order the employees at your NJ office space to do such-and-such, the first step in bringing about sustainable change is education. Address your employees and tell them about the impact of paper, the benefits of not using paper, and why and how you want to make the switch. Assure them the burden of the switchover won’t fall on them – and that they’ll be compensated for any extra work they have to do.
2. Organize files and provide training
You’ll need to organize your paperwork so it can be digitized as quickly as possible. Make sure the files are in order, and will be easily found as and when they’re needed. Next, you’ll need to find the right software for your business needs. Consult a professional for best results, and train your employees to use the new software. Training is extremely important to make sure there are as few mistakes as possible.
3. Go digital!
You’ll need to start scanning new documents and moving to the software. At the same time, create templates and documents on your software so you aren’t generating more paperwork. Scan and archive old files for future reference. You might want to assign a few members of staff to this completely, so they have time to get adept at it.
From Ryan Business Systems: “Ease into a paperless workplace by making it a policy to start scanning any paperwork that you receive to create digital files. Many of today’s scanners and multifunction printers allow documents to be scanned to email and saved as digital files.”
Arrange for digital signing services as well!
4. Hire someone to do it for you
If you aren’t sure how to make the switch or don’t have the time, no problem! Luckily there are businesses out there that can help you with digitization. While some are tech companies, some others are environmentally-focused businesses that’ll help you find ways to reduce your paper usage and overall environmental impact. They have the tools and resources you don’t.
5. Spread the word!
When it comes to environmental issues, the biggest problem isn’t that people don’t care – it’s that they don’t know. Most people care about the world they live in; they simply don’t realize how innocuous daily-use items can hurt it, or how “one plastic straw” can have a massive impact. Tell people about the need to save the Earth, and educate them on the corollary benefits of green practices.
From eFile Cabinet: “Tell your clients about the switch you’ve made. Make sure to send out an email addressing any concerns regarding security, and tell them about all of the benefits they’ll experience from the switch. You’ll also want to introduce them to electronic sharing as well.”
Problems you’ll encounter
Sadly, there are a couple problems you’ll face when digitizing your NJ office space. From Wikipedia:
“A major difficulty in “going paperless” is that much of a business’s communication is with other businesses and individuals, as opposed to just being internal. Electronic communication requires both the sender and the recipient to have easy access to appropriate software and hardware.
Costs and temporary productivity losses when converting to a paperless office are also a factor, as are government regulations, industry standards, legal requirements, and business policies which may also slow down the change.
Businesses may encounter technological difficulties such as file format compatibility, longevity of digital documents, system stability, and employees and clients not having appropriate technological skills.”
However, these aren’t necessarily deal-breakers. Unless you’re in an industry where the use of paper is an absolute necessity, you can at the very least cut down your paper usage by 50%. In the case of shop owners, the change can be rather more drastic. If you’re unable to reduce your paper use by a large amount, you can as an alternative try disposing of the paper in eco-friendly ways. Composting or reusing it, or switching to recycled paper are all great options.
Looking for the perfect NJ office space for your eco-friendly business? Contact Blau & Berg. Since its inception in 1932, The Blau & Berg Company has held a leading position in the New Jersey and Tri-State commercial real estate market.
Headquartered in Short Hills, New Jersey, Blau & Berg is an independent, full- service commercial real estate brokerage firm providing services in the industrial, retail and office spaces, including: site selection, acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, tenant representation, portfolio sales, asset repositioning, and property & construction consulting.