Paper Or Paperless: What System Should Your Office be Using?

 [This article was written by Brionna Kennedy.]

Thanks to constantly updating technology, it’s easier and easier for small businesses to go paperless. It’s easy to jump to conclusions, however, and think that every office should be a paperless one, when that just may not be the case. Let’s take a quick look at some of the pros and cons of paperless offices so you can make the decision that is right for your business.

The Pros

Filing cabinets stacking up?

Going paperless is, of course, the most eco-friendly option for a business. The Daily Green predicts that paper alone accounts for nearly a quarter of landfill waste, not including extra paper-related costs like ink cartridges and printer use energy. If being environmentally friendly is important to your business, this is the number one way to fulfill your green goals.

It can be very cost-effective to go paperless. Besides the money you spend on paper, consider the cost put into printer and copier maintenance, ink, postage, and the storage space needed to store all these physical documents. The savings of going paperless can add up very quickly here.

There are even different softwares to help integrated a paperless system in your office. They can be catered to different offices and professions. Law to physical therapy offices are now using emr software to help switch to a paperless office. Once you get your paperless system up and running, it can also be much, much easier to organize and access your files. No more rooting around in stacks of paper or haphazard filing cabinets — all the files you need are right at your fingertips. 

The Cons

Ensure your files are protected from hackers.

With any computer-based system, security and safety of the files is a concern. If your system was hacked or if it got shut down during a storm, would your files be protected? There are ways to guard against security breaches, and there are plenty of systems available for backing up data, but many people are uncomfortable switching over entirely to a paperless system because of this concern.

The other major issue with going paperless is that it can be a time-consuming transition. Once everything is converted to the digital format, searching for and organizing files is a breeze, but first all the physical documents have to be loaded into the computer in a readable format, not to mention the training you’ll have to do to ensure your employees know how to use the new system. If you don’t put in the effort ahead of time, going paperless can be a frustrating and inefficient process.

Going paperless is not a one-size-fits-all solution for a small business, and if it’s not right for your company, don’t stress about pushing yourself to fit that model. If you do decide to go paperless, make sure and do your research so you know how to avoid the pitfalls, improve productivity, and take full advantage of every benefit going paperless has to offer.


About the Author

Brionna Kennedy is native to the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Washington, then moving down to Oregon for college. She enjoys writing on fashion and business—but any subject will do—she loves to learn about new topics. When she isn’t writing, she lives for the outdoors. Oregon has been the perfect setting to indulge her love of kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking. For this article Brionna did a lot of research into the non paper options and found that even medical offices such as physical therapy offices now use EMR software to avoid excess paper.

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