The use of electronic document management and other digital office practices can help a business be perceived as more up-to-date, easy to work with and conscious of environmental impacts.
A study from research from Edelman Berland found that public views of electronic operations are significantly better than those of paper-based ones. For example, ease of use was viewed as 53 percent more positive with digital practices than paper. Along with the improved office efficiency and reduced spending on paper, printing supplies and other concerns, the perceptive advantages of paperless business operations can help organizations become better performers in a wide variety of ways.
CIO.com points out that beyond the advantages of public perception, paperless practices also significantly enhance efficiency. Because digital practices are already so pervasive in many functional areas of a business, the use of paper is often a drag on time and resources. CIO provided the specific example of contract language being determined and then the actual document being signed. While there are very effective and secure methods that allow the whole process to be completed electronically, some businesses still print out contacts to sign them, only to scan them back into a system and email them to the other party.
When businesses make the switch to a paperless office, there will likely be some processes – like the contract example addressed above – that need to be altered for the full benefits to be realized. One way to reduce printing costs is to limit access and have staff members justify the reason why a hard copy is being created. Using this gatekeeper system can encourage employees to find a paperless path for the tasks they need to complete and, over time, change approaches to various business concerns.