The tantalizing idea of an office without paper was first dangled in front of the business world more than 30 years ago, with the personal computer revolution. But what futurists failed to realize was just how entrenched paper usage was, and the fact that a computer connected to a printer offered the perfect temptation to print more rather than less.
The paperless office in no way materialized with the first wave of personal computers, and it didn’t happen when everyone got internet connections either. Now you could print out emails and downloaded articles in addition to all the other stuff offices routinely printed out! The situation has improved to some extent, with even the most senior employees realizing that consuming content from a screen works just as well in most cases.
With mobility, the truly paperless office is starting to be a real possibility. Trust in electronic documents has grown, and many more people and organizations are serious about reducing their environmental footprint. Here’s one way to make the paperless (or nearly paperless) office come about.
It’s Easier if You’re Just Starting Out Your Business
If you’re in the process of starting a business from scratch, you can make it as paperless as possible by choosing paperless software and developing paperless processes from the beginning. The business trio of the laptop, the smartphone, and the tablet together make up an office that goes everywhere, so even if you do invest in physical desks, they might not get much use. With cloud-powered applications available for just about everything, the need for on-site IT hardware has diminished greatly too. There’s never been a better time to start up a paperless business.
Existing Businesses Can Dramatically Cut Paper Usage Too
Making paper-based processes paperless may cause some disruption. People like doing things the way they’re used to doing them, after all. But judiciously selecting processes to remove from the paper-based world and run electronically can get more people on board so that future moves away from paper are easier for people to accept. Setting up a simple document signing app or making a commonly used paper form into an electronic one can help your business take a big step toward the paperless ideal.
Online Forms Are a Great First Step
Few people like paper-based forms. They’re tedious, sometimes hard to read, and they can be lost, damaged, stolen, or otherwise mishandled. Electronic Survey Forms, on the other hand, present no worries about penmanship, can be submitted electronically to avoid being lost or damaged, and can allow entry of data one time to populate multiple forms or multiple fields in a single form. Form software that lets you duplicate the look and feel of your paper forms, right down to font and color choices, helps the reticent get over their fear of change.
Mobility Takes the Paperless Office to the Next Level
Online forms that are mobile-friendly take your paper-free ambitions to the next level. Why not make it easy for traveling employees to submit expense reports from the road? Let your field technicians document services right from their tablet, and records are more up-to-date and accurate while saving everyone precious time. The editor who can finish editing reports from her laptop can be productive both in the office or working from home when her child is sick. Electronic forms raise all sorts of great possibilities, and mobile-friendly forms fulfill many of them.
PerfectApps is mobile-friendly form software that doesn’t require programming skills to use. Non-technical users can create pixel-perfect forms that users can submit electronically, accelerating workflows appreciably. You can even include automatic notifications in your electronic workflows, so when someone needs to review a completed form, they’re notified by email right away. Are you interested in the paperless (or “as paperless as possible”) office? You can try PerfectApps for free by signing up for a trial. Experience for yourself the possibilities the electronic, paper-free office has long promised.