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Use Software To Reduce Paper Waste

By: Thomas Muller - Updated: 26 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Office Supplies Document Sharing Storage

In sapping energy, office electronics may have a detrimental effect on the environment but if they are used to help limit paper use they can do some good too.

Holding on to Hard Copy Office Supplies

Fast advancing technology prompted visions of a paper-free future - where office work is all contained within computer systems rather than in filing cabinets and in ring binders on shelves, and a future where electronic communication via email and across the web has made memos and snail mail a quaint thing of the past.

In being reliant of computer technology and the web, the modern office workplace has come some way in realising this dream, but at the same time it seems we are reluctant to give up paper. In fact, somewhat bizarrely, instead of paper use being displaced by electronic technology, paper use is actually increasing.

Full Potential of Software Office Supplies

This is not a failure of modern technologies to adequately perform the roles traditionally played by paper, but a failure of companies to let go of the ‘hard copy’ and allow modern computer systems to assume full control.

By allowing the advanced software available in the workplace - such as Microsoft Office – to their full potential in order to lessen the burden of paper use, not only can the office save paper, but also postage costs and storage space demands. The vision of the paper-free office is a leaner, more efficient place that benefits everybody and, what’s more, is realisable.

Email Saves Paper Office Supplies

The super fast and efficient email has well and truly replaced previous forms of company communication and yet so many employees still needlessly waste paper whilst corresponding.

One common office practice is to print out emails for their company records. Email systems such Microsoft Office’s Outlook and the various online equivalents, provide users with an extensive storage resource that negates any need to go to the bother of manually printing and filing.

As a way of discouraging this reflex action in others, it is a good idea to alter your email template so that the phrase, “do not print out this email unless it is absolutely necessary” features at the bottom of every email. This may make people think twice or at least prompt some document sharing.

Saving Paper Office Supplies by Reducing Faxes and Memos

Many email software packages also allow users to send faxes from their computer, and thereby saving paper by sidestepping the need to print out an original copy.

Not only does email save on postage and fax paper waste but it should also be used as standard for all internal correspondence such as memos and employee and newsletters.

Internet Business Websites

Whereas at one time the employee notice board might have acted as the central information point for all company activity, the role has now been assumed by the website. If used to their full capabilities, internet business websites or intranet – the private company computer network – can individually perform a host of different functions that were once the preserve of a multitude of pieces of paper.

Document Sharing Online

Company websites are easy to access, efficient to use and update, and can feature news stories, company policy information, catering menus, articles and enough storage to keep it all safe in one place for years. They can also be used to advertise your office environmental policy and credentials.

Instead of printing up hundreds of copies of weekly newsletters or restaurant menus you can upload all the information on the web.

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