The adaptation of the office to the digital world has been a much slower process than most technology experts envisioned. The “paperless office”, once the goal of many organizations, has finally been achieved for many but with some room left for improvement. Most of the cost savings by going paperless have not been fully realized. Costs of paper management have gone up in all areas:
– Purchase price
One area that offices can realize savings and to cut waste is in the use of office stationary: letters, proposals, legal documents and other uses. It is not always necessary, to print all documents on stationary. Some can be stored on an office computer’s hard drive. The printing and mailing of documents can be reduced through the use of e-mailing or in some cases, texting. If the office uses any forms, these can usually be converted to an online entry format. Proofreading an online copy of a document, viewing it on the screen, and making edits and changes, can save on the extra step and waste of printing a draft copy.
Technology such as printers and office copier use should be reviewed to make sure that wasteful printing and copying is not taking place. An office worker may attempt to get their printed material off the office printer or copier only to find that they cannot locate their documents. It is not uncommon for someone else to accidentally pick up the wrong documents, so the worker then simply prints out another set. To stop this many office copier/printers have features that allow the user to put in a secure personal code at the printer/copier station prior to printing. This procedure can save a lot of paper and costs. Scrap stationary can easily be used for memo pads or notes.
Finally, there is an environmental cost to the use of office stationary. Paper production and usage is destructive and is a large contributor towards pollution and the exhaustion of natural resources such as trees and other plants. Maintaining a stationary use policy may require consulting with technology providers to optimize the use of computers and printing peripheral devices. In high volume use of stationary, an office might consider outsourcing large print jobs to companies that have implemented paper saving and environmental initiatives. The general rule to better manage stationary waste is reuse, reduce and recycle.