Reducing paper use at work is one of the easiest ways to go green while cutting costs, and sometimes even improving productivity.
Here are 6 tips for going paperless:
1. Use printer paper more efficiently. This goes beyond vaguely asking co-workers to print fewer documents. Check your company’s default margins, fonts and letterhead to see if space can be saved without sacrificing readability. Encourage printing on both sides and, if only one side has been used, save the paper for rough work or printing draft copies.
2. Improve online collaboration. You won’t have to ask people to print less if the act already feels redundant. Try a platform such as Microsoft’s SkyDrive that allows team members to share, edit and discuss documents online with ease.
3. Hold paperless meetings. Most people throw away agendas as soon as the meeting is over, so present them to the group at the beginning instead of printing out a copy for everyone. Having a designated note taker frees everyone else to focus on contributing to the meeting while also saving paper. The notes can be put into a common online workspace so that any of the team members can edit or refer to the notes later on.
4. Get an eFax address. Even if you have moved firmly into the digital age, some companies that you do business with may be lagging behind. An eFax address will allow you to send and receive faxes as digital images, reducing wasted paper at your end and streamlining your communications in the process.
5. Reduce junk mail. Contact an environmental organisation that specialises in reducing junk mail, reducing the paper in your office while saving you the hassle of throwing it away.
6. Try a Tablet PC. You can write notes on it as you go and record meetings for later playback alongside your notes. With a tablet PC and Microsoft OneNote, you won’t need a paper notebook again.