Charities can protect the environment, increase efficiency, and save time and money simply by ditching paper
Technological change has minimised the use of paper. The personal computer rendered the typewriter almost obsolete. The ease and efficiency of emails largely replaced letter writing. And fax machines are now a relic of the office rarely seen in the modern age.
But, despite such historical changes, many organisations still rely on paper. That needs to change. And charities can be at the forefront of that change.
The journey to going paperless is well underway. The concept of the paperless office has remained constant since the 1980s. But while the concept has always had its adherence, digital acceleration has made the paperless office less conceptual and more concrete.
Charities should embrace the paperless revolution. They should aim to swap Post-it Notes for the Sticky Notes app and use virtual to-do lists rather than notebooks. They should aim to use collaboration software and utilise automated data entry platforms.
The benefits of going paperless are huge. Beyond the massive benefit of supporting the planet, paperless alternatives can also help charities to reduce clutter, improve ease of access to important information, increase cyber security, streamline operations, and so much more.
Charities need to set a good example. The environmental benefits of going paperless are so well-known that it is hardly worth reiterating. But the facts are clear. Our use of paper takes a massive toll on the environment, particularly through deforestation.
According to Conserve Energy Future, for example, the average Brit consumes the equivalent of 4.48 trees every year by using paper. Considering it takes five litres of water to produce one sheet of A4 paper, each person is using roughly 50,000 litres of water per year on paper.
The environmental cost of creating, transporting, and storing paper is also huge, with the elements involved contributing to greenhouse emissions. Consider, for example, the energy expended into making paper from trees, using machinery and vehicles to package and transport that paper, and the surprisingly huge emissions attributable to storage.
The switch to paperless is the right choice for the environment, protecting trees, saving resources, and reducing greenhouse emissions. While digital systems are not carbon-neutral, paperless offices generally have smaller carbon footprints and are far better for the planet.
The environmental cost of relying on paper highlights the urgent need for charities to shift operations. But the move away from paper also has myriad financial benefits. Using paper is expensive. The cost of printing, posting, and other overheads is often excessive – and ignored.
Charities need to pay for paper, delivery, and storage – expenditure that can be reduced or eliminated by switching to digital. You can store all necessary information on cloud-based platforms and use communication software to minimise the cost of paper.
Using collaboration platforms also minimises reliance on paper, reducing the need for meeting notes on A4 paper and Post-its Notes that soon find their way into the bin. And many of the collaboration platforms are simple to use – and free of charge.
Switching to digital also allows you to optimise money you do spend. Consider, for example, the return on investment of employees. Technological advancements allow charities to automate, moving away from a reliance on paper and minimising tedious jobs.
By digitising and automating data entry, for example, charities can ensure employees work on more creative and engaging tasks, while simultaneously reducing menial work, eliminating paper usage, and saving money.
Going paperless reduces clutter. Paperwork on desks and shelves is not just untidy – it is inefficient. Using digital documents, you can create, share, organise, and search for information with the push of a button. The time your employees will save with a paperless office allows them to focus on critical tasks, instead of digging through filing cabinets.
Reduced clutter also means optimisation. Most digitised platforms allow you to search for what you need, cross-examine information, and draw insights from the information available.
By automating processes, digitising documentation, and using centralised platforms, charity workers can streamline processes, share information with stakeholders, and free up time.
Consider, for example, the ease of email. We often take email for granted, but the technology has vastly improved working life. Workers can search for conversations in a matter of seconds. We can find relevant information in the time it takes us to sip coffee. And that has given us back huge amounts of time, simply by shifting from paper to digital.
Charities can apply the same logic across operations. Using digital collaboration tools, for example, provides unique time-saving advantages. Team meetings on collaborative digital platforms can draw more effective action points, all of which are available on one easy-to-access digital document.
Workers can review meeting notes, add insights, and improve outcomes. And, by using the cloud, the information is available anywhere at any time, which is increasingly important in the age of remote working.
AutoEntry helps charities automate data entry. It helps them increase efficiency, save time and money, and improve return on investment – and, of course, it can help them ditch paper.
AutoEntry makes for more accurate and cost-efficient processes. And charities can use AutoEntry for just 50% of the usual asking price.
For more information on how automation can help your charity, sign-up for the webinar below, which will give charities more information on automation and help them to start their paperless journey.
Sign-up to the AutoEntry webinar to learn more about the benefits of automation