Running a business requires an endless stream of internal communication. Access to copies of reports, memos and other major documents are important for employees, but offices waste countless reams of paper printing off documents. These practices can drive up operating costs for businesses, reduce raises for employees and contribute to deforestation and worldwide environmental damage. Luckily, there are many ways for business owners and office managers like you to reduce paper waste in your office.
From office memos and company reports to expense vouchers and trade magazines, company communications can contribute to high operating costs. Each hard copy of a lengthy project design or analysis uses up expensive paper and ink and can be made obsolete by updates. Distributing important documents digitally and limiting hard copies can cut down on paper waste, as well as improve security for your company. A good file sharing service such as Dropbox can be used to easily make files available to your employees.
Trade magazines can be a great resource for professional development, but the ink, paper and transportation used can have major environmental impacts. Try to coordinate subscriptions amongst your coworkers so multiple subscriptions to the same resource are avoided. An office library can make many different periodicals available to coworkers. Digital subscriptions are made available by most trade publications and are frequently more affordable than their print counterparts.
The best part about payday is getting that paper check. Too bad the banks close before you can navigate traffic and deposit the check in the bank. A digital payroll service will eliminate paper checks and paystubs from your company’s operations. Direct deposit can make sure your employees are paid on time so their salary is available to them sooner (and with fewer dead trees) than with traditional paper checks.
Office printers are one of the main places paper is wasted. Luckily, some smart custom settings can reduce paper waste and environmental impact. Purchasing a printer that can print double-sided as a default setting will reduce paper used and time dealing with “PC LOAD LETTER” errors, but office regulations can go further than that. Reusing paper for document drafts and buying recycled paper can reduce your office’s environment impact. By training your employees to reduce font sizes and print only what is essential, your office printer can quickly become an asset instead of an environmental drain.
The company kitchen and water cooler can be one of the biggest paper wasters. Does your company tear through paper towels, plates, cups and napkins each week? Not only do these convenient products contribute to high amounts of paper use nationwide, they also drive up operating costs for your company. True, nobody likes to do dishes, but stocking your kitchen with reusable plates, cups, coffee mugs and towels will drive down operating costs over the course of a year. So long as each employee is responsible for their own messes, these steps can reduce your company’s environmental impact.
Sometimes it’s necessary to use paper products around the office. However, smart set-up and policies in printing, communication and other office operations can reduce your company’s expenses and carbon footprint. Carefully examine your office’s regulations for places where you see waste and discuss ways to reduce these with your employees and coworkers.