November 9th is World Paper Free Day. It’s a day when businesses and individuals around the world are encouraged to work without using any paper. But for those participants who pledge their support to this year’s event, what is the motivation to do so? Are there really any benefits to turning away from a long established document management system?
World Paper Free Day, organized by AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management), is a free virtual event, specifically created to show businesses how dispelling paper-based document management systems can improve business practice. It teaches everyone about how to develop a digital office – the technologies, best practices and most effective ways to digitalize your own organization, one step at a time.
AIIM has been promoting improved information management since 1943, and today provides advice to community members to help them in making the digital transformation, moving away from the old paper-based method of document storage in favour of digital storage methods.
But while going paper-free, and adopting the digital office, makes obvious sense from an environmental point of view, are there any real benefits from a business and particularly administrative and document management point of view? In fact, there are several advantages to digital document management.
5 Advantages of a Paper-Free Workplace
Every office manager wants to save on the costs associated with running the office. A paper-heavy office – even in an SME – can use as many as 10,000 pieces of paper annually. Yale University went paper-free in 2013, and reported total savings worth $252,000 across just 3 university departments. Of course, maintaining records is a vital task of any administrative staff, but the dependency on paper records is no longer as acute as it used to be thanks to the development of digital document storage and management software.
Time is always an issue when it comes to office efficiency, but paper free offices enjoy far greater time efficiency that others do. Think about the time table to print and file each document, and the time taken to search and find one that is archived. According to a 2012 McKinsey study, employees can spend about 20% of the working week looking for paper documents. Files stored electronically can be found in seconds.
Ergonomics is recognized as an important element in modern office design, and with its open space. Remove those filing cabinets, and you’ll be surprised how spacious your office becomes, and the benefits that come with it. Workstations too will become cleaner with desk-top paper clutter dramatically reduced.
Electronically stored documents enjoy the highest level of document security yet. There are a number of reasons why. For a start, access can be restricted to a limited number of staff, ensuring only those with proper authentication can do so. Digitally stored documents cannot be lifted and stolen; they are protected behind firewalls and passwords and (in many cases) encryption.
‘Going Green’ is an important mantra for businesses in virtually every sector. Its popularity with the public is extremely high, and statistics show that it really does contribute to a better environment. There are several facets to ‘Going Green’ but reducing paper consumption is a key aspect. Why? Your Carbon Footprint falls, and with paper production affects, carbon emissions fall too and with it the rate of environmental destruction.
For more details on the environmental impact paper has, read what The Paperless Project has to say.
World Paper Free Day 2017 – Where & When
You can join the World Paper Free Day FREE Virtual Event by registering on the AIIM website. The event takes place on Thursday, November 9th from 4pm – 8pm (GMT) or 5pm – 9pm (CET).
In the US, the times are 1am – 3pm EDT (Eastern North American time), and in other North American time zones: 10am – 2pm CST; 9am – 1pm MST; 8am – 12noon PST