What Steps Are Required To Achieve A Paperless Office?

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Paperless offices are becoming the norm all over the world and more & more businesses are trying to achieve paperless offices because it is becoming hard to stay compliant, relevant, and updated with the latest trend going on in the industry with a paper-based office. It might seem like an intimidating task to start with the transition process of paper-based to paperless but nevertheless, this transition is possible and here are the steps required to achieve a paperless office:

Gather All The Important Stakeholders

The first step is to gather all the stakeholders including corporate-level executives, management, managers, and other people to discuss the whole process of going paperless. Since a company or organization isn’t run by a single person, it is vital that all the important stakeholders are gathered together and made to discuss the process of achieving a paperless office.

If managers and important employees of the company aren’t gathered together to discuss the process then it would be surprising for them to find out about this mid-way during the transitional process. For the success of any project, everyone involved needs to have input on what’s happening around so that they can know how the organization is currently operating. 

Don’t Revolutionize The Company’s Processes Immediately

While adopting digital technology, make sure that you are not reinventing the wheel which basically means changing everything in the name of transformation and efficiency. The temptation while adopting the new technology will be there to completely revolutionize the company’s processes but this comes with potential risks, the most noteworthy is that you will be leaving your staff members behind.

Remember that a company or business is never run by a single person, there are multiple entities and people involved who work together to successfully run the business. If you try to reinvent the wheel and revolutionize your company’s process, you will be leaving behind the staff members of the companies. So, before you re-invent everything, you should give proper training to the members and slowly & gradually make the conversion from paper-based processes to digital workflows so the employees have ample time to get used to new ways of working.

Map Out Where The Data Is Currently Located

Another step in achieving a paperless office is to map out where all the data of the company is currently stored. Usually, for most companies, the data is located in a central location but you should map out where all of your data is stored. Whether it is in a central location or it is scattered over multiple offices? Whether people have started working with data in digital form? Whether the process of converting paper-based data into digital form has started?

All of these questions need to be answered and all the important data of the company needs to be mapped in order to develop a comprehensive system that will help in the easy migration of data into a digital system where all the employees of the company can access and update the data with ease. 

Digitization Of The Data

Once data mapping is done, the next step is to actually migrate the data into digital form i.e digitization of the data. Usually, there are two ways by which this can be done. This can be done using the in-house IT department or the staff members that can scan all of the documents or a third-party company can be hired to perform this job.

When you choose the internal route then you are basically choosing the less expensive option but it can cause disruption among the operations of the company as people will be pulled away from their regular jobs for a long time but since digital documents like PDF are easy to work with and they are convertible into other formats like PDF to Word, these digital documents don’t make the job that much difficult. Plus, these digital file formats can be converted back to original format i.e if you had converted a PDF to Word then it can be converted back from Word to PDF in just a few moments.

When you choose the option of hiring an external company to do the actual digitization of the files then you will be preferring an expensive option and there may be security issues that will have to be resolved in advance but the staff members of the company won’t be disturbed. 

Set Up A Secure, Private System

After you are done with the digitization process, you will have to set up a secure & private system or have someone set up a system for the company where only authorized people will be able to access the data. Only those people who will have the right security credentials will be able to access the files and workflows of the company. This is the last important step that is required to achieve a paperless office.