4 Ways to Reduce Paper Usage in Your Office
These days, everyone’s concerned with saving resources and protecting the environment. In an office setting, paper usage is one of the main areas where waste occurs, and costs mount up.
Get on top of paper use and save
Here’s four simple ways that you can save on paper (and money) in your office.
1) Shift to online faxing
This is a revolutionary way to save on paper costs. With online faxing, you set up an account with a provider such as eFax, then you and your staff can send and receive a virtual fax via any computer or mobile device. It’s quick, secure and entirely paperless. And remember how much paper a traditional fax machine can use. Not just in the actual sending of the document, but also with the reams that are spit out every time there’s an error. And what about printing out of cover sheets? With virtual faxing, cover sheets are stored electronically, and can be used every time you send. You can even set up a digital signature.
2) Put limits on printing and make staff aware
Your staff should all be aware of the rule of thinking before printing. You can add in an extra step such as needing to enter a password to make it slightly harder to print, forcing to them to really think about whether they need a hard copy. You might also post notices next to the printer about the impact of printing on the environment. How many trees went into that ream of copy paper?
3) Set printing defaults to double sided printing
Even if you can’t do away with the printer completely, you can still save on paper by printing on both sides. This means that you’ll halve the amount of paper that gets used. There may be special instances where single sided is needed (usually for clients or legal documents) but a default setting of double siding will go a long way towards saving on the cost of paper.
4) Use file sharing and the cloud
If your employees use laptops or tablets, stop printing out agendas for meetings. Simply email everyone an agenda which they can refer to on their portable device. This will save on printouts that are used only once then hurled into the bin.
The same goes for business documents that require collaboration. Store them in the cloud so everyone can access them and there’s no need for printouts.
Instead of printing out paper memos, internal newsletters or staff magazines, create rules that all such internal communication is done via documents stored and accessed in the cloud. Also consider creating electronic forms for all office needs such as expenses or leave.
A paperless office is the future
Actively pushing all your documents to an online system and making sure everyone in your organisation is trying to save on paper not only helps the environment and your bottom line, it can also increase the overall efficiency of your business.