How to Green Up Your Business Documents

There’s a very good reason businesses are heading into the cloud and ditching their hard copies: It makes sense financially. For example, the Department of Defense (DoD) just opted for cloud technology as a way to digitize all its files.

 

When you depend on cloud management instead of paper documents, there isn’t the same risk of losing or damaging files, due to such exigencies as theft, fire, or other natural disaster. But there are other benefits to greening up the process of managing your office documents.

 

It dramatically helps the environment because you’re no longer depending on paper or printers/ink cartridges and all the necessary hardware. Day in and day out, businesses can go through reams of paper, especially at times like tax season or during a hiring (or firing) spree.

 

Even worse, many of these documents are copied numerous times, a lot of them are mere drafts that are constantly being changed and re-printed, and sadly, recycling the paper isn’t as efficient as not using it at all.

 

Are you ready to “green up” the way you handle your business documents?

 

Ditching the cloud security myths

 

Many businesses don’t go into the cloud because someone in the company is afraid of potential security risks. The reality is that data centers who host cloud computing services have the best security imaginable in place.

 

It’s a world away from what you could dream up on your own. Clearly, if it’s good enough for the DoD, it’s probably good enough for you. It’s nearly impossible for anything from hackers to natural disasters to destroy these centers, so your documents are safe. Just make sure you research a reputable company.

 

Some firms are worried that cloud management is too complicated or that certain employees won’t learn how to operate it. While there’s certainly a slight learning curve, cloud technology is designed to be exceptionally easy for users to … well, use.

 

If people can learn the idiosyncrasies of a cranky laser or inkjet printer, they can learn how to use some of the best cloud storage technology that’s available. Don’t lag behind the competition just because some of your employees have Luddite leanings.

 

What can you put into the cloud?

 

The simple answer is just about anything. Hard copies and digital files you can send into the cloud include Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, music, videos, graphic images, and just about anything else that’s printable and/or shareable on the office computers.

 

Even better, no more duplicate copies are going to be floating around. You’ll know that every employee has the latest report for the upcoming meeting because there’s only one draft available.

 

This also makes sharing, managing, and editing easier for everyone. Even if you’re on a business trip on the other side of the planet, you can gain access to your employees’ latest reports and get real-time information to present to your partners abroad.

 

Cloud technology allows for more flexibility in the workplace, as well as more telecommuting options or virtual offices if you’re headed in that direction. This also means lower overhead.

 

Save money while making employees happy

 

A number of jobs can actually become telecommuting positions with the right technology, and cloud storage is at the heart of this. Unless your employees need to interact in-person with customers, you can substantially lower your overhead, downsize, and even pay new employees a lower rate in exchange for the luxury of telecommuting. (Many may choose this option.)

 

Make sure the position and employee are a good match first, but otherwise you can let your workers clock in no matter where they are around the world and you’ll get happier (and more productive) employees.

 

The fact that cloud technology can lead to great cost savings is a happy accident, but one worth noting. Before embracing the cloud, get a financial report in hand as comparison.

 

You may be surprised by how much you spend on printing, and requiring employees to be in the office to handle paper documents. Your professional operations can be so much easier and more efficient when you go green.

 

Plus, have you thought about how telecommuting, compliments of cloud technology, can help lighten the carbon footprint for your whole office?

 

Ways to go green

 

There’s more than one way to green up your office, whether it’s launching a new recycling program, embracing the cloud, or letting workers telecommute so those stressful drives aren’t making matters worse. Every little bit counts, and you can place a green initiative at the heart of your PR efforts, too.

 

More consumers and job seekers like to be associated with businesses that care about the environment, so you can use this to your advantage.

 

The best way to green up your office is to get everyone on board, welcome their ideas, and function as a team. You might consider designating a “green team” in your office, comprised of volunteers with eco-conscious leanings.

 

Those motivated individuals can help you stay on track, activate more green initiatives, and be your cheerleaders for a sustainable office.

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