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The Paperless Office: Our Tips for Making It a Reality in 2022

Posted 7th January 2022

January is the time for making New Year’s resolutions. The new year offers a fresh start and setting achievable goals can help us get the most out of the next 12 months. Whether you’re taking up running, trying a new hobby, or quitting a bad habit, resolutions are often challenging but help us improve. So why not set a goal for your business, as well as yourself?

Make 2022 the year your business goes paperless.

 

Why should my business go paperless?

There are lots of reasons why your business should go paperless and we’ve written many blogs about the benefits. Yet if we have to choose our top three to persuade even the most ardent paper fans, this is what we’d go for:

  • It can save you time

Managing paper documents can take a lot of time. You have to print, sign and scan every document you send, wasting your business time and paper. Keeping your documents digital eliminates these steps, allowing you to send out a document in just a few clicks.

  • It can save you money

Think about the money you waste on paper, printer ink and stationery, not to mention filing supplies and storage solutions. Eliminating paper from your daily routine can help you to reduce spending; all you’ll need to think about is one simple monthly or annual payment for your e-signature provider.

  • It prepares you for the future

As the way we work and live moves increasingly online, paper-based processes are quickly becoming an ineffective way of doing business. Going paperless can help you ensure your business is prepared for a digital future and stays competitive with efficient processes and productive workflows.

How Can My Office Go Paperless?

Going paperless has its challenges and will likely involve a complete overhaul of your existing processes, as well as implementing new technology. For many businesses, it can be difficult to know where to start and going paperless can seem rather daunting, especially if you’re used to running your business the traditional way.

At E-Sign, we’ve made it our mission to make digital technology as accessible as possible. If you’re looking to ditch paper for good, here are 5 tips to help your business reach its new year goal.

  • Adopt an Electronic Signature

Adopting an e-signature is the first step to going paperless. For many offices, signing documents is a big part of daily office life. From approving work to indicating agreement, signatures are vital to the business world, ensuring accountability, verification, and legal obligation.

Yet in an increasingly digital world, ink signatures are outdated. When most business is carried out on the computer, introducing paper into the mix tends to disrupt digital workflows and results in extra administration. This is where digital signatures come into play. Just as legally binding as their traditional counterparts, electronic signatures represent an alternative to pen and paper and can help your business go paperless.

With an electronic signature, you can keep your documents digital and eliminate paper and printing entirely. Instead, you can e-sign and send documents to clients in just a few clicks, saving time for your business and admin tasks for your employees. By keeping all your signing digital, you’ll take a big step towards becoming paperless in 2022.

  • Think Digital First

Signing documents isn’t the only reason that offices use a lot of paper. Despite the fact that we tend to work digitally on laptops and computers, many employees and managers will still print out hard copies of documents, emails, and notes.

Everyone likes to work differently and some people prefer to look at paper rather than a screen. There’s also the matter of meetings, where team leaders distribute individual handouts/packs and employees take notes with pen and paper. It’s estimated that 45% of office printouts end up in the bin the same day they are printed- a staggering amount of waste.

To help your office go paperless, why not encourage employees and team leaders to prioritise digital options first? With the technology that’s available these days, going paperless in meetings has never been easier. Sharing documents, emails or notes can be done digitally, so you can still communicate and collaborate with colleagues, without using paper.

  • Get Employees On Board

When implementing policy changes in your business, it’s essential to get your employees on board. After all, they’ll be the ones that are adopting these changes and altering the way they work. For many businesses, changing operational processes can sometimes be met with resistance. Employees are used to working a certain way; they’re comfortable with and knowledgeable about the current ways of working and can be reluctant to adopt new changes.

Getting employees to buy into the new paperless strategy will help your business achieve its goals.  Communicating your new paperless policy is essential. Explaining the benefits of going paperless, as well as training staff on new digital technology, is definitely a good place to start. From there, ensuring your employees can voice any concerns or issues about the new policy is also essential; it ensures your employees feel listened to and included in the process.

Taking a top-down approach to the new policy can also help, with managers and senior people leading by example and encouraging their team to embrace new paperless ways of working.

  • Digitise Existing Documents

Changing your processes to eliminate paper doesn’t mean that your office will be paperless overnight. Years of paper-based processes will no doubt have left your business with filing cabinets full of documents. Most offices will keep these documents as a record for future reference. In some industries, keeping an audit trail is vital to compliance and transparency.  To truly become a paperless office, you’ll have to sort through your physical documents and digitise them, most likely using your office scanner. While it may seem like a time-consuming project, it will ultimately ensure your business can operate efficiently in your new paperless environment.

No matter how good your paper filing system is, it can still take time to find the right file and the relevant documents within. Digitising your paperwork and creating a digital storage system can make it easier to find documents in the future; you can use the search function to track down exactly what you need when you need it.

  • Establish Processes That Work

Once you’ve implemented your digital technology, it’s important to establish processes that work for your business and your employees. Going paperless should make your operations more efficient. Digital technology should therefore make life easier for your employees not harder.

Whilst this could come down to the digital capabilities of your employees (i.e more digitally- savvy people may find the changes easier), establishing efficient workflows can also go a long way to achieving maximum efficiency and avoid falling back into old paper-based ways of working.

Taking your processes fully digital allows you to add elements of automation to your workflow, saving time on repetitive admin tasks and turning attention to higher-value work. These days, automation doesn’t have to involve coding or advanced computer skills; you can use connectors like Zapier and Microsoft. Encouraging collaboration between your business applications prevents your processes from becoming siloed and can help you get the most out of your digital technology.

 

Why should I choose E-Sign?

In a saturated market, it can be difficult to know what e-signature provider to choose; there are many available on the market. Here’s why we think you should choose us:

  • Our E-signature Is Easy to Use

At E-Sign, we want to make digital technology as user-friendly as possible. With the ability to drag and drop editable fields such as text boxes, tick boxes and e-signatures, you can create digital documents in just a few clicks.

  • We’re More Than an Electronic Signature

We understand that it takes more to go paperless than just an e-signature; that’s why we offer a range of digital tools to help you digitalise your documents including an ID checker, payment gateway and document management platform.

  • We Cater To All Sizes of Business

At E-Sign, we can cater to businesses of all types and sizes. With our various scalable pricing packages; Business, Business-pro and Enterprise  there’s truly something to suit every budget and business size at E-Sign.

  • Try Our 14-Day Free Trial Today

If you’re looking to take your business paperless in 2022, E-Sign should be at the top of your list. Our document management platform and digital toolbox can provide everything you need to ditch paper for good.

Why not give E-Sign a try for yourself? With our 14-day free trial, you can see if E-Sign is right for you, without any commitment.

 

E-Sign is a leading provider of digital transaction management solutions, supplying professional services including Electronic Signatures, Web Forms, ID Checker, Verification Tools, Personalised Emails, API and Payment Processing to businesses of all sizes across the UK.

To find out more about our E-Sign solutions and how they could transform your business, get in touch with us today.

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