The dream of one day working in a paperless office doesn’t only come from the view of environmentalists, but for the employees seeking an alternative to being buried in paperwork.
By cutting down on the amount of paper we use, we’re not only saving the trees but also saving our time through more efficient business processes. It’s especially noticeable in smaller offices and home setups – the reams of paper waiting to be processed taking up valuable space which is already at a premium.
With less space available to small businesses, the mess can really mount up. So with that in mind, here are five ideas to provide better storage of those documents and other space-saving measures.
5 storage solutions for small offices…
- A paper-thin office
You may well need to keep a copy of a recent expense claim on paper but when it comes to briefs you’ve downloaded or handouts from meetings, once they’re done with, you should be able to dispose of them. Invest in a recycling bin for the paper you want to get rid of, and a shredder so that you can securely dispose of more sensitive information.
- Going digital
With the influx of documents you need to keep tabs on but aren’t vital to have to hand, consider setting up digital storage for their safekeeping. You’ll need more than just a backup on your own computer’s hard drive if you want colleagues to be able to access the data – so look into cloud or network attached storage. To be able to process the documents as they come in, use a scanner to input the data and save it handily on the company network.
- Go for an all-in-one
Instead of having one printer, one scanner, one fax machine etc. it may be worth looking at an all-in-one machine which can do a number of jobs. Placing this central to everyone in the office will allow you to save space which would have otherwise been taken up by numerous pieces of equipment.
- Invest in storage boxes
For the documents that you absolutely can’t let go of but need a better place for safekeeping than in a pile on someone’s desk, consider storage boxes for storing away the appropriate paperwork. Do make sure it’s filed and labelled properly so that it can be easily found at a later time – there are plenty of desktop storage options available, which you can then either dispose of or put into the archives as time passes.
- Make use of wall space
Instead of leaving boxes of files, stationery or any other office equipment lying around and cluttering up walkways, invest in some shelving or bookcases. That ways you can store things off the ground while making use of spare wall space. You could even label items on our bookcase to save time when it comes to trying to locate something.
While the dream of the paperless office may yet be a long way away, there are now steps that any business can take, both digital and analogue, to ensure their immediate surroundings aren’t flush with files.