Organizations who have made investments in going paperless have reported benefits in almost every area of their business: higher employee satisfaction, increased productivity, lower costs, improved customer responsiveness and a smaller environmental footprint.
However, there are many business leaders who haven’t considered what a paperless environment might mean for them. For so many businesses that still operate behind the digital curve, the stacks of paper and filing cabinets full of documents still seems to be standard practice despite the fact that 67% of mid-size businesses rate lost documents as one of their biggest internal issues.
“Perceived loss of control is a leading reason why business people resist change.” - Harvard Business Review
The truth is, the old way of doing business on paper is quickly giving way to digital documents that expedite information workflows making workers more efficient. For some organizations it may take longer, especially if they aren’t able to overcome these three common barriers to going paperless:
- Long-Standing Habits
- Inability to Make a Move
- Unwillingness to Change Culturally
Let's look at these culprits a bit more in depth:
Long-Standing Habits: Many habits can lead a company down a path that is resistant to change; and going paperless is one of the biggest changes a company might consider. Some bad habits include putting printers on every floor (along with other paper-consuming devices) instead of limiting their use or changing and reorganizing their technology to streamline workflow.
Inability to Make a Move: It’s called ‘analysis paralysis’ - the inability to make a move due to an overwhelming scope. Digitizing thousands of documents seems like an enormous job; and it can easily lead to this type of paralysis. However, once a company invests the time and effort, the rewards will make them wonder why they hesitated so long. Thankfully there are new and advanced document capture technologies that make digitizing documents affordable, fast and easy.
Unwillingness to Change Culturally: Change can be difficult—especially for company owners or leaders who have risen to business success without ever worrying about how much paper they use. However, when the real cost-savings and performance enhancing benefits of going paperless finally sink in, there will be a fast culture shift with top executives leading the charge.
The Paperless Office is Coming - Maybe Faster Than You Think
When people experience the value of searchable and sharable electronic content they will welcome the migration from hardcopy to digital documents. In the end, every business leader needs to prioritize what will make their business more successful.
If making your employees more productive by getting them the information they need to make better business decisions faster is a priority for you, now may be the time to stop delaying and consider a paperless strategy for your business.