As our knowledge of technology increases, so does our use of it. In the majority of work environments you will see the influence of technology everywhere, from emails to mind mapping tools. But does this mean that we should eradicate our use of paper in business altogether?
Whilst there are benefits to putting everything on cyberspace, there are also drawbacks. For instance, if the power goes down your business can’t effectively function. Here we consider the pros and cons to going paperless, drawing conclusions as to whether we are ready to forgo the use of paper entirely.
You may assume that by ditching paper you will save a lot of money on printing. To an extent of course this is true. However, have you considered the cost of going completely digital? To do it successfully you will have to invest in a lot of expensive technology, as well as training for staff and repairs if things malfunction. Make sure you do some sums, because there’s a good chance it won’t save you money in the long run.
Especially if you have freelancers or a large company spread across different locations, making your business digital can heighten its accessibility, removing the need for your employees to cart home masses of paperwork. Instead, they can simply save it all onto a hard drive.
By creating shared files online, all of your employees can have access to them. Just be sure to keep track of who has access to what, and use passwords on anything confidential or sensitive.
With rainforest damage growing more extensive by the day, it’s important that businesses start to think about being more environmentally friendly, and conserve the world’s natural resources.
Try not to print unless it is useful or necessary, and store files in a digital format when you can.
Whilst going digital does have some positives, it doesn't come without its costs. By removing the use of paper completely, you can stunt the creativity of your business. Whether it’s jotting down a sudden strike of inspiration, or a brief mind map before writing up some ideas for an article – all of these methods will be restricted without the use of paper in the workplace.
It is useful having all your files accessible and organised online. However, it’s still good practice to keep a hard copy of important documents.
As with all things digital, there is a chance your systems could malfunction and shut off completely for a certain period, or you could simply forget where a certain file is. In a sea of various documents, it’s pretty easy to do! In such circumstances, you’ll be glad to have a hard copy handy.
Whilst incorporating digital technology into your business is important, there is still a role for paper and printers. Although, electronic documents and emails can increase accessibility, and benefit the environment by reducing paper usage – hard copies are evidently still a good thing to have. What’s more you can buy paper and cartridges from sites such as Printer Basics at prices that won’t break the bank.
Why not strike up a balance between the two? By all means move your business online, but instead of removing all paper and printers, opt for cheaper printer cartridges and recycled paper. There is a happy medium that you achieve.