3 problems with paper and why going paperless is a smart move

There will always be a time and place for paper. A handwritten note in the mail. A wedding invitation. An award certificate. But in many cases, paper is becoming obsolete – particularly in the workplace.

There are a few good reasons why paper is on its way out at work. Here are three of the big ones, which you can take to your bosses to convince them that it’s time to go paperless.

1. Paper is bad for the environment

Every year, around 420 million tonnes of paper and cardboard are produced. In making all this paper, huge swathes of forest are destroyed, and millions of litres of water are used. Paper, even in its recycled form, is a big consumer of energy and vital resources.

Despite the fact that most clear-headed citizens know that excessive use of paper isn’t great for our planet, the use of paper persists, particularly within business. In fact, 50% of business waste is paper-based – in the US, offices use 12.1 trillion (yes, trillion) sheets of paper each year.

The good news is that environmentally-minded organisations are taking notice of all this unnecessary waste; and are committing to eliminating paper from their processes. By introducing digital workflows, content management systems and cloud-based storage, these organisations are maintaining business as usual without a piece of paper in sight.

2. Paper is less secure

Ironically, some important documents like deeds still need to be signed, sealed and delivered using paper (although this may be changing in Australia as a result of COVID-19 The irony? Lawmakers view this tradition as the most secure way of capturing someone’s intent in a deed – yet paper is inherently less secure than today’s digital alternatives.

Think about all the ways that an important paper document could get damaged. Water could turn it to pulp, fire could turn it to ash, a courier could accidentally deliver it into the wrong hands. It could get lost amidst the thousands of other pieces of paper in a filing cabinet.

On the flip side, think of electronic agreements. Tamper-proof, fully traceable, secure and cloud-based, Docusign electronic agreements meet the most rigorous standards for security and safety. A deed that’s signed using Docusign is much more secure than one that has an old wax seal on it, that’s for sure.

3. Paper is costly and time-consuming

Then there’s the time and cost involved in dealing with paper-based agreements. From buying the paper, to maintaining an office printer, to replacing the ink cartridges again and again, the cost of printing documents is huge. Not to mention the cost and effort of sending printed documents to recipients. All those line items on the balance sheet can be struck out, simply by converting to electronic systems of agreement.

In terms of time and effort, it’s remarkable how much time you and your employees regain when you switch from paper to digital workflows. Business is no longer held up by slow delivery of physical envelopes. Customers aren’t left hanging, waiting for the post to arrive. Instead, transactions keep ticking over.

In fact, as shown in our new eBook, It Pays to Go Paperless, businesses that have made the switch are reaping huge rewards. Microsoft, for example, has saved $7.5 million annually by going paperless. Randstad is saving over $1 million annually. Dentons Lawyers has saved its clients over $70,000 in paper and transportation costs.

Ready to make the switch?

If saving the environment, creating more secure processes, and saving time and money are on your agenda, then it’s time to explore how you can make the switch to a paperless office. Sign up for a free trial of Docusign today or get in touch with any questions you have about making the transition.