Go paperless, be productive

by Rowan Jameson: Managing Partner of Business Services, Teléfonica UK

The notepad – an old friend for many of us. But is it time we said goodbye? We use it to scribble notes (and occasionally doodle) in meetings.  Then scour our pages later only to realise we’ve lost the most important sheet. Then try to decipher our handwriting, followed by wasting time typing up the notes into an email… surely there is a better way?

And there is. Technology offers us a choice of devices, apps and connectivity solutions which allow us to work in a more efficient, more digital and ultimately more productive way. Our latest research from YouGov shows 45% of senior managers think the use of business technology in their organisation has led to more flexible working hours, 44% see greater business efficiency and 35% believe they  have made time savings. A big part of this is replacing old ways of working with digital tools that let you work paper-free.

At O2, we are so confident people don’t need paper we ran a paperless week at our Slough office. Sure, it was an adjustment for some of us. I can admit that at the time I felt very comfortable using pen and paper and was nervous about getting to grips with note-taking apps and synchronising my devices using Cloud software.  But once I did, the benefits were immediately apparent.

I was able to respond to colleagues via email far more quickly as most enquiries involved a quick copy and paste from electronic meeting notes. I was able to save time too. Previously I would have been typing up notes but now they were already safely stored and backed up. Even better, I was able to pick up any of my devices and carry out a search of all my notes anywhere and at any time – no more rummaging around to find the meeting note! Plus, let’s not forget the environmental impact – globally, about 388 million tonnes of paper is consumed each year.

Being paperless made me more productive so I pushed this approach out to my team. Some struggled, particularly those who are not the fastest typists – but a stylus could help or it may take just a bit more practice. It’s all about trying something new and changing a habit to make more of your working day.

I believe paperless working will benefit my customers too who often have large mobile workforces that need to be connected and informed 24/7. Managed Mobility from O2 takes paperless technologies one step further by providing a managed service to deliver time, money and paper savings to our customers.

When did you last use a notepad? Is paperless part of your business already?

Tweet me your view @RowanJameson or connect with me on LinkedIn.