Paperless Office – Digitization at the workplace

Paper in the office – some­thing more nor­mal is hard to imag­ine. Paper is every­where in cir­cu­la­tion. E-​mails are printed out, notes are writ­ten on slips of paper and any doc­u­ments, such as invoices or orders, are deliv­ered and archived by post. Mean­while the world­wide demand is so high that almost every sec-​ond indus­tri­ally felled tree is processed into paper!

For­tu­nately, how­ever, there is a pos­si­ble solu­tion in sight: dig­i­tal­iza­tion has now pro­gressed so far that a rev­o­lu­tion in daily office life is pos­si­ble – the paper­less office. This slo­gan refers to a work­place in which com­mu­ni­ca­tion and work processes, in the sense of e-​mail, intranet, word pro­cess­ing and data trans­fer, are largely com­put­er­ized.

All begin­nings are dif­fi­cult

In order to be able to suc­cess­fully han­dle the huge tran­si­tion to a paper­less office, all those involved should be con­vinced that an office will work with­out paper. The neces­sity of this “new” phi­los­o­phy must reach the entire com­pany, which means that every sin­gle employee must be suc­ces­sively taken along and con­vinced.

The tran­si­tion to a paper­less office is usu­ally bumpy and can­not be car­ried out overnight. A big chal­lenge is to break out of the usual behav­ior pat­terns, adopt the new processes and inte­grate them into every­day office life so that a new work­flow can be cre­ated.

Time is money

In the paper­less office, time is saved where oth­er­wise time is lost through the con­stant fil­ing and archiv-​ing of ana­log doc­u­ments as well as through the search for this time. Instead of try­ing to clean up the huge moun­tains on paper, employ­ees can sim­ply store their doc­u­ments in the cloud. This is a chal­lenge for the com­pany.

An appro­pri­ate doc­u­ment man­age­ment sys­tem is needed to quickly store and find the rel­e­vant docu-​ments. In addi­tion, the titling must fol­low a well thought-​out struc­ture and be remem­bered with ease so that the data can be found quickly and eas­ily using the search func­tion. Accord­ing to the well-​known say­ing “time is money”, costs are also indi­rectly saved in this way.

Every­thing from every­where

The cloud sys­tem pro­vides an opti­mal foun­da­tion for a paper­less office. Providers are con­stantly imple-​menting inno­va­tions in server tech­nolo­gies and remain up to date with their secu­rity stan­dards. The data is cen­tral­ized in dig­i­tal form and can be accessed via mobile devices in par­tic­u­lar. This means that every employee can access the data and doc­u­ments from any­where if they have been granted the appro­pri­ate rights.

In this way, an opti­mized work­flow is gen­er­ated. Mobil­ity pro­vides the flex­i­bil­ity that is becom­ing in-​creasingly impor­tant for employ­ees today, for exam­ple when work­ing in the home office.

Out of the way! Here comes Dig­i­tal!

Apart from the chal­lenge of keep­ing an overview of grow­ing paper stacks and bulging files, the ana­log fil­ing sys­tem also takes up a lot of space. But notes or to-​do lists can also be cre­ated dig­i­tally with tools such as OneNote or Microsoft Plan­ner instead of on paper.

All exist­ing and incom­ing paper doc­u­ments can be scanned and dig­i­tally archived. In addi­tion, there is a wel­come side-​effect in terms of sus­tain­abil­ity: a tremen­dous amount of paper is saved, thus pro­tect­ing the envi­ron­ment!

Scan­ning – but how?

The already men­tioned scan­ning of all paper doc­u­ments should not be under­es­ti­mated. If you really want to scan all the doc­u­ments, you have to plan with a huge expen­di­ture of time. In addi­tion, var­i­ous specifi-​cations of the BMF (Fed­eral Min­istry of Finance) and the BSI (Fed­eral Office for Infor­ma­tion Secu­rity) have to be observed dur­ing the so-​called sub­sti­tute scan­ning. In the course of this scan­ning, for exam­ple, doc­u­ments are scanned, elec­tron­i­cally processed and the paper orig­i­nals destroyed.

In a paper­less office, the dig­i­tal copies are to be treated in the same way as ana­logue doc­u­ments. The data must be archived cor­rectly, the doc­u­ments must be scanned cor­rectly and must be audit-​proof and tamper-​proof. A scan­ner that ful­fils the cor­re­spond­ing secu­rity cer­tifi­cates and at the same time scans quickly, con­ve­niently and reli­ably is expen­sive – but nec­es­sary! How­ever, even in a paper­less office, not all ana­log doc­u­ments can sim­ply be destroyed. For cer­tain doc­u­ments there are reten­tion peri­ods of up to ten years.

Please sign!

In addi­tion, the prob­lem exists with sig­na­tures of an ana­logue and dig­i­tal nature. In some cases, the ex-​clusive use of elec­tronic sig­na­tures is not yet legally secure. More­over, for tech­ni­cal rea­sons they can­not yet be assumed in many sit­u­a­tions. For exam­ple, because the required devices are not avail­able or many employ­ees lack the appro­pri­ate IT com­pe­tence.

As a gen­eral rule, not every­one has a dig­i­tal affin­ity. Of course, this can also apply to cus­tomers. If cus-​tomers still use paper, this can make it nec­es­sary for the com­pany to print out or scan in cum­ber­some doc­u­ments and keep them ready to hand.

Paper away – imme­di­ately!

It is clear to see: A paper­less office is the future and should become the present as soon as pos­si­ble. The changeover saves space, time and money and at the same time pro­tects our envi­ron­ment. The con­ver­sion to a paper­less office should take place suc­ces­sively from ana­logue to dig­i­tal dur­ing ongo­ing busi­ness op-​erations. The com­pa­nies should pur­sue the goal of car­ry­ing out the changeover imme­di­ately and com-​pletely in order to avoid longer-​lasting syn­chro­niza­tion and copy­ing of the doc­u­ments.

For a paper­less office you need a reli­able IT! In our con­fig­u­ra­tor you will find the smartest IT solu­tions and you can start right away!