Has O2 Business embraced paperless working? The results are in.

By Ben Dowd: O2 Business Director, Telefónica UK

Recently, things have been a bit different at O2 Business. Digital work methods have taken precedence over printing, notepads abandoned and pens put away.  Why? Well, we’ve been going paperless.

Our paperless journey began back in June 2015 when we launched the first phase of the initiative. It generated a lot of press coverage and was backed by Work Wise UK. What we learned helped us launch an even bigger and better second phase throughout November and December 2015.

And now, the results are in…

To work without paper, you have to embrace a variety of devices and apps. We did this with the aim of becoming more productive, and it worked.  91% of our employees said they either maintained or increased their levels of productivity as a result of going paperless.  To be more specific, our results show that on average, people save 3 hours per week by being more digital and less paper-reliant.

So how did we do it? From our first trial, we realised people needed support to see the benefits of paperless working and to adopt new technology.  So, we ran a series of tutorial webinars which drove a 43% and 50% rise in the use of OneNote and OneDrive respectively. The feedback from our staff showed a real appreciation for the tools: “I’m now a massive fan of OneNote and use it for everything and have already found it very useful for keeping track of things which otherwise would have been buried in my notebook. Total fan”.

By digitising our expenses system, we have eliminated the inconvenience of processing 7,200 paper envelopes per year. Digitisation of the process also enabled our employees to receive payment of their expenses quicker.

So what’s next…?

We saw a 48% reduction in the amount of paper being printed, largely due to people learning to use and adopt more digital methods of working. Our next step is to roll out a digitised e-signature solution across O2 Business, to entirely eradicate paper-based contracts.

There have been some challenges along the way, but with the continued support of a community of Paperless Champions we have helped our employees learn and adapt to this new way of working.

It’s also been exciting to see other organisations taking the paperless plunge, like the NHS, who are reportedly investing £4 billion to create a paperless service.

Well, I think the results speak for themselves. Watch out for our case study which will share the steps we’ve taken and their tangible benefits. I am delighted to find that 99% of our employees believe in the value of going paperless, and we are now working on plans to enable them to do this even more effectively.

We want to make the whole of O2, and our customers, paperless. We’re working with other Directorates across the business to drive this change, and we will be launching a proposition featuring our own digital products and services to enable our customers to embrace their own paperless journey.

Want to learn more? Take a look at our paperless blog series or join the conversation using #O2Paperless.