Every year, the average U.S office worker can go through as many as 10,000 sheets of paper, costing their organisation approximately $7500 (All Associates). That’s over 4 million tons of paper used annually in the U.S alone. Most likely, many of them were different versions of a document printed out for review. It sounds like a bit of a nightmare to us – having to skim over each version to deduce which is the most recent. Think, how different could this have been if the documents were shared digitally?
The path to paperless paradise
It’s not just about the environment. For businesses, there are two main benefits of switching from paper to digital; reduction in costs and increase in productivity. Many businesses don’t realise that spending time searching for documents can be detrimental to their organisation overall, greatly reducing productivity levels. A recent survey by YouGov found that 31% of participants said that if they weren’t spending so much time looking for documents, they would be spending time on business development.
Another contributing factor for an organisation’s huge paper output, is the need for documents to be physically signed by multiple parties for approval and can prove to be a problematic process when the individuals in question are spread out all over the world. Paper copies of documents are more liable to be lost, stolen or damaged. Transferring files to digital versions lessens the chance of this happening and signing documents digitally can increase the security of file transfer and reduce turnaround time by considerably.
Save the world one document at a time
Innovatively managing documents electronically rather than physically, makes for a greatly efficient use of both time and money. Of course, if carried out wrongly, digital versioning can be just as troublesome as paper; with documents lovingly named “version 23131” and “latest version USE THIS ONE!!” clogging up your desktop, it’s important to recognize which tools are there to help you.
Investing in document management software to assist you on your quest for paperless bliss is a great place to start. This gives you an organisational framework, whilst also providing you with an automated audit trail for each document, so you don’t have to search back through your inbox for who added what. A client extranet is another enhanced form of communication, allowing file and information sharing in a controlled, secure environment outside of your organization’s firewall. You can place restrictions over who can see, download and edit certain files. This allows for a fully mobile workforce, making collaboration super easy, with everyone able to access documents on-the-go, no matter where they are in the world.
A paperless office is ultimately a dynamic approach to work, transforming the way attorneys and business professionals go about their day. Cutting down on paper usage could save your company a penny, free up more space on your desk taken up by all those reports from 5 years ago that you definitely don’t need any more, and allow you to collaborate and share documents more efficiently.
With Workshare 9, versions are comparable in one single view, saving your time (and your eye-sight) with all the latest changes displayed and navigable with ease. To find out more about how Workshare 9 can help you achieve a paper-free workplace, click here.