How To Achieve A Paperless Office Whether Working In An Office Or Remotely – Sustainable, Safe, Simple

by | Jun 15, 2022 | Business, Work From Home

We cut down seven billion trees every year to produce paper alone. Based on current estimates, that adds up to 0.11% of all trees lost per year. (GoTreeQuotes). Nowadays, a growing number of companies and investors are looking for ways to reduce carbon emission.

A straightforward way to make a positive environmental impact is converting papers into digital documents and eliminating fax workflows. On average, a single tree can take 100 years to reach a size where it can produce just 17 reams of paper (Paperless Productivity). More than half of paper is made from virgin forests, meaning that efforts to reduce paper consumption can significantly impact your carbon footprint. 

As trees are critical contributors to purifying the air and removing greenhouse gas emissions, going paperless helps to reduce the number of pollutants in our atmosphere. When a single tree is turned into 17 reams of paper, 110 lbs of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere. If left to flourish, however, the same trees we use in paper production could instead absorb CO2— and around 2,000 pounds of CO2 can be absorbed by the average tree within its lifetime. Along with reducing waste, going paperless increases employees’ ability to serve customers and colleagues more accurately and efficiently, with a secure audit trail along the way (Forum of Private Business). Going paperless may be the first step toward sustainability for enterprises, but it can bring about a slew of additional benefits for your brand.

Going Paperless Benefits Both Environment and Business

Paperless offices save trees. By reducing paper usage to adapt to this model, companies are able to lower their contribution to the volume of greenhouse gasses (GHG) entering our atmosphere. Trees are carbon dioxide absorption machines—so anything we can do to preserve them will have a sizable, positive impact. 

By going paperless—or paper-light, to start out with—you can reduce the direct impact of your office or business on the environment. As an added bonus, the paperless model unlocks new possibilities for storing, retrieving, and securing documents and data that were not previously possible with older, paper-reliant systems. In addition, going paperless reduces costs for supplies and related equipment.

When businesses take advantage of a digital workflow, productivity increases thanks to a reduced need for administrative tasks such as printing, scanning, and tracking documents. The reduction of paper waste allows teams to focus on higher-value tasks, thus reducing time waste as well. 

What is a Paperless Office?

A paperless work environment, also known as a paper-free office, minimizes the use of physical paper. These offices instead utilize digital workflows and documents to increase efficiency and reduce paper consumption. The paperless worker is one who does not use–or uses very little–paper in the workplace. The process of converting paper documents into electronic files is commonly referred to as “digitization.”

How to Go Paperless at Work?

Reduced paper usage has numerous benefits for all kinds of businesses, from new startups to established brands with well-defined policies and procedures. While eliminating all paper dependency may not be feasible for every business, even a small reduction can lead to savings and increased efficiency. With the use of technology, it is relatively simple to begin taking steps toward a paperless office right away. 

The number of digital solutions for converting paper documents to storing your electronic files is vast. One of the most popular and versatile options for digitizing your file collection, however, is the PDF. 

Below, we explore some practices that will help you develop a paperless office strategy.  

Digitize Paper-Based Documents with Scanner and Text Recognition (OCR)

In an increasingly digital world, digitized workflows and documents are becoming key tools for companies hoping to build a sustainable model for the future. Efficient methods of digitizing documents, in particular, are crucial for companies looking to digitize their data and take advantage of the ongoing pivot to online commerce. Moving to fully-online models reduces time loss, increases productivity, and vastly improves organization. 

Business cards handed out in the networking events, for instance, are easy to forget about when they’re sitting in your wallet, on top of your desk, or in the bottom of your junk drawer at home—but they do spring to mind when you need to find one! 

You may end up with a huge stack of business cards, which can quickly become a mess. Apps like PDF Reader, Adobe Scan, and CamScanner, make it easy for you to scan and capture important information by using Optical Character Recognition (OCR). You can then store them digitally within your smartphone or tablet. With this software, you can pull up those once-forgotten contacts with the touch of a button. 

OCR technology recognizes and digitizes information on physical documents, including paper files, photos, engineering plans, and other paper-based documents, and transfers it to a digital format. Digital documents, such as PDFs, can also be converted into an editable format with an OCR converter, allowing for neat note-taking. 

Streamline Your Document Management with PDF Converter

Once you go digital, you will certainly find yourself often encountering files in PDF format. It is the most popular file format because it preserves formatting and data. However, if you want to edit the document, you will need a converter that converts PDF files into an editable format. 

Adobe Acrobat PDF is a standard for sharing data and allows your files to be converted between many popular file formats (including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, text, and so on). Imagine you receive a PDF with tables that you would like to edit. In most cases, your only option is to print the document and then write additional information on it. The PDF converter allows you to convert it back to the original file format (e.g. Excel or Numbers) so you can add columns and rows without missing a beat. 

Edit Text in PDFs

In some business processes, there might be a paper document or PDF that you need to edit but cannot locate the original.

There are several software programs available that make editing a PDF a straightforward process. If you're on a computer, Kdan's free PDF Reader works with both Mac and Windows.

With a PDF solution, you can easily update PDF documents from anywhere using a variety of available devices. There are several software programs available that make editing a PDF a straightforward process. If you’re on a computer, Kdan’s free PDF Reader works with both Mac and Windows. Regardless of the operating system you use, it allows you to edit the text in PDF files directly without recreating a new document.

Store Documents and Files Digitally in the Cloud

By backing up your documents on cloud storage services, you’ll reduce the risk of losing them—especially if you’re frequently guilty of storing messy piles of paper. Moreover, you can create shared files in the cloud so that multiple members can work on the same project at the same time, which is a huge bonus for hybrid or remote working environments. There are some free cloud storage options, such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Kdan Cloud, but others require a fee. 

Before choosing a platform to store and backup your data, it’s important to do your research and select the option that best fits your needs.

Before choosing a platform to store and backup your data, it’s important to do your research and select the option that best fits your needs. The Kdan PDF Reader supports Dropbox, Google Drive, Kdan Cloud, and other cloud services, allowing you to use PDFs regardless of whether you’re using Windows, Mac, tablets, or mobile devices. The PDF format allows you to access documents on virtually any platform. 

Strengthened Document Security & Confidentiality

Document security is vital in today’s landscape: from trade secrets to confidential client information, mishandled documents leave your company vulnerable. Paper documents, especially, present risks in this regard. Untraceable once printed and able to be carried out of your office at any time, you may not know you’ve had a paper security breach until it’s too late. 

Fortunately, businesses can take a few different steps to protect access and discourage improper usage of PDFs or other types of documents. Working from home still comes with the same responsibility for document security as working in an office. To strengthen document security, organizations can watermark documents with identifying information (e.g., company name and username) to prevent individuals from leaking documents and recognizing the source. Most importantly, they can keep these documents on secure digital platforms—not in print.

It is also possible to revoke privileges with a permissions password, ensuring that only the intended recipient will be able to open the document.

Turn Paper Processes into Digital Agreements & E-sign Workflows

As most processes today are still designed to use pen and ink, they are still quite reliable, and using current paper processes does not require much learning. However, in many cases, signing physical documents with multiple parties can be a very time-consuming process that involves many human errors. 

We can eliminate paper contracts and agreements by using e-sign services such as DottedSign in a paperless workflow.

We can eliminate paper contracts and agreements by using e-sign services such as DottedSign in a paperless workflow. This makes signing and sharing documents part of a streamlined workflow, saving valuable time and money for customers, clients, and visitors.

Using Stamps to Facilitate Team Collaboration

Efficiency is the key to success in any business. By minimizing busy work, your team will have more time to focus on critical, value-adding tasks. In paperless processes, clerical work is reduced and more time can be dedicated to activities that take priority. 

It can take a lot of time to prepare, file, organize, and maintain paperwork—paperless operations make this process much more manageable.

In cases where more than one person is working on the same document, using comment and PDF stamp tools to pass information back and forth can help increase workflow efficiency.

The Path to Digital Transformation

The Digital Transformation process begins with taking steps toward going paperless. In addition to the immediate benefits of going paperless, digitizing your office is a great way to enjoy the cleanliness of a paperless environment and grow your business. 

Workplace transformation can be a challenging process due to changes to how your business or entire company operates. Fortunately, implementing paperless practices doesn’t have to be intimidating; small steps can lead to big changes over time. When paper consumption is reduced daily, you will realize new savings.

Try PDF Reader now and make your paperless office a reality. Let's get started on your paperless journey today and find out what you can gain by ditching paper.

Try PDF Reader now and make your paperless office a reality. Let’s get started on your paperless journey today and find out what you can gain by ditching paper.

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