Ready? Set? Go paperless

by Simon Stanford: Head of Private Sector Sales, Telefónica UK

You want your business to go paperless to be more productive. You might be doing this to support or introduce a flexible working culture within your organisation. And you’ve also considered potential security issues.

So now what?

Well it’s time to make paperless working a reality. If it helps, here’s my guide to make the paperless process as painless as possible.

1) Join forces
Ideally, your employees will be ready and willing to take part. If not, I’m sure we all know you can’t just tell people what to do – you have to make sure they understand the benefits and explain why they should care. At O2, we’ve found that paperless working has not only helped employees be more productive, so they can get more done in less time, it has also saved our business money in the process.

2) What could change?
Although admittedly not the most thrilling activity, you should consider sitting down and thinking about when and why your employees are using paper. Once you know this, you can come up with ways to do things differently. To give you an example, we are digitising our expenses system so there is no need to send receipts. This will save paper while enabling employees to be reimbursed sooner – a win-win for everyone. What do you think you could change in your organisation?

3) How can devices help?
For me, taking notes on my smartphone and tablet just makes sense. I can take down information more quickly, share ideas faster and find things easily now I don’t have to frantically flick through my notepad. But if you feel handing out mobile devices might be a stretch for your budget, what about encouraging bring your own device (BYOD)? Most employees use mobile devices at home, and with the right software in place they can connect into office systems seamlessly and securely.

4) Practice makes perfect
If the initial adoption isn’t smooth, don’t be disheartened. As with most things, practice makes perfect. If you can, it would be great to allow your employees time to get used to paperless working and hopefully it will be a positive experience for everyone in the end.  And why not track your progress? How much paper did you save?  How much time now that pesky processes have been digitised? What’s the impact on your carbon footprint? Remember to take time to celebrate your success because going paperless is a team effort.

Visit our website to explore the mobile devices that can help you go paperless.