Going Paperless in the Office: Pros and Cons

September 9, 2019
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With office and business culture advancing into the 21st century it’s important to know how technology can help with efforts to be more environmentally friendly. Besides cutting the consumption of paper in your office to help save trees, it’s also great for saving money. Can going paperless in the office really be done? There are pros and cons to consider.

Pros:

  1. Going green is better for the environment. It cuts down on waste and saves trees.
  2. Cutting down on paper is big cost savings. One of the biggest expenses of any office can just be in how much paper is ordered.
  3. Time. Instead of waiting to make copies to share or to have on hand, the documents can be accessed via a shared server and can be downloaded when needed to be completed electronically.
  4. Added security is another factor when making files only accessed electronically with passwords. Not having physical copies makes documents less prone to having information stolen or shared inappropriately.
  5. The overall accessibility and communication are more fluid and smooth. Sharing files instead of having and sending physical copies can streamline processes, including when you are being audited.

Cons:

  1. Initial costs of going paperless may be the reason so many people can’t jump into it right away. Besides money, time is another valuable cost in the process.
  2. With time there is a lot of training investments needed to learn new software and processes. This takes time away from higher priority tasks.
  3. An ongoing fee could be required for maintenance on software and security. Not to mention time put into these ongoing updates.
  4. With everything going digital, your information could be more prone to viruses and security breaches. A heavier reliance on IT security would be needed.
  5. With the lack of hard documents, this may cause some legal and compliance issues. In some instances with auditing, hard physical copies may be required.

Is there really an absolute answer? It really depends on your business and office structure. Take time to do the research and brainstorm all the possible ways to go paperless, reduce waste, and save money. Look at all the instances where having paper copies is a must and prioritize from there.


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