The importance of maintaining a paperless office

The ever-accelerating trend towards the digital workstation has seen Today Translations embrace the concept of the ‘paperless’ office.

The phrase may have been coined in 1978 to envision ‘the office of the future’, but the case for such a system has never been more compelling. The primary aim of the scheme is to curtail the cost of office activity on the environment, but this isn’t just to be hip and trendy. Trimming inefficient consumption makes sound business sense for translation agencies too.

In an industry where companies can potentially deal with thousands of documents on a daily basis, the risk of producing excessive waste is especially high. With each member of staff championing the benefits of going green and minimising their environmental impact, sustainability has become ingrained into our corporate ethos. Perhaps the most striking example of this is that Today Translations is committed to operating as closely as possible within a paperless environment.

We achieve this in part thanks to our dynamic CRM system, QCS+, which allows all project and client management, finance functions, reporting and customer satisfaction surveys to be undertaken electronically. This allows Today Translations to dramatically reduce the amount of paper, which in turn reduces our carbon footprint.

Paperwork may be a mundane part of office life, but its production is far from benign. Environmental havoc is not wrought through deforestation alone. According to the American Forest & Paper Association, the paper production industry is the third-largest consumer of fossil fuels worldwide. This may be offset by using paper from renewable sources. Yet this is not an ideal solution, as the majority of paper still ends up in landfills, along with inks and toners that are volatile, toxic and costly.

The incidental benefits of a paperless drive are diverse. Beyond saving on material overheads, it also raises productivity, cuts down on clutter, and reinforces the security of sensitive information. An encrypted system is superior to an old-fashioned filing cabinet, and comes with greater accountability; any individual accesses to a document can be traced.

A firm doesn’t have to spend much to make changes that will save significant sums in the long run. For the cases where printing is unavoidable, deciding to run every document double sided is a good practice that costs nothing to implement, but instantly halves paper costs. Any printed paper is then shredded and recycled in accordance with the City of London Corporation Operation Waste programme.

Society is more aware than ever of the fragility of the natural world. In committing to a paperless workspace, Today Translations recognises that leading a green home life is not the end of one’s environmental responsibility. Conscientious company policy is indispensable in the current climate. Yet the minimal effort this takes to realise brings about innumerable benefits. The digital age, finally, is palpable.