Is it better to keep your important documents in a digital or physical format? While many are pushing for paperless, the answer's not that clear
The U.S. government is getting ready to embrace a paperless office. The question is, are you?
As the digital world advances, it is easy to expect paper usage to reduce. However, this might not be the case.
Whether you want your business to be more environmentally friendly or you want to streamline some of your processes, going paperless might benefit your business in one way or the other. However, it is still quite unclear if every business should embrace it.
To help you decide whether you should continue using paper or go digital, let us dig a little deeper.
What Is Going Paperless?
As the name implies, this is all about getting rid of paper from your business and embracing electronic files, documents, signatures, and more. This idea has existed since the inception of computers.
Despite the dominance of emails and electronic documents, most organizations still rely on paper documents. Though going paperless has its advantages, take a closer look at paper vs. digital files.
Have you have ever spent a lot of time filing or looking for some documents in your offices’ storage room? Digging through boxes and cabinets of files looking for a single document eats up time that you could have used on more productive tasks.
Digital files are very easy to locate because they are stored in a folder that you can access with a few clicks. Digital document management systems allow users to search for the files they need quickly.
On the other hand, a well-organized filing system with the use of index tabs can also make getting paper documents that you want faster than ever.
Mobile Access to Documents
If, for example, you are an attorney and you are meeting up with your client, during the meeting, you realize that you do not have the document you need with you like a stock certificate.
With digital files, you can quickly download the document that you need without canceling the meeting. This will give you peace of mind and will also help you look more organized.
If you entirely rely on paper documents and you do not have it with you, you might have to reschedule the meeting, and this can be a considerable inconvenience.
Paper is bulky. Not only will it take up a lot of space on your desk, filing cabinets, or boxes, you will have to get a separate room just to store the archived documents.
Bookshelves and books are bulky too. Worse still, they will always pile up.
Digital storage will allow storing your documents on devices such as flash disks, hard drives, or even backing them up in the cloud or on a server. You will be able to store years' worth of documents in almost zero space.
No one likes a messy office desk with several trays of papers, and files are a thing of the past. De-clutter your desk with a sound filing system.
Eases Transfer of Information
Some organizations allow their employees to work remotely. Whether they have been sent on a work-related trip or have to work from home, digital files make it very easy to share documents with the employees who are not in the office.
Today, it is possible to capture a paper document with a camera on a tablet or phone, import it into a .pdf or .docx files, and share it with the relevant parties. Sharing the latest updates on a document you are working on with your workmates is also very easy and efficient with e-files.
Offices use a lot of money on printer inks, cartridges, printing papers, postage fees, and other suppliers they need to ensure that they are able to print their documents. Do not forget to include the cost of repair, maintenance, and replacement.
You will also need to buy files, filing cabinets, boxes, and also pay for physical storage and hire employees to handle the high volume of paperwork that you will end up having. Digitization completely reduces these costs saving organizations a lot of money.
Paper manufacturing factories are guilty of producing greenhouse gases that cause global warming and deforestation. Though recycling tries to offset the impact that paper has on the environment, it can only do so much. Most of the waste paper ends up in landfills, other water products such as toners, inks, and more contain chemicals that damage the environment.
The United States alone generates at least 6 million tons of e-waste, making up around 2% of the total volume of landfills. Though digital files offer more sustainability, both the paper and digital systems have a lot to do to promote an eco-friendly environment.
Cybersecurity is a huge concern in the digital world. Cybercriminals are always looking for a way to steal digital files, and this can compromise an organization. In as much as it is impossible to hack physical documents, it can be impossible to track or replace lost or destroyed papers.
It is also quite challenging to monitor, back-up your documents. With digital files, you are able to retrieve your files from your back-up, and can track them online. With the right security measure in place, it can be impossible for unauthorized individuals to access the files.
Having a system that will streamline workflow and help improve productivity is very important. Cloud-based tools, digital files, and other systems come in very handy in a paperless office. Employees will communicate with clients quickly.
Consider These Facts When Deciding Whether to Go Paperless or Not
Though people tend to be resistant to change, you must weigh out what digital files have to offer you versus what you get from using paper before making that change. Every business or organization is unique, and even though a paperless office is a possible future, it may be best to take your time before making that change.
If you are still using paper in your office or you need an excellent solution to your paperwork, files, and more, check out our website. At exhibitindexes.com, we have a solution that will help handle your paper easier than ever.
Feel free to contact us today.