Over the last seven years or so, we have seen some pretty disastrous attempts at creating a paperless office. Of course, many of these failures were caused by the haste of entrepreneurs, who sought to pursue a technology-driven venture without the necessary software or virtual storage solutions.
The numerous barriers that once surrounded the concept of a paperless office have gradually been eradicated in the time that has elapsed since, however, from the development of scanning apps to the cultivation of secure storage space in the Cloud.
With this in mind, now may finally be the ideal time to pursue the dream of a paperless digital office. Here are three reasons why you should consider this in 2017: –
1. The Evolving Nature of the Workplace has Naturally Reduced the Consumption of Paper
If you look at the modern workplace, it is almost unrecognisable from seven years ago. The same can be said for the labour market, with freelancers increasingly in-demand and set to dominate the Western world by the year 2020.
This reflects the flexible demands of modern business, and the fact that firms are now employing smaller teams of permanent staff on an annual basis. As a result of this, we have encountered an organic decline the amount of paper used and stored, while virtual hubs and the type of compact, service offices spaces provided by BE Offices have taken centre stage.
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Given the natural evolution that has occurred in the workplace, the shift towards an entirely paperless office is no longer as fanciful or problematic as it once was. In fact, it is more aligned with the lean models favoured by small business in particular, so 2017 may be the ideal time to make paper a thing of the past.
2. The Shift Towards BYOD and Mobile Office Apps
There are numerous online outlets that enable you to sell your laptop in 2016, and this is a resource that is increasingly being leveraged by businesses. The reason for this is simple; as modern firms are increasingly likely to embrace the BYOD culture and reduce their own burden in terms of cost, overheads and maintenance.
The same principle is also being applied to all office equipment in the modern age, as offices remove the physical hardware from their space and instead leverage mobile applications. From file-syncing and sharing apps to those that scan document electronically, there is a decreasing need for corporeal hardware and the copious amounts of paper that it consumes.
Once again, this has been an organic evolution in the workplace, and one that by its very design is making paper obsolete. After all, without the need to print, scan or store physical documents, paper continues to serve a marginalised purpose by any standards.
3. Note Taking and To-do Lists Are Things of the Past
One of the biggest barriers to paperless offices was adaptability, and the fact that paper continued to provide a convenient and accessible material with which to complete ad-hoc tasks. So while companies could eradicate the use of paper on a larger scale, they could do little to discourage occasional use or the habits of their employees.
This would no longer be the case, however, with paper no longer the go-to resource when taking notes (or minutes of meetings) or creating to-do lists. Instead, these tasks are managed by technology, both in terms of hardware and the precise tools to generate content.
In terms of collating notes, employees are far more likely to use a tablet or a company smartphone. These devices have the added advantage of offering quick and seamless sharing, so there is less chance of specific points and messages being lost in translation. Similarly, there are a host of digital to-do and organisation apps available at present, with free to access sites such as Trello offering basic list functionality within an overarching, project management system.
These natural developments have gradually diminished the need for paper in contemporary workspaces, creating a climate in which it may finally be possible for offices to become paperless. It is certainly worth considering, particularly when you consider the potential, long-term costs savings the positive impact that you will have on the natural environment.