Posts Tagged ‘paperless office’

The home office space is becoming more vital.  Telecommuting is on the increase.  Awareness is increasing around the benefits of telecommuting, such as less congested commutes and decreased energy use office buildings.  Employers are touting the option to telecommute as a recruitment tool and it is a trend that does not appear to be reversing anytime soon.  With this trend, the importance of being able to access your files electronically from various locations is essential. You need a paperless office.  But there is another, more sustainable benefit to electronic files – less paper – which also means less purchasing, printing, and storing.

Going paperless often means “less paper” (at least at first), but the benefits remain.  From an environmental perspective, the two major benefits include using less paper, and ultimately, requiring less space, which directly relates to less energy used for heating, cooling, lighting, etc..  Think of a typical office building and the amount of space dedicated to file cabinets – this space is heated, cooled, and lighted (at least to some extent).  On a smaller scale, and in your own office, the space dedicated to file storage may not be great, but moving towards paperless will help you avoid future clutter and stacks.

A key step in reducing paper in your home office is managing unnecessary postal mail – this includes junk mail, catalogs, marketing efforts, credit card offers, etc.  You can research efforts on removing yourself from unsolicited mail and telemarketer lists – there are services that will help get you off these lists for a small fee.  Here’s a great guide to remove yourself from junk mail lists.

Instead of making a paper copy or printing out a duplicate and storing the item in your paper filing system, invest in an office scanner.  Utilize electronic fax technology as opposed to traditional paper-based fax machines.  Get comfortable with digital signatures – this can save countless print outs and they are easily filed away in your digital filing system.  Implementing these measures will get you on the way to your paperless office.  As a final note, invest in a back-up system, such as an external hard-drive or a remote online storage service – this is an essential component to minimize your risk associated with computer failure, natural disasters, etc.