O2 continues to put paper in the past

by Ben Dowd: O2 Business Director, Telefónica UK

At O2, we are always exploring smarter and more flexible and sustainable ways of working. We are continuing to focus on delivering the benefits of digital tools for our employees and our business.  We are just rolling out phase two of our paperless initiative and this time it’s going to be bigger and better!

We want to highlight the link between the digital workplace and productivity so that our business and our employees can achieve more during the working week.  Digitally enabled workplaces can achieve an increase of up to 78% in employee productivity[1] – now that’s hard to ignore, as is YouGov’s research which has shown that digital devices save 2 million hours and £458 million each week, in the Public Sector alone.

With such a vast array of digital solutions at our fingertips, it has never been easier to go paperless to be more productive.

We at O2 want to lead the way in removing paper as a means of working.  We have a large and dispersed workforce spread across the length and breadth of the UK.  Nevertheless, we managed to unite the entire Business Team behind the Paperless Office project for one week at the beginning of June.  The results of this trial were immensely encouraging as we saw a notable increase in the use of our suite of Microsoft Office products as people sought innovative ways to work productively without paper.

Following on from this and to show how much we believe in digital working development within the Business Team at O2, we are now running a 6 week paperless drive. We will be aiming to increase our productivity by 5% while also dramatically reducing our printing and paper use.

89% of our employees approved of our first phase of paperless initiatives, but we want that figure to be even higher in this phase. To achieve this, we have addressed the two most common pieces of feedback from phase one. Firstly, employees explained that they felt that they still needed to print receipts for expenses which prevented them being fully paperless. Secondly, there was an identified need for more training and self-help available to increase confidence to get the best out of the digital solutions available.

Taking this on board, we are completely removing the need to submit paper receipts by offering our employees a streamlined digital expenses system allowing them to upload email receipts or scanned copies instead, helping save even more time and paper immediately.

Also, responding to the tutorial demand, we will be running training webinars to show our employees how to get the most out of software such as OneDrive and OneNote.  During our last initiative, we saw a 34% increase in the number of people using OneNote, but we hope these webinars will encourage even more engagement this time around.

The implementation and adoption of paperless solutions is an essential part of O2’s journey to become a truly digital business.  By going paperless to be more productive, we can work efficiently to do more for our customers and hopefully inspire other organisations to do the same.

Keep an eye out for #O2Paperless as O2 continues to put paper in the past.

[1] http://www.avanade.com/en-gb/services-and-solutions/business-vision/work-redesigned/digital-workplace/digital-workplace-infographic