Let's be honest, how many of us know exactly where to find a piece of paper once we have printed it out, and set it down or put it aware somewhere?
Paper is easy to misplace.
Yes, you may have filing cabinets, but with filing cabinets comes all the different dividers and separate folders you have to have for those pieces of paper within it.
Which is annoying in and of itself.
Plus, whether your filing cabinet is the most organized thing in the universe, you still have to go and dig through loose pieces of paper to find the exact one you need.
Maybe you don't find this to be a struggle or an inconvenience - whether that is because you are a small business and don't have enough documents to start piling up yet, or whether you have just been doing it for years and are used to it.
Two things: what happens when your business does grow and you do have enough documents to start piling up, and have you considered the money you could save on not purchasing paper and ink cartridges each month?
Let's take a look at the different benefits of your office going paperless.
But, keep in mind, when I say "paperless" I don't necessarily mean never printing or even looking at a piece of paper again.
When I say paperless I mean: save money and get rid of the clutter and mess!
This is the most important benefit.
As much as saving space and decluttering your office is essential and a huge benefit, let's be honest, we all care more about saving money!
Although the price will vary for each company - depending on how often you are printing and copying - on average the cost of paper for an office is $80 a month per employee.
So if you have ten employees you are essentially spending $800 a month on paper/ink.
Depending on the size and type of business you own, that can either be "chump change" or that be "holy sh*t $800?!".
Now, you may not spend $80 an employee per month, but are you aware of how much you are spending?
Buying in increments may make the cost of paper and ink seem low, but when you total up how much you have spent each month, the number might be cringe worthy!
Also, take into account how much money you are wasting on every piece of paper that doesn't print correctly, gets jammed, has an ink smear, or was typed/formatted incorrectly.
Did you know, that you are actually wasting money when you use your time to search for a specific file or piece of paper?
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers on average a business will spend $20 in labor on filing papers, $120 searching for misplaced or lost pieces of paper, and over $220 on the recreation of a document/piece of paper per month.
Crazy, isn't it?
Save the money - go paperless.
You can save all your documents, agreements, essential pieces of paper to your computer, on a USB Falsh drive, and you can even back them up in different apps or software, such as theCloud, to ensure you don't lose anything in case of computer failure or if you lose/have property stolen.
If you have a bunch of papers to store, what happens when you start running out of room?
I challenged myself this past year to narrow down the articles of clothing in my closest as much as I could after reading a couple different posts on Pinterest about space saving.
One article I came across said to take all the "iffy" or "maybe" pieces of clothing I had - the ones I wasn't dead certain on keeping, but wasn't sure I should give away "just in case" - bag them up and stick them in an attic, garage, or separate closet for three months.
If during those three months I didn't go to that bag of "maybe clothes" to grab something, that would prove I did not actually need/want that any of the articles of clothing.
Unfortunately, it's not really the same with important documents.
You can't just decide that since you haven't looked at an agreement with a client in twelve months that you do not need it anymore, and throw it away.
As long as that person is a client, you need that agreement.
Over time, you can imagine how those important documents began to pile up.
What happens once you out live the space in your filing cabinet?
You have to either get a new filing cabinet, or box up the current documents/pieces of paper in your filing cabinet and store them elsewhere to make room for your new pieces of paper.
Now you don't only have paper piling up, but boxes too!
And how annoying is it to have to rearrange boxes and dig different pieces of paper to find the document you need to refer back to?
Save yourself the hassle.
If your files are kept on your computer, USB Flash Drive, or in theCloud/other backup software programs, you can type the name of your file into your search engine, and find the file within seconds!
Going paperless is space efficient and convenient.
How many times have you or someone you know joked about "saving the trees"?
However you want to view it, saving trees or hugging them, reducing the production of paper and the disposing of ink cartridges does and will help improve the health of our environment!
According to The Daily Green, paper is 25% of landfill waste!
It's never too late to start - even if you have three filing cabinets full of paper.
Create organizational folders within your computer and start saving your documents accordingly.
Now, whether you have the time to go through and scan all the files in your filing cabinet into your computer is up to you.
It is an option.
Once you have created those different files within your computer, you can scan your filed papers into your computer and save them in your newly created folders.
The organization is up to you and may take some time, but the time you would spend reorganizing your office to become paperless will be significantly less than continuing to dig through piles of paper for the rest of your life.
The good news is that you will immediately start saving money and doing your part to help the environment!
This doesn't take time.
The moment you snap your fingers and decide to go paperless, you're saving and not polluting!
Do you value time and money?
If your answer is yes, then you want to do what you can to eliminate wasted time and expenses.
Going paperless can help you do so!