January 20th, 2014 • workflow
It irks me, we’ve been listening to this for the last many decades and still continue to look at it as a dream. Why is your office not a paperless one yet? Where did it go wrong? Does it not seem absurd when we have been able to get our ride on Mars and yet we’ve no effective solution to make our offices paperless? It may sound melodramatic but, the concept of “Paperless office” has stood out mocking us and seems to exemplify the failure of mankind. All through these years there has been a lot of development in technology to aid our transit to a paperless office and if you have not gone paperless yet, well, what the hell have you been doing?!
You probably tried to make your office a paperless one and seeing a few roadblocks, gave up the whole idea. That’s a shame. Sure, you can call me cocky, but yeah guess what, we made our attempt to go paperless. And were our efforts futile, that’s for you to read…
Operation Papercut: Truth be said, running a paperless office is no easy job, but our team decided to take the voyage to a paperless office nevertheless. The first thing we did, set ground rules and guidelines..
Rule 1: Motivation for the road not taken, that’s what you need first more than anything at all. We promised ourselves the best of Scotch and a few many pints.
Rule 2: Well, Ted Roosevelt is known to have said “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” It’s alright if you screw it up, it can’t get any worse. So get your arse up already.
Rule 3: Be open about your orientation when it comes to paper, mock people who hand papers and documents to you. They’ve made you life miserable enough.
First moves in making our office paperless: Identifying the cause for paper clutter in your office, we identified the ‘Who What When Why and How’ of the papers that encroached our space. Typically, the reasons for each paper to find space in the office, we got into war mode. This is when we discover the lawyers in us, defending the existence and purpose of every paper and file that we find important. When you are at it, you may win the argument and hold your pride, but this isn’t Boston Legal. Here is when you make use of the ground rules and get your act together..
Hours of document digging later we figured out the entire deal, the source for this paper infestation. Papers had poured in from within and outside our organisation, and some people just wanted to get the better of us..
And we swore , we’d never to let that happen ever again..
Tackling Roadblocks :
Roadblock 1 – We like to keep every piece of paper even if it is redundant..
Yes, only you will know the value of the document, no one has the right to discard it, keep it safe.. and with that you’ve contributed to the forgotten mountain pile of documents . It’s for people like us that digitizing is a boon, make your smart move and switch to Google Drive or Dropbox. Now the good part about this is, you can have all of your gazzlion files on the cloud and access them from anywhere. The better part is you can have all of them indexed!
Roadblock 2 – We make notes, mark changes and express ourselves on the paper documents..
Share your files without ink and paper: We switched to Google Docs. On Google Docs we now work simultaneously with our co-workers on documents and spreadsheets. Apart from compiling documents together, we get to post comments highlighting the changes in the documents. The auto save feature is a life saver. What’s more, we also get to view the multiple iterations made to the documents and know how the document shaped up. If your office is going Paperless, it’s just the right time to Go Google.
Roadblock 3 – We have thousands of paperless transactions and bill payments..
It had always been a harrowing experience to track sales and expenses, sending those invoices and accepting payments, all these while keeping your accountants in loop, sure to drive anyone mad. Our accounts and administration department jumped on the opportunity to go paperless. These clever fellas switched to Quick Books. Running office finances is now a lot more easier to track and is prompt. We switched to email receipts for customers helping them keep their offices paperless. And similarly asked them to wire us the payments. If there’s a need for you to put your impressions on a document, use digital signature, it’s as good as your physical signature and saves you loads of time.
A month down we got a paperless office, yeah beat that! It removed the clutter as expected but there was something more in store, our productivity increased multiple folds. Having stored documents on Google Drive, looking up files and documents was easier than ever before. Access control on Google drive just makes it a lot more safer and the chances of losing track of data is completely eliminated, data secured and accessible.
Turns out, we didn’t screw it up! Time you got your paperless office. We discarded our file cabinets and filled the space with tools vital for a livelier office, a pantry, a dartboard and an XBox. After all, looks like there are many good reasons to go paperless 😉