Paper VS Paperless Offices – Why 100% Virtual Won’t Happen

The paperless option was supposed to be the way of the future. While many businesses have cut down on their paper usage, however, it’s still rare to find a truly paper-free operation. Is going paperless a pipe dream? It might just be. While there are plenty of benefits to digital operations, legacy processes still hold great value. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t switch to paperless just yet.

Constant Upgrades Equal Constant Expenditures


If you want your business to be completely paperless, you’ll have to keep up with the pace of technology. You can’t operate a paperless office without up-to-date software and hardware, and this can become expensive over time. You may also need to hire extra staff to keep up with the tech needs, whether it’s part-time help or full-time IT professionals.

Tightened Security

Businesses that switch to paperless need to have a tight security system. This is especially important for businesses that handle sensitive information, like law firms or doctor’s offices, but all businesses have personal employee data that needs to be protected. Keeping this data safe can be tricky, due to computer viruses, phishing schemes, and other security concerns. Also, the more employees that have access to your online infrastructure, the greater your security risk. For sensitive information, sometimes paper is the way to go.

Better Business Decisions

If your business sells a product, you most likely use an email marketing strategy to contact your clients. While email marketing is certainly an effective tool, don’t underestimate the power of direct mail marketing. People get so many emails per day that it can be difficult to rise above the noise and get their attention. As direct mail campaigns are dwindling, however, getting paper mail can show a personal touch. Instead of using email for all of your communications, consider the value of good old-fashioned letters and stamps. They show your customer base that you care, which helps to drive business in person or online. As a marketing tool, paperless isn’t always the best option.

self inking stamp that says confidential

Paper-Light Rather Than Paperless

Aiming for paperless may not be a productive goal. After all, you’ll always have a client who’d rather sign the dotted line in pen rather than on an iPad. You’ll always have a few customers who prefer brochures to websites. Paper is a necessary part of doing business, and trying to deny that doesn’t increase productivity. Instead of trying to get rid of paper entirely, strive to embody paper-light business practices. There are many ways to implement this strategy. Information that needs to be available to multiple employees at once should be uploaded to the cloud. Contracts should still be signed in ink. Print out documents for meetings if it improves productivity. Send the next meeting’s Power Point presentation to staff members if it aids preparation. Making these kinds of decisions will be good for employee productivity as well as the bottom line. With a little bit of effort, your business can achieve a happy medium between paper-heavy and paperless.

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