The idea of a paperless office was first conceptualized in a 1975 Business Week Magazine article titled “The Office of the Future.” At the time, employees had to spend vast amounts of time digging through cabinets and storage boxes to find the appropriate file.
However, nowadays, despite the prevalence of digital files and emails, many business processes still rely on paper documents.
The paperless office is yet to become a reality, but the 2020’s coronavirus pandemic might just speed up the process.
Lockdown measures and restrictions imposed by governments worldwide led to millions of people working from home. With their offices empty, businesses are now faced with a new primary concern: maintaining work efficiency and productivity while their employees are working remotely.
Driven by innovative technology and the attitudes altered by the pandemic, digital-first solutions are becoming increasingly popular.
Today more than ever, the paperless office seems to be the future for most businesses. Here are a few simple ways to join the trend and turn your office paperless.
The first step towards a paperless office is the digitization of your processes, including file scanning, editing, and sharing.
A pioneer in developing Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, CamScanner helps people unify workflows with digital and scanned documents.
From notes, files, recipes, and photographs to IDs and important documents, use CamScanner to scan anything and turn them into digital copies — PDF or JPEG. Upload the soft copies on cloud drive to manage them online, instead of being swamped by papers.
The app is free to use on Android and iOS devices. Still, you can upgrade to a premium plan that includes 10GB of cloud storage and allows you to send password-protected document links in addition to other useful features.
Powered by its AI-based OCR technology, CamScanner can also convert PDF files to Word, Excel, or editable PDF without losing formatting. And to show its support for digitization, CamScanner offers a free-to-use PDF converter on its website: http://bit.ly/3pv1z9R.
By digitizing everything, you can search, retrieve, and assemble information effortlessly, making business processes straightforward to implement, more cost-efficient, and highly beneficial for employee productivity and an improved customer experience.
Apart from converting all paper documents to digital, another way to go paperless is by eliminating all paper-based processes, including communication and collaboration between employees.
A tool you can use is Notion, a cloud-based platform where teams can plan and collaborate on a wide variety of projects and tasks.
The app boasts highly customizable pages, task lists, kanban boards, and dashboards. One of the best features is the option to create new pages, each of which can have its subtopics. In other words, it mimics pieces of paper inside folders.
The convenience of collaborating live on cloud-based versioning platforms is very appealing, compared to printed documents that become outdated as soon as someone makes a change.
3. Cloud Storage
Dropbox offers one central hub for online file storage, sharing, and syncing. Whether you’re at work or on the road, files are automatically synced across devices and accessible in real-time.
The cloud storage service keeps team members connected, enabling them to see and react quickly to urgent matters. Shared folders also provide rich workspaces where everyone can get coordinated by uploading content, sharing files, adding folder descriptions, and assigning tasks.
File sharing with Dropbox is quick and easy by just sharing a link. From videos to zipped folders, users can send anything to anyone, even if they don’t have a Dropbox account.
Security-wise, the remote wipe feature enables users to clear all files and folders from a lost or stolen device’s Dropbox account. All of the files are kept securely in cloud storage and backed up multiple times.
Technology makes it possible to perform all office processes without using a single piece of paper, from generating files to data storage, data management, and security.
With the advent of mobile scanning, collaboration tools, and cloud-based storage, technology offers employees flexibility and reliability, supporting their daily tasks.
Achieving office automation while going paperless can save time, money, and resources for a business. Applications featured in this article have made the concept of a paperless office real.