Advantages ; Disadvantages of a Paperless Office – Term Paper

Paperless Office as a More Efficient Office

1.0 Chapter 1

1.1 Introduction

Most managements are reluctant to move to paperless offices regardless of the benefits that come with it (Fujisawa, n.d.). They are still attached to piles of paperwork with claims that it is the only secure way, probably due to the fear of the increasing cyber security issue. Since maintaining bulk files in an office is hectic and unbearable especially because it takes the time to find and analyze particular files of interest, managements should consider shifting to paperless offices.  Besides being faster and easier to use, paperless office improves the efficiency of an organization allowing it to thrive in the current digital world.

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 This paper focuses on the consideration of whether adopting a paperless office is more convenient than sticking to the backward paperwork office, which is hectic, bulky and inefficient (Khan, 2015). The paper shows that adopting paperless office is significant because it ensures easier maintenance of financial and management records.

A paperless office can be identified as the environment that eliminates the use of papers by converting the documents and other papers into digital form. The use of paperless approach is a convenient way to boost productivity and save money in any organization. It is also advantageous in saving space, making documentation easier, sharing of files and increased accessibility of information (Fujisawa, n.d.). It also facilitates easier communication within an office setting. The benefits of this process outweigh the disadvantages, hence this paper will narrow down to indicating that paperless office is more efficient than the paper office. The next section will highlight the primary objectives, research question and the significance of the study.

Going Paperless in the Office

1.2 Background of the Study

Institutions that handle so many paper files in a day usually faces a breaking point whereby record tracing becomes hard to carry out. It affects other organization’s processes affecting the productivity of the entire firm. Since significant records in an office cannot be portable, adoption of the paperless office can be more convenient especially in enhancing the availability and portability of an organization’s files. 

1.3 Research Question

How can the paperless office be efficient regarding every possibility of data collapse or even the cyber crimes like hacking?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

The primary aim of the research is to find out whether the paperless office is more efficient for an organization to adapt. Concerning this, the researcher’s objectives will be

i.To determine whether the process is adaptable

ii.To evaluate the effectiveness of the process

iii.To investigate the possibility success of the method 

1.5 Significance of the Study

The paperless office will eliminate the challenges of accessibility and bulkiness of records, by providing more digital space, document security, information sharing, cost saving and growth in the productivity of the organization. The findings of the research will be presented to the corporate governance of different firms so that they can try the approach for better performance and improvement.

Companies Going Paperless

Chapter Two

2.1 Introduction

In this chapter, the researcher will investigate the advantages of the paperless office and how it can be implemented in an organization. Scholarly materials on the same topic will be reviewed and examined. The primary purpose of conducting the literature review is to present the concept of the paperless office more precisely to the managers so that they can review and consider its adoption.

2.2 Paperless Office

Going paperless does not imply that there will be a total elimination of all the papers from the office. It is rather a program that reduces the amount of paperwork and how often the paper is handled. Paperwork has been there for an extended period. Since digital era has taken over, it is important for the management to implement the needs of organizations by digitalizing the offices (Nicklin, Cerasoli, & Dydyn, 2016). Some organizations, especially in the finance and management departments, have adopted the paperless office. The experience of the efficiency of the paperless office from such organizations proves that office documentation, misconduct, and errors can be easily handled in the digitalized offices (Nicklin, Cerasoli, & Dydyn, 2016). The paperless office also provides management credibility because documented information in one office can be accessed easily from another office in the same organization. It minimizes the possibility of having chaos that can be found in the office especially due to delays and bulk documentation. 

2.3 Advantages of Applying Paperless Office

Various advantages come along when the organization settle in transitioning from the old paperwork office to the paperless digital office. The benefits include the following:

2.3.1 Document Security and Information Sharing

When an organization dwells on finding, storing and retrieving paper files, some important activities can be left pending due to lack of time to obtain the relevant guidelines and requirements.  With the sophisticated modern hardware, software and the internet, the paperless office can be faster in accessibility of the documents. Adopting paperless office would also ensure that the documents are safer and secure since a digital document management system will store the documents on a secure server. By so doing, only authorized personnel will have access to the documents.

2.3.2 Best Customer Service

The paperless office offers easy access to the client’s information making it faster and efficient to serve them. Consequently, the clients become loyal to the organization and would want to come back for more services. The faster the response is to the inquiries, the more successful and reputable the company becomes.

2.3.3 Automatic Audit Trail

Digitalized offices are able to store records for many years. It also saves the management as there is no need to replace files that have piled up or created a stored room to dump the old files (Ralston, Coleman, Beaulieu, Scrutchfield, ; Perkins, 2004). The paperless office provides a digital document management system that has no limit to the amount of files that can be stored regardless of the duration period. With the installation of the appropriate database systems in the paperless office, it is possible to easily retrieve files that have been stored for many years allowing generation of the audit trail.;

2.3.4 Time Saving;

Time is a great resource in any institution. It is unwise to waste time looking for documents instead of working on fruitful projects useful. Document searches can be done quickly, using current technology (Skilton, 2015). The paperless office allows the installation of appropriate technological devices that save time preparing, retrieving and storing the documents.

2.3.5 Business Development

The technology adopted in the paperless office provides an easy way of analyzing a company and coming up with strategies that make the business more productive. Research has shown that managers who spend time making plans and strategies to develop their business succeed with over 30% growth (Skilton, 2015).

2.3.6 Reduction of Carbon Footprint

By embracing paperless office, an organization enhances its hygiene since there will be little or no pollution resulting from used papers. As such, a firm is able to reduce the cost that would have been incurred should the environment be polluted (Wolfe, 2011). Providing a safe environment and going green is a sustainable approach that every company is working to achieve in the 21st century.

2.4 The Process of Adapting a Paperless Office

For a successful adoption of paperless office in an organization, appropriate implementation procedures need to be employed. In any transition, there must be procedural criteria to follow that incorporates avoiding mistakes and threats to the data. Some of the basic steps may include:

i.Employing digital tools in all the offices to enhance resource sharing in an organization. The tools should be accessible from all offices, in the meetings and conference rooms and the fax server.

ii.The company should cut low on the use of papers and adopt electronic forms of application.; All the employees should be introduced to the use of electronic mails to enhance communication.

iii. All the documents from the past should be digitalized and the softcopy documents authenticated.

iv.A firm should introduce its staff to data handling procedures to reduce data traffic and institutional expenditures.

v.Every member of the organization should be aware of the new obligations and the operating system that will make their work easier.