Thinking of Setting Up a Paperless Office?

Posted on: 13 December 2016

There has been a substantial rise in the occurrence of the paperless office in recent years. As mobile communications have increased in complexity and functionality, so fewer and fewer documents have been needed. Of course, for some companies there is a legal requirement to keep records over the course of several years and therefore some businesspeople have resisted the move toward greater digitisation. In fairness, most offices have some paperwork requirements and organisations which are genuinely paperless are thin on the ground. However, higher quality scanning equipment and improved readability of digitised documentation does mean that today's business world is much more set up to be paperless than ever before. How do you go about making the shift?


For companies which have kept traditional customer files on paper, there will often be a great deal of documentation to turn into digital records. Filing cabinets and folders often take up much-needed space in offices and so converting them makes sense from a commercial point of view, especially in places where rental charges for office space are high. Third-party contractors can systematically convert your documents to scans, if you don't have the manpower or technical skills to do this yourself. However, disposal of documents must be taken as seriously as digitising it. Skip bins, which can be picked up when full by a secure document disposal operator, are the obvious choice for disposing of papers and files securely. If you utilise your usual waste disposal system or paper recycling contractor, then private documents and customer records might easily find their way into the public domain or come into the possession of a competitor. A paperwork loss can be catastrophic for businesses, especially if personal records go astray. Therefore, removal skips – which can vary in size according to your needs – are the way to go.

New Record Keeping

Along with their historical paper records, all businesses generate new paperwork. The paperless office should be able to handle incoming post in such a way that records are made digital immediately. Your post room staff should scan documents, letters and delivery notes as items come in and forward these to the relevant personnel in the form of an email. Software is sometimes needed to attach such digitised documentation to supplier or customer records in your database, but this is relatively inexpensive and quite frequently offered as an 'add-on' option with commercial database software. Once processed, the paperwork should be destroyed in a sensible manner, either by shredding or being taken away by a secure document contractor.