We are living in an interesting time where almost everyone must stay indoors due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic that is sweeping the world. I think in times like these, we should remember that the world needs a breather and respite from all the negative environmental impacts created by humans. That is why Earth Day feels dramatically different this year, because we are seeing how staying in has started to help heal the earth.
Earth Day (April 22nd) is a time to reflect, reengage, and strengthen our relationship with nature and the lasting impact that our actions will have for future generations.
Many companies were forced to completely switch to remote work to help contain the spread of the virus in the office space and to keep employees safe. Some workplaces were more prepared than others, but we can all agree that having a digital workplace is essential in times like this.
Some companies had already been adapting to a digital workplace prior to the pandemic, as evolving technology has made it possible to share files online and creating ‘born-digital’ files has never been easier. Although many companies aren’t 100% digital, this has been a learning experience for companies considering digitizing their business processes, as many have been forced to switch to being completely digital from the rise of WFH (work from home) arrangements for their employees. Here are a few useful pointers as you consider going digital, which can simultaneously save both money and the environment:
Digital Files: One of the biggest ways to reduce waste is by not producing it. Born-digital files make it easy to reduce paper waste by not using any paper. Encourage your team, when possible, to create electronic documents instead. Eventually, you’ll get to the point where digitizing documents is the norm, and you can get rid of a lot of your physical documents, or at least cut down on them heavily.
Digital Signatures: Don’t print things that don’t need to be printed. Digital signatures allow you to sign documents electronically, minimizing cost by not using paper, ink, printing, or scanning. Not only is this cost-effective, it also saves you time between waiting to get a signature and the tedious work of sending back a signature.
File Accessibility: It is important that employees have remote access to files. Having a file sharing system in place can make it easier for employees to access resources from their home office. Some companies might use a VPN (virtual private network) or a Cloud-based solution to access these files. Offering remote file access removes the dependency of having physical documents that employees need in order to do their job.
Automation: Automation is gaining traction across many business processes. Automation helps increase productivity, reduces risk of human error, and decreases processing time.
Archiving: Due to evolving technology, the process of filling & storing documents in cabinet files has become almost obsolete and not practical. Having a digital archiving solution that will help you automate the process of digitally archiving your files will enable you to have easy access to these files 100 years from now, without relying on even a single sheet of paper.
If our current situation has taught us anything – it’s that we all share this earth and it is up to us to protect it. Any push to reducing waste will help us get closer to creating a more sustainable future. If you’re interested in learning about how our solutions can help you cut down on paper waste, please don’t hesitate to contact us!