As an eco-conscious business owner, it probably bothers you to see the reams of paper that you and your employees go through every week. Fortunately, it is possible to eliminate at least part of your paper usage and increase your office’s green status. To successfully transition to a paperless workplace, consider the following ideas:

Get Everyone on Board

Before taking steps to become as paperless as possible, announce your intentions to your employees and get them on board with your idea. Start tracking your company’s paper usage for a week and show them tangible proof of just how many trees they are responsible for cutting down. Then, inspire them to go paperless by offering rewards for using less or no paper; for example, you can award the person with the lowest usage a gift card to the local coffee shop or an extra hour off during the week.

Cut Back on Your Printers

One reason employees print a lot is because many offices make it easy to do so. By reducing the number of available printers and moving them to a break room instead of on everyone’s desk, employees may be less inclined to print.

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Eliminate Paper Reports

If you typically print out scads of paper reports, consider switching to email instead. To help your employees access their reports at all times, offer them a company smartphone. Look for a business plan from a major carrier to do this as cheaply as possible. For example, T-Mobile features a program that allows you to get every additional line for $10 per month. And, T-Mobile offers the iPhone 6 for under $30 a month. Plus, the amount you save by not buying reams of paper may very well pay for each employee to have a company phone.

Create an Organized System

Electronic files can be misplaced and disorganized just like stacks of printed reports. To prevent this from happening, you need to implement a system to keep everything organized. Quickbooks suggests trying to do more than just storing your paperless files. Instead, decide if they will be organized by client name, document type or another name, and then inform your team of the system and stick with it.

Backup Your Data

To avoid losing all of your digitally-saved data, it’s important to back up your documents in more than one place. For example, ask employees to back up their files every Friday on an external hard drive, or use a cloud-based service to back up files. This way, if your office computers should be hit by a virus or crash in some other way, all of your hard work will still be accessible.

Switch to Electronic Contracts

Do away with printed contracts, and instead go with emailed versions. Electronic signatures are now the norm for many companies and are typically just as valid. Or, when meeting a new client in person, get his or her signature right on your iPhone 6 with an app like SignEasy.

Content provided by SocialMonsters. Feature image courtesy of Office Now