4 Steps for How to Run a Paperless Office

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If you didn’t have enough reasons to go paperless before, 2020 and the sudden shift to remote work have probably convinced you. Switching from paper-based processes to digital workflows is no small task but one that’s more than worth it in the end.

Benefits of a paperless office

  • Sustainability: Cutting paper waste is a crucial first step in your company’s efforts to go green, considering between print mistakes, junk mail, handouts, billing, presentations, and packaging, mixed paper products make up an estimated 70% of the total waste in offices.
  • Cost savings: It’s not just the cost of print and ink we’re talking about, but also the extra time your employees spend on inefficient paper processes costs money too.
  • Increased efficiency: Paperless workflows are proven to decrease time spent on “busy work,” things like chasing down signatures, taking messages, and filling out forms. All these tasks are easier and faster when they’re done digitally.
  • Higher employee satisfaction: Our research found higher rates of job satisfaction among employees who could work remotely and had access to digital tools to do their jobs well. Time savings, better user experience, and smoother workflows are just some of the reasons employees find paperless work easier.
  • Increased security: Paper documents have the potential to fall into the wrong hands or get lost, damaged, or stored incorrectly. Encrypted cloud-based storage, on the other hand, keeps files safe, protected, and easy to locate.
  • Easier collaboration: PDF productivity solutions like Nitro ProTM ensure that everyone on the team always has the most current version of a document.
  • Remote work ready: Paper workflows typically require people to be in the same place, so it’s no wonder that global printing dropped by 53% after the start of the pandemic. This steep drop-off highlights just how incompatible paper-based processes are with the new reality of remote work.

Step-by-step guide for going paperless

1. Assess current paper processes

  • What processes and departments contribute to the bulk of your printing and physical document storage? Once you’ve determined that, you can begin finding solutions to start going paperless.
  • What security measures do you need to adhere to for digital processes? Even the most sensitive documents can be digitally stored safely and legally. Before you start transferring, just make sure you’ve done your homework to stay compliant with your industry’s regulations.
  • What resources does your enterprise have in house that they can use to remove paper from the process? You likely already have some tools at your disposal that you aren’t using to their full potential.
  • Finally, what new digital tools do you need to complete your journey to a paperless office? Ideally, your new tech will be user-friendly and affordable enough to deploy to everyone in your organization.

2. Organize a paper to digital transfer process

  • First, prioritize the digital transfer processes that comprise most of your printing. For many businesses, this is signing and sending forms.
  • Upgrade your document storage. Remove paper and printed agreements that can be completed and stored online using a secure solution like Nitro Pro, which offers PDF password protection and certificate security.

3. Provide employee training on your new digital workflows

4. Create onboarding and rollout strategies for new tech

  • Onboarding employees to new digital tools, especially on an enterprise-scale, can be a major barrier to going paperless. Without a strategy, the process can become drawn out and stressful, resulting in low user adoption. Nitro’s robust customer success team creates tailor-made onboarding and rollout strategies, ensuring a smooth transition and maximum ROI on your investment.