To many of us, paper is seen as a genetic expense of business, unavoidable, inevitable and only a minor expenditure. If you’re a member of staff, you probably think it’s only a minor detail of your job, and printing is a necessity; however, what most people don’t realise is that the cost of buying paper is just the tip of the iceberg. For each sheet of paper used, your business will not only incur purchasing costs for paper and ink, but also other hidden costs, such as maintenance and upkeep work and additional procurement. If you’re looking to implement a greener print environment in your office, here are the top ways to begin making a change.
Use both sides
Use the front and back of a piece of paper and cut your paper use and costs in half. Making a change starts with editing default settings on your system. In most cases, staff simply print using the default settings, meaning paper and ink are instantly wasted. When it comes to many print jobs, they’re only for internal distribution anyway, meaning that presentation isn’t crucial, so simply instil a double sided print culture and prevent printing and copying to excess.
Make paperwork digital
Internal paperwork not only leads to huge print costs, but also poses a real security risk when important company details are left lying around or aren’t disposed of appropriately. In order to combat producing mountains of internal paperwork, it’s important to begin a progression to a more digital culture. Utilising mobile technologies through implementing a BYOD policy is one route, allowing staff access to the likes of internal memos and meeting agendas, without having to print copious amounts of paperwork. For business aspects such as staff forms, make the change to electronic forms, ensuring staff complete detailed forms online or in internal files (such as excel). Implementing this variation of filing systems will take much less time to both find and process information. This doesn’t mean that electronic forms should replace all paper. In some instances, paper will still be the best tool, but most businesses find that reducing their paper use increases their efficiency. Whenever we have fewer sheets of paper in our homes and offices, we spend less time looking for those that are misplaced or lost.
Think before you print or copy
Sometimes it is necessary for documents to be printed, and is unavoidable, however it’s important to instil a culture of responsible printing. Ensure that all staff preview documents prior to printing. Correct use of the print preview function should allow you to spot formatting errors and blank pages before you print. In addition, implementing a pull print solution, eradicates those multiple pages where copies are printed and then left unclaimed at the printer. Ensuring that a staff member is at the printer to verify the print means that documents won’t be left unclaimed, hence reducing the risk of sensitive information being misplaced.