The age of technology is in full swing and changing the world at lightning speeds. These changes are seen across multiple industries. For instance, who uses an atlas? It’s been replaced with Google Maps. Blockbuster, which once had 9,000 stores, now has only one store left in the US. Even music artists are even releasing “stream only albums.”
But arguably the biggest change brought by technology is the impact on the paper industry. Newspaper circulation is declining, despite increases in subscriptions at major news outlets, to the point where news organizations offer PDF versions of their paper. The shift toward a paperless world impacts every industry, worker and student.
But change is a good thing, and your business can really benefit from going paperless, here’s how.
Going paperless can increase a company’s productivity. Many companies find that employees no longer spend time sifting through files and looking for one specific document. Files can be stored on well-organized internal and external drives or even your companies cloud and searched with the click of a mouse.
Take a look at the office supplies budget, now delete the paper column entirely. In addition, paperless companies do not have to worry about buying or repairing a printer, nor do they have to budget in ink costs. Not only will this save money, but office space as well. Your company can ditch the photocopier when the files are accessible digitally.
You can lose a piece of paper as easily as you lose your keys. When paperless, all your files become significantly harder to lose. All drives allow companies to set up automatic backups on their servers. That way, no one will have to worry about lost files in case of a disaster.
You can always search the computer or drive for a file even if your computer is unorganized. PCs have a file search at the bottom left of the home screen and Mac’s finder tool is located at the top right. Plus, you can always search within files.
Well organized files on a computer are easier to find than in a filing cabinet. You don’t have to dig through rows and rows of documents in your filing cabinet. Instead, simply remember the file path and scroll through alphabetical order. Also, digitally saved files can be sorted on the fly. Even if you cannot remember the name, you can still sort the files by date and file type within seconds.
Paperless tech allows every document to be at your fingertips. Employees can access any file they are allowed on a company cloud or drive within seconds. In addition, employees can access the same file and share it with multiple employees.
Customers and clients will appreciate this as well. All they have to do is ask the company for a specific file and an employee can email that file to them in minutes. Contrary to using mail or meetings to exchange the document.
Online programs, such as Google Drive, allow multiple users to access a file and edit at the same time. Note-taking features on the side of the document allow users to communicate with each other from different offices or even different parts of the world.
For example, I was enrolled in a class of 30 students during my senior year of college. The class was difficult and covered a lot of content, but my fellow students used teamwork and Google Docs to combat this. We all shared our emails and created a Google Doc for all the students. Each user had access to this file, as we all proceeded to add our own content to a class study guide. We shared our knowledge with each other, so if someone couldn’t answer a question, a different student could contribute the answer, This cut down everyone’s study time and increased our grades significantly.
This concept can be easily applied to team projects.
Save the world!
You knew this point was going to make an appearance, but you always wanted to be a hero as a kid. Here’s your real-life chance to save the world!
Paper accounts for 25 percent of landfill waste and 33 percent of municipal waste—quite excessive for a material that’s ridiculously easy to recycle. Instead of recycling, just eliminate your paper usage entirely and go paperless!