In 2022, a standard workplace environment still goes through many stacks of paper. Whether it’s invoices, reports or crucial HR documents, the use of traditional worksheets continue to hold back a lot of industries.
There was a time when consuming endless paper each day was the only option. In today’s tech driven age, it is high time for industries to embrace paperless HR documents. The Environmental Protection Agency states that an average employee uses up to 10,000 worksheets annually.
Each sheet has a dollar amount. It is startling that businesses continue to spend thousands on storing, filing, and printing. Not to mention, companies lose valuable time trying to find specific documents from mazes of filing cabinets.
Ultimately, this leads to a loss of income and productivity in the workplace. When using physical docs, it often feels like the search for specific or missing pieces is endless.
Today, many industries have a perfect opportunity to move from physical stacks to paperless. Whether its mitigating environmental impact or availing monetary savings, switching to digital HR documents works in favor of those that do.
Keeping that in mind, here are the three top industries that should completely adapt to paperless operations.
To some degree, insurance companies, banks and accounting firms have already been able to transition to paperless systems. However, the finance sector still heavily uses worksheets for daily operations. For instance, banks still use printed material for statements, deposit slips, loan agreements and checks. This gets messier as even non financial institutions still need banks to handle some HR functions.
Accounting firms also use paper in the form of payroll records, inventory reports and sales documents. You may not be aware of it, but some accountants still use old school manual ledgers. It would be fair to state that insurance agencies, accounting firms and banks spend a significant chunk of their resources on worksheets and slips. But technology has reached the point where these financial institutions can completely switch to paperless documents.
And contrary to misguided perception, virtual documentation won’t have an impact on operations. In fact, digital materials would accelerate the productivity and performance standards of these institutions and create added flexibility for customers. Fortunately, many banks now send digital copies of bank statements via email and support mobile banking.
Similarly, various software solutions allow accounting firms to digitize their records, whereas insurance firms can digitally store many documents. Once the financial industry significantly reduces the use of worksheets, it would save costs and streamline operations.
For the education sector, the switch from physical sheets to digital documents might be too overwhelming, and that’s fair. In fact, moving to paperless records may take more effort and time for academic institutions. However, it would address the confusion that educators and students usually face.
For instance, once a school or college adapts digital operations, there will be no need for teachers and students to spend hours printing different types of documents. Whether it’s quizzes, essays or lesson plans, all these worksheets ultimately find their way into the trash and create an environmental hazard.
Although more than 95% of American schools use computers, less than 65% have internet access. The fact of the matter is that there is an overdependence on using conventional worksheets. In fact, teachers and students consistently have to depend on printed resources to continue academic activities.
While some believe the education space can never go 100% paperless, academic institutions can leverage email, digital channels and eBooks to meet learning requirements. From elementary school to higher ed, there is an urgent need for educational facilities to push for digital documents.
Schools and colleges can save and store students’ records in a dedicated electronic system. Digitally, academic institutions can switch to sharing and emailing information rather than endlessly printing material.
The healthcare sector has used slips, signature sheets and other material for medical procedures for decades. Whether it’s a small clinic or a large hospital, they still use worksheets to record and store patient files and write prescriptions.
Although paper may seem essential in the healthcare sector, advanced tech solutions continue to change the dynamics. Like in education, switching to digital operations is not an impossible task. Ordinarily, there is a high risk of losing patients’ records from this dependence.
In case of a natural disaster, valuable paper records of the patient are susceptible to damage. Plus, it is usually time consuming for doctors and healthcare administrators to search for specific files of patients and navigate cabinets full of documents.
In 2022, software is transforming how healthcare institutions record and store patient information. With EMR or electronic medical record systems, patients and physicians can check medical charts in real time.
In fact, EMR systems allow physicians to monitor patients' data over a specific period and find out their progress in a few clicks. Digital technologies are now more than capable of helping medical providers improve their quality of care.
It’s even more secure and compliant. It doesn’t rely on locks and keys. Instead, with permission levels and encryption, security makes it easy for only those that need access to gain it.
Once healthcare providers rely less on manual medical records, it would create new opportunities for patients and physicians to track information in digital space. A simple computer search can allow healthcare providers to find specific patient records and cross reference documents in seconds.
In the foreseeable future, failure to switch to digital documents is bound to have long term downsides for companies. Today, finance, health, education and other industries can access a wide range of tech solutions to make the paperless transition effortless.
Companies need to be proactive and make industry wide changes to become entirely digital. Consequently, it would propel other industries to follow the same course of action. For one, companies would have more control over how they navigate and search their files.
In fact, adopting digital documents can help entities optimize business operations and drive more growth. Not too long ago, transitioning involved a lot of challenges for companies. But now, industries can make an instant switch to paperless operations.
On top of saving high costs, it would reduce the burden of paper production that impacts the environment. If you’re not a paperless industry, consider all the benefits that can transform operations and raise operational standards for good.