We are well into the 21st century, but many companies still face the challenge of adjusting to the environmentally responsible, paperless society we live in today. It’s a stretch to assume that all companies can be completely digital, but it is possible to cut back on paper consumption and waste.
According to The Paperless Project, paper consumption and waste is among the highest in the United States, especially in office environments. In fact, the average office worker continues to use a staggering 10,000 sheets of paper every year, and 45% of printed paper ends up in the trash by the end of the day! They also found that in the U.S., companies spends more than $120 billion a year on printed forms, most of which outdate themselves within three months.
With a variety of smart tools at the fingertips of every business, regardless of industry and scale, it’s feasible to say that everyone can make strides to use less paper in 2016. Just think of all the ways you and your coworkers can leave behind a smaller ecological footprint while saving money in the process! Check out these strategies for utilizing technology and decreasing your paper consumption.
1. Internal Document Sharing
Sharing files without a printer is easy! Google Docs, a service that is free through Gmail, allows you to share documents or spreadsheets, and simultaneously edit them. Since the files continuously save, you’ll never have to worry about losing any edits. It’s a great alternative to printing out drafts through various phases of a project.
2. Large File Sharing
For transferring and storing larger files, try using Dropbox. This paperless option allows you to create group folders for various users in your office, and quickly send out images, documents, spreadsheets, and videos.
Scanning may seem outdated, but many companies still rely on it daily, especially those that send and receive contracts on a regular basis. Thankfully there are many apps that make scanning as simple as taking a photo on your phone. Scanner Pro lets you take a photo of your document, and it automatically uploads a PDF to your Dropbox. Docusign is another handy app that lets you send and sign legally binding documents without going through the process of printing, signing, sending and waiting.
4. Bill Paying
You will thank yourself once you decide to run your office finances through the web. Not only will you save money on envelopes and postage, but you will save a ton of time! Online bill paying is prompt and easy, and most banks offer rewards for going paperless. Here are some that will streamline the process even more: Square, Mint and Due.com.
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