Planning the paperless office

One of the most common trends within the private sector is the rising demand to follow the digital revolution and go paperless. By reducing its dependence on physical paperwork, an organization can reduce a number of expenses such as ink and paper costs, streamline operations and enhance collaboration in the workplace.

While making the initial transition to a paperless lifestyle is often difficult, another challenge is maintaining operations after the original move is complete. Unfortunately, in many cases there are psychological or technological barriers that inhibit a firm's ability to fully embrace and maintain the paperless work culture. By leveraging the right tools, however, executives can make the process less complicated.

1. Use scanners effectively
The only way to truly transition to the paperless workstyle is to adopt and leverage innovative document imaging workflow processes. Individuals should be able to access scanners easily so they can convert physical paperwork to a digital format. In doing so, employees can use document management systems to effectively store and secure mission-critical resources until they are needed down the road.

Document management software can also help companies enhance electronic workflow processes by boosting collaboration. If employees are able to efficiently communicate, share files and operate with colleagues without serious performance issues, businesses will be able to get ahead of the competition.

2. Embrace the mobile lifestyle
In today's day and age, it is no longer possible for companies to neglect mobile initiatives. While smartphones and laptops are highly efficient tools for the workplace, tablets in particular are gaining momentum and helping firms remain productive in their paperless efforts.

Tablets are essentially high-powered and sleek computers capable of supporting the most complex enterprise mobile applications. As a result, they are becoming an increasingly important part of today's private sector, especially as employees continue to demand the ability to work outside the office.

3. Implement electronic workflow processes
While the above-mentioned practices can help companies adopt a paperless lifestyle, the best way to enhance efficiency in the digital era is to effectively embrace electronic workflow operations. Rather than forcing employees to print out documents for executives to sign, having a process that supports digital signatures can streamline operations without disrupting traditional approval procedures.

Decision-makers need to plan their paperless efforts ahead of time if they want to remain efficient during an after the transition period.