When discussing the benefits of switching to a digital office, many proponents focus on two major factors: the reduced cost of a paperless operation and the positive environmental impact created when businesses reduce or eliminate the use of paper.
While these advantages shouldn’t be overlooked, they aren’t the only ones that an electronic workflow provides. In fact, the time-saving and efficiency-boosting aspects of using electronic document storage may help businesses significantly improve their return on investment. Small Business Computing points out that collaborating on projects becomes easier when using digitally stored documents, as ease of access is improved and information is shared quickly.
Collaboration becomes a far simpler process
When many employees have to contribute to a project, the logistics can quickly become a problem. Finding a meeting space to review documents or work on a client project can involve significant time and resources, and scheduling a time when all participants are available can be difficult. When businesses switch to a digital office, however, they can turn many of the logistical problems encountered in collaborative projects into non-issues. Remotely accessing information and contributing to a project is much easier when staff members can do so from their desks.
This benefit is especially notable when workers are involved in a team effort that includes people at different physical work sites or an outside agency or consultant. By eliminating the barriers that exist when working with hard copies, efficiency is improved. More time is spent on the actual work and less on organizing staff and materials.
Give employees more time to do what matters
The reduction of busywork that a paperless office provides extends past group work and also improves productivity on an individual level. Because staff members spend less time sorting, filing and – most importantly – looking for documents, they have more available hours to perform important tasks and use critical thinking skills.
TechLeaders blog points out that it’s common for businesses switching to paperless offices to save between 10 and 30 percent of employee time overall, depending on the industry and specific company functions. This leads to advantages felt across an organization, from HR and recruiting professionals being able to analyze potential hires with more accuracy, to less data entry on the part of administrators.