Using technology in a sustainable office

Some things are so obvious that it’s hard to understand why everyone’s not already doing them, like putting grated cheese on your beans or eating your five a day.

The same ‘let’s change something small that’ll make a big difference’ mentality also goes for running your office. If you could save money, make your employees more productive and help the environment in one fell swoop, why wouldn’t you?

Sustainability is a huge part of corporate responsibility these days and going digital to have all of your work in electronic, central files is the easiest and most far reaching change you can make.

For many professions who deal with sensitive information the risk of data breaches can make them balk at being fully electronic. But there may be benefits you hadn’t thought of:

1) Losing the paper

Ok, so this one you probably have thought of. The obvious benefit of working electronically is that you don’t need as much paper. But dig a little deeper and reducing the costs of printing and purchasing paper is just the start. You’ll also reduce the cost of all the space you need to store and archive all that paper.

"Digital space is much more cost effective than physical space and the environmental impact of keeping a server switched on is less than that of heating and lighting a large office full of pulped down trees!"

Although this may not be an environmental benefit, working electronically will also make your team more productive. Searching for documents electronically takes far less time than hunting down a sheet of paper and colleagues can work on the same documents at the same time, so no one’s held up by Lee’s haphazard desk organisation.

Although there may be concerns over data breaches it’s much more difficult to leave a spreadsheet or Word document on a train if it’s not on paper, and with the right security – strong passwords on laptops, good firewalls and an archiving and destruction policy for documents – there’s really no reason your data will be any less safe.

2) Flexible and remote working

Going digital means that your team can work from anywhere that has an internet connection. This means they can fill the time between out of office meetings writing up and circulating notes and staying on top of their emails. If you have a central case management system as well your team will be able to work collaboratively on their cases because documents and emails can be accessed by anyone who needs them, rather than having work saved locally on desktops where it’s invisible to colleagues along with emails you can only see if you’re copied in. Knowing exactly what’s been done and when becomes a much simpler task.

"Best of all working from home means avoiding the daily commute, which is not only great for your employees, but it’s great for the planet."

With whole cities embracing the benefits of digital integration it’s harder for companies to continue to be rooted in the paper based world of the past – and when you take into consideration the benefits to your business and the planet that technology can provide, why would you want to?

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