Transitioning to a paperless office is often identified as an organisational improvement initiative. The transition need not happen overnight and can be progressive. Initiatives to implement in order to transition to a paperless office are outlined below:-
- Pay bills online;
- Scan as many documents as you can. This will ultimately reduce how many paper documents need to be stored around the office;
- Utilise programs like Survey Monkey to prepare and issue customer surveys;
- Utilise file sharing software since it may allow several users to access files in a controlled manner. Possible file sharing software solutions to consider are:-
- Drop Box
- Share File
- Secure Docs
- Open Drive
- Utilise electronic signatures wherever possible provided appropriate delegated authority guidelines have been developed and implemented. Ensure internal audits are conducted regularly to check correct use of electronic signature(s).
Potential disadvantages associated with implementing a paperless office are outlined below:-
- Email statements can sometimes be blocked by spam filters;
- A full inbox has the potential for an important email not to be opened and actioned;
- Staff may resist change especially if they are not IT savvy;
- There is the potential for unauthorised third party access i.e. hackers.
The compromise is for an organisation to move towards a paperless system and digitise all documents wherever practical.
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