The (almost) paperless office
Do you work in a paperless office? Yes? YOU LIAR!
Despite us living deep within the Digital Age, with its emails, messenger systems, online archiving and an app for pretty much anything that ever required paper, no office is completely paper free. It’s just one of those things.
However, just because you need to use paper at work, it doesn’t mean you can’t still be efficient and responsible with it. Here are some tips on preventing paper wastage, whether you work for an accountant, a marketing firm, a logistics department or yes, even an old-fashioned hand-drawn illustration company!
-- Scribbling down notes? Use both sides of the page. Printing a document? Use both sides of the page. Doodling during a meeting? Use both sides of the page (but please don’t get sacked).
-- Printing your emails? Occasionally you might need to, but think about whether or not it’s required each and every time. Emails are meant to be electronic, it’s their raison d'être.
-- Proofreading a brochure and need a printout? Leave it as late as possible – send the digital copy to all relevant departments first and incorporate amends. Repeat this until you think it’s completely ready, then print it. There may still be some tweaks (there usually are) but you’ll have used a lot less paper getting to the final draft.
-- Single-line spacing, larger margins and a smaller font can keep that document shorter. Decide whether it’s appropriate, then change accordingly. (If everyone in your office has 20/20 vision you may even get away with Arial 6pt, but we wouldn’t recommend it.)
-- Don’t need that letter/memo/sticky note anymore? Use it as scrap paper until there’s simply no more space for another drop of ink.
-- That used scrap paper we just spoke about. Before it goes in the recycling bin, can it be used for anything else? Some offices use scrap paper as environmentally friendly and cost-effective packing material, but make sure there’s no sensitive information included before you do, not to mention unflattering caricatures of the boss!
-- If your office has a subscription to any trade magazines, don’t throw them away. Perhaps a client or nearby small business would appreciate you passing them on? Doing a good deed isn’t weird; the gesture is always appreciated.
-- What about other magazines lying around? They can be passed on to someone else, from doctors’ surgeries and dentists to coffee shops and blood donation centres. Even the morning newspaper could be given to a mate after work, or read during the commute home. For the love of God, don’t waste that puzzles section!
-- Does all of your internal printed correspondence need envelopes? If it does but can be left unsealed, the envelopes can then be reused by the recipient. Handy!
-- Does that private message even need to be in physical form? Couldn’t you simply call the person on the phone or, shock horror, meet them for a quick coffee in the staff room?
-- Bulletin boards for non-urgent communications can save on printing a memo for every member of staff. Just watch out for Bert from HR plugging his rubbish Dad Rock band’s upcoming gig.
In the end, even if you put into action each and every one of the tips above, you’ll still have unwanted paper materials at the end of the day. That’s why we stock such a wide range of office recycle bins that are stylish as well as functional. We do love a green and productive workplace.