Once upon a time (actually not that long ago and maybe still today!) business offices usually had a printer for generating reports, letters and documents, a scanner, a photocopier, a fax machine to send documents and messages over the phone line, and computer storage such as flash and hard drives for saving files.
Now, more and more functions can be done online, and so it’s possible to reduce or even eliminate some of this bulky and old-fashioned office equipment entirely.
Here are three much more modern options to consider in your office.
1. Online storage options
Using online storage reduces the risk of losing documents and files due to physical loss or damage, or the failure or loss of flash or disk drives. Encryption ensures that your files are secure. Online storage also enables sharing of documents and collaboration with others, and you can access your files and data wherever you go, without needing to carry portable drives with you.
For any digital documents you create, it’s easy to use online storage to file them away. If you do need to keep physical documents, scanning and storing them online is a useful backup.
Many of the options for this are low-cost or free. Examples include:
- Google Drive – gives you 15GB of free storage, across Google Drive, Photos and Gmail. Beyond this level you will need to pay monthly. You can also change plans at any time.
- OneDrive – like Google Drive, Microsoft’s OneDrive storage software also comes with 15GB free storage.
- iCloud – for iPhone, iPad or Mac. Provides 5GB free storage with paid options beyond that.
- Dropbox – offers 2GB of free storage before paid plans kick in, although you can get free storage for referrals.
2. Online fax software
Online faxing does away with the need for fax machines entirely. Traditional office fax machines can be costly to run in terms of ink, paper, and repairs. However with a virtual fax service, you can send and receive faxes online. Every document you send is stored in the cloud, free of charge, in effect providing you with unlimited online storage at no extra cost. You can even use your smart phone as a scanner to scan in documents to send. Need to sign and fax back a key document? It’s not only possible; it’s also very easy to do so with virtual fax.
3. All-in-one printers
If you can’t entirely manage without machines, you can still cut down on the number you need with multifunction printers. These can be used for printing, scanning, emailing, faxing and photocopying. Some of the models available are very affordable for smaller businesses, and can certainly help to streamline your processes and save on space.
The paperless office was talked about decades ago but never really took off in the way many people expected. But with cloud storage, computing and software such as online fax or email to fax from mBox, it is moving much closer. It may just be possible to do away with much or all of your office equipment, and enjoy a virtual paperless office with access to your digital files at your fingertips wherever you go. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn