How to operate a paperless home office

The drive towards a more streamlined and refined working environment has been at the front of business incentives for quite some time. But now, as one in seven of the UK’s workforce is a home worker[1], this has changed from being a management responsibility to being down to the individual. And document scanning specialist, Pearl Scan, has offered remote workers advice for taking hold of the paperless movement and bringing it into their home offices.

The overwhelming benefits of operating a paperless working environment have been well-documented for traditional offices. Reduced costs of storage and hardware obviously has its attractions for companies, but for remote workers who do not have to factor in these costs, what advantages does moving into the 21st century and operating completely paperless bring?

Naveed Ashraf, Managing Director at Pearl Scan Group, said, “Home working offers up a plethora of incredible benefits for traditional office spaces, but also to those who work from home. The rise in remote working really does highlight the country’s adoption of technology and the freedom and opportunities it can bring. And although many have taken advantage of these developments, there are still some workers whose offices are cluttered with bits of paper, files and folders. But there are things they can do to refine these and make the most of all the usual productivity benefits offered.”

The first port of call, according to the paperless expert, is to go through paperwork and decide what needs keeping, and what can be thrown away – either through a lack of need or duplication. Once this has been done, it’s time to digitise it. Scanning in documents is the best way to convert them, all while preserving quality. Getting this done professionally may cost more than doing so manually, but it will be much faster and allow the scanned documents to be made fully searchable by utilising Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology.

While this is being conducted, the experts at Pearl Scan suggest employees set to work on their computers. Even with a mix of paper and digital documents, computers can easily get cluttered with folders and files in all sorts of unusual places. Although digital documents are searchable, creating set folders and keeping them in order can help to speed up productivity and make processes infinitely faster.

“Although working from home offers incredible flexibility for workers, there is always the danger that employees can burn out by doing extra hours catching up. Operating a paperless workspace has been proven to increase productivity within a traditional office setting, so it only makes sense for it to do the same when it comes to a home office too,” added Naveed.

Pearl Scan is one of the country’s leading pioneers of paperless working. Armed with a decade of experience working with companies of all sizes streamline their workforce, they are well-placed to offer industry-defining advice that brings tangible benefits.


Pearl Scan offers businesses tips for reducing paper consumption

 

When it comes to reducing paper consumption, there are a plethora of tips and tricks out there in order to help both individuals and businesses cut down on their paper consumption. But much of this advice is simply not feasible for businesses to follow day to day when they need to continue their daily functions – or indeed increase their output due to increasing customer demand.

Pearl Scan has been at the forefront of the paperless movement for many years. Their forward-thinking expertise has helped thousands of businesses – both small and large – cut down on their paper consumption. As a successful business that has been established for over a decade, the company has seen first-hand the change in thinking in the industry and what affect going paperless can have on businesses. With that in mind, the company is arguably best placed to offer tips to companies looking to cut down on paper consumption. So what are the pioneering company’s top tips for businesses looking to reduce waste and up their green credentials?

The golden rule for most is to ‘think before you print’. But this is a broad term that isn’t necessarily clear. When it comes to printing in the workplace, emails, documents and images are all commonplace, but making simple changes to this process can help to reduce the amount of paper used – almost by half.

“Emails are one of the most common documents to be printed in the workplace,” says Naveed Ashraf, Managing Director at Pearl Scan Group. “And although some emails do need to be printed for meetings and reference, the fact is when you click ‘print’, you usually end up with large signatures and replies that you simply do not need. Instead of printing the email off the bat, it’s worth copying and pasting the text you need to a document and simply printing it from there. This will usually cut your paper consumption down by at least half – every single time you print an email.”

The amount of paper used to print text documents can also be reduced. Changing the text font to 9 or 10 point can cut down on paper significantly – particularly if it is a large document. Most programmes default to 11 or 12 point, so by reducing this by two or three points can really help to cut down on wastage. And this can be amplified further by setting printers to print both sides of the paper by default.

Should lots of documents need to be printed however, putting non-sensitive information into a scrap paper tray so that the reverse can be used for taking notes is also a good way to reduce wastage.

Naveed, adds, “The world uses 1 million tonnes of paper every single day. And it’s not unreasonable to say that much of that could be reduced by taking simple measures. It’s been said that reductions of at least 20% are possible in most offices, it’s just a case of changing the way you think and amending your practices slightly. And soon, it will become the norm.”

Taking leaps into the future and creating a fully paperless office is one of the best ways to reduce paper consumption and one many businesses have adopted as the world become more digitalised. Scanning existing documents and adopting digital principals, such as digital mailrooms and survey scanning can help to cut down on paper usage business-wide and streamline companies in order to make them more productive across the board.

Has the increase in working from home been pushed along by the paperless movement?

Once upon a time, working from home was considered a novelty. However for many, working from home is now the norm. Earlier this year, official figures by the TUC stated that 1.5 million people in the UK now work from home – highlighting an increase of a fifth in just 10 short years. But what has helped push this trend forward?

Going paperless has played a huge part in home working

Undoubtedly, the paperless movement has played a significant role in the almost unprecedented rise of remote working. Although the paperless movement has been somewhat under the radar for around a decade, due to the increase in importance and continued reliance on computers and technology home working has pushed the idea of going paperless forward, and as a result, the paperless office is now no longer seen as a pipedream with organisations all over the world striving for a paper-free workforce. Bringing a multitude of benefits, paperless workforces have saved businesses millions of pounds thanks to increased productivity and less being spent on paper and ink but to name a few. And now, the rise of remote working is doing the same for businesses.

Going paperless gives staff freedom

Remote working is done daily, whether it be reguarly or on an ad hoc basis to meet the needs of workers, it is a now common practice amongst workers in the western world. Nowadays, companies agree to let staff work from home to help cut down on commuting costs, aid with childcare, and of course, save themselves money on an office space. And moving towards a digital workforce has made all of this possible.

Going paperless gives workers unlimited access

When people work remotely, they have access to all their files, folders and documents at the click of a button. Documents are now saved on clouds and computers themselves, allowing for instant access anywhere and anytime – unlike paper files. If a person wanted to work from home for example, but didn’t work in a forward-thinking, paperless office, and didn’t have the relevant documents with them then this would prove to be nigh-on impossible. And this is where going paperless really comes into its own.

Going paperless increases collaboration

Going digital allows people to collaborate, receive, edit and send work back with ease – no matter where they are in the world – something that paper files just can’t compete with. Which has obviously lead to the question, “Do we really need to GO to work or can we be just as productive – if not more – at home?”

What do you think to the rise in remote working – have you implemented it at your business?

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