Remote Working: Embrace the Future, Ditch the Paper

Working remotely on a laptop

Over the last few years, the landscape of work and employment has undergone a particularly dramatic shift. 

Working remotely, which traditionally has only been an option for a small percentage of people, has exploded in popularity, capturing the attention of employers of all different shapes and sizes.

And while there are a number of fairly obvious reasons why, there is also one reason you might not expect. 

A number of businesses, despite their initial hesitations, discovered that introducing remote work options brings significant benefits. These perks range from cost savings and boosted productivity to access to a wider talent spectrum, culminating in a happier and more engaged workforce.

However, providing the option to work remotely can be challenging, especially for businesses that rely on paper-based processes.

In this article, we will discuss how going paperless can help businesses enable remote working. We will cover the benefits of going paperless, as well as some tips for implementing a successful paperless transition.

What Are the Benefits of a Remote Workforce?

For a business, adopting a partial or full remote work policy can provide a number of significant advantages including:

1. Reduced Operating Costs

Providing a space for employees to work is a big expense for most businesses. Purchasing the necessary computers and software, utilities, and other employee related expenses add up over time.

Global Workplace Analytics, a research and consulting firm that helps employers understand and prepare for the future of work, estimates that a typical U.S. employer can save an average of $11,000 per employee, per year by allowing workers to telecommute 50% of the time.

While there are many factors analyzed in their calculations, the primary savings came from increased employee productivity, decreased employee turnover, and lower real estate costs. 

Key areas where businesses can save money when allowing employees to work remotely include:

  • Office space / rent / lease
  • Utilities, including internet service, water and power
  • Cleaning and office maintenance
  • Computers, printers, and networking equipment
  • Office furniture like desks, chairs, filing cabinets, etc.
  • Paper, folders and other office supplies

2. Access to a Wider Talent Pool

Remote work eliminates geographical boundaries, giving businesses access to talent from all over the world. This diversity can lead to a more innovative and dynamic workforce, and provides exciting new opportunities for employers looking to hire individuals with a specialized set of skills or experience.

3. Increased Productivity

Studies have shown that employees are often more productive when working remotely. They spend less time commuting, experience fewer interruptions, and generally have a more flexible schedule.

A study of 16,000 workers conducted by Standford University  found that working from home increased employee productivity by 13% on average. The increase in performance was attributed to fewer distractions, more consistent work attendance, and improved work satisfaction.

4. Added Convenience

The flexibility of working from home is beneficial for both employers and their employees. 

For starters, employees with the option to work remotely tend to have better attendance records, as remote work makes it possible to schedule work hours around appointments and other scheduling conflicts. 

Workers who feel under the weather but would rather not take time off can choose to work from home to prevent coworkers from getting sick. And workers who deal with inclimate weather conditions can choose to work home when the roads aren’t safe to drive.

Employees with flexible work schedules also tend to work during the hours they are most productive, often with fewer distractions and interruptions.

5. Reduced Environmental Impact

While it may not be a leading factor in the decision to offer remote work options to employees, it’s certainly worth noting that telecommuting leads to fewer cars out on the road, which results in fewer emissions and a reduction in traffic. 

What are the Benefits of Remote Work for Employees?

There are also a number of benefits of remote work for your employees, including:

1. Flexible Scheduling: 

Remote work allows employees to work according to their own schedule. They can balance their work and personal lives more effectively, reducing stress and improving overall wellbeing.

2. Cost Savings

Employees can save on commuting costs, work clothes, and meals. Plus, they avoid the wear-and-tear and depreciation on their vehicles.

3. No Commute

Eliminating the commute can save employees several hours per week, reducing stress and freeing time for personal activities.

4. Better Work-Life Balance

With more control over their time, employees can achieve a healthier work-life balance, spending more quality time with family or pursuing hobbies and interests.

5. Broader Job Opportunities

Remote work allows employees to apply for jobs that aren’t limited by geographical location, opening up a wider range of opportunities.

6. Health Benefits

Remote work can lead to less exposure to illnesses, allowing employees to take fewer sick days. Additionally, it allows for a potentially healthier lifestyle, such as cooking at home more often, exercising on breaks, or avoiding the sedentary lifestyle of commuting.

7. Increased Job Satisfaction 

With the autonomy and flexibility that comes with remote work, many employees report higher job satisfaction.

How Does Going Paperless Make Remote Work Easier?

Embracing a paperless environment is a game-changer for remote work. By eliminating the hassle of working with physical documents, businesses make collaboration and communication with remote workers easy and efficient. 

Working digitally also means multiple team members can access the same file simultaneously, securely, from any location. So, no matter how spread out your team might be, going paperless ensures everyone can work together seamlessly.

Once your documents are digitized, you can use cloud-based storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox to organize and store them, making them easy to find and access. 

These systems not only provide secure document storage at an affordable price, but they also provide tons of hand features like real-time collaboration, access controls, and encryption right out of the box.

But that’s not all. The transition to a paperless system also allows for increased data security, a crucial aspect for remote work. Digital files can be encrypted, password-protected, and backed up in the cloud, offering security measures that physical documents cannot match.

How does a business “go paperless”?

Transforming your existing paper processes won’t happen overnight. It requires a lot of careful planning and consideration at the outset. The basic steps you will need to follow are:

  1. Build a solid understanding of how documents are generated and at what regularity / volume. 
  2. Review cloud based applications to find a solution that best fits the document storage needs of your business.
  3. Create a plan for digitizing records as they are created.
  4. Replace current paper based processes with digital workflows and phase out old systems
  5. Convert paper archives into digital file systems by scanning, indexing and uploading documents to cloud based document storage. 

While some businesses choose to use their existing staff and resources to complete this process internally, it can be difficult to do so efficiently without interfering with day-to-day operations.  

For this reason, many businesses instead choose to hire a professional scanning company like SecureScan. Our professional scanning service ensures that the process of digitizing your paper files is completed quickly and efficiently, and in most cases, costs less than doing it yourself. If you’re ready to modernize the way you manage your data, we can help. Contact us to learn more about our document scanning services and get a free quote from one of our document management experts.

Tips for Implementing a Successful Paperless Transition:

If you are considering going paperless, there are a few things you need to do to ensure a successful transition. Here are a few tips:

  • Create a plan: The first step is to create a plan for going paperless. This plan should include a timeline, budget, and list of tasks that need to be completed.
  • Choose the right tools: There are a number of software tools available to help businesses go paperless. Choose the tools that best fit your needs and budget.
  • Train your employees: Your employees need to be trained on how to use the new paperless system. This training should include both how to use the software tools and how to change their working habits.
  • Monitor your progress: Once you have implemented a paperless system, it is important to monitor your progress and make adjustments as needed.

Embracing the Future of Work

Remote work is more than a trend—it’s the future of work. And a key component of this future is going paperless. By capitalizing on the benefits of remote work and making the transition to a paperless model, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and position themselves for success in the modern work landscape.

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