Author’s bio: Drew Reid works for SodaPDF and is a business tech junkie. Drew has written for a number of publications on the topic of consolidating daily office functions through the use of technology and software.
Paper waste is a chronic problem, one that is closely related to a poor use of technology, especially in an office setting.
Although simple fixes like cutting back on printer use and making double sided copies, using thinner paper and lowering the amount of unwanted mail, especially unsolicited mail is a good start, it is just the tip of the iceberg.
Use less paper by taking advantage of the technology available
If your employees are still using printed forms for new hire contracts, to request time off or for inter-office memos it’s time to re-evaluate your strategy.
Not only is it a waste of paper, it’s a waste of time. Simple online forms can take the place of the majority of printed documents.
E-mail can take the place of internal memos, meeting and special event announcements, and targeted communications. It is also a fast and easy way to broadcast important information to the entire office, not to mention it’s a more inexpensive route.
Create a web page for frequently used and requested information and forms to streamline communication and cut down on time spent on internal processes.
You can use data compression software to convert your documents into pdf format when storing them in an electronic archive, saving on both space and paper.
Finally, using electronic data interchange technologies—web-based secure credit card transfers for example—can cut down on the number of printed forms being used for invoices and transfer records.
Take advantage of PDF software
PDFs are an extremely advantageous way to create, convert, edit, annotate and secure file. In business, security is always a concern—especially in the case of sensitive documents. PDF software specifically made for business use can be accessed in a secure and sign module, and documents can be modified based on the level of security and permissions necessary.
Files can also be modified so specific parts can be edited, while other sections remain locked. This is especially useful for contracts and new hire forms where a signature or addition is needed while large parts of the document need to remain un-edited.
In terms of security, PDF documents allow information to be kept together which can relieve concerns of information being hacked or stolen. Additionally, you can select a provider that guarantees files are sent fee of harmful attachment in a secure format.
Reports can also easily be converted to PDF by using Microsoft office, Google Chrome using the print menu or purchased PDF software.
The bottom line
Paper related costs are closely associated with a business’s informational organization. Whether your ultimate goal is to promote a greener office environment or not, it’s a byproduct of information management. Simply reducing font a single size or setting up margins to smaller numbers can result in 14 percent less paper being used.
Finally, it has been estimated that using technologies like those mentioned above and electronic mail and document scanners not only save time and money, but they also can result in a 10 to 30 percent reduction in paper usage.