Did you know that the average office worker in the United States uses around 10,000 sheets of paper every year1? That’s an astounding number in 2022, especially considering that so much of our day-to-day is conducted in digital spaces. At the same time, the ‘paperless office’ trend of businesses eliminating paper usage across different departments is slowly coming true.
We read our news online rather than buying a printed newspaper, we send relatives a birthday text rather than mailing a card, even our grocery items are listed out on our phones. And yet the average American office has somehow kept the most fundamental digital advances we enjoy in our personal lives at arm’s length, especially when it comes to paper.
What they need is a reliable digital solution to decrease or completely eliminate the expenses associated with paper, because those expenses are considerable. That is what advanced PDF editor software for businesses are for (more on that later).
Table of contents
- The annual paper usage breakdown
- Moving towards the paperless office
- pdfFiller for Enterprise: A worthy solution to business’s paper problem
- Drawing the bottom line
The annual paper usage breakdown
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the cost of using paper after it has been purchased can be between 13 and 31 times what you spent on the paper itself 2. What is even worse is that almost half of the documents that are printed are thrown away within 24 hours. That means Ink Co. could be wasting $165,000 a year on paper that doesn’t even make it through a single day of the workweek.
If you add in the amount of time spent searching for documents, correcting errors on them after they’ve been printed and circulated, mailing documents to be completed and signed (among many other steps), paper-document processes are costly to say the least.
While research shows that there is a movement towards digitization and the paperless office, and that movement has become even more pronounced since the start of the pandemic, businesses still have a paper problem. And their allegiance to paper-based processes is costing money, office space, and their employees’ time.
Moving towards the paperless office
The situation is not without hope, however. Businesses have many options for making their analog paper processes digital (like paperless office software), and a recent airSlate survey illustrates that workplace behaviors show signs, albeit small ones, of attitudes shifting towards efficiency. At the same time, paper isn’t going away any time soon.
The 2022 survey, which focused on how the pandemic has impacted the daily routines of the workplace, specifically focuses on paper-related activities. airSlate surveyed 1,000 people in the U.S., spanning ages, educational backgrounds, and income brackets.
Here are the big takeaways we gleaned from the survey.
1. Printers are still a part of our working lives
Of the respondents who are employed and who worked from home during the pandemic, 59% said they had to buy a printer during the pandemic while 41% did not. We cannot be certain that those who did not have to buy a printer did not already own one, but the sheer number of employed respondents who had to purchase a printer, either from their own pocket or through their employer, tells us that paper is still very much in use in the workplace.
There is no question that digitization was embraced by many companies during the pandemic. Nonetheless, this data shows that paper still played a part in the day-to-day of many organizations throughout the pandemic.
2. A generational shift in attitude towards paper is upon us
One of the more interesting insights from this survey was the breakdown in responses based on generation. The younger respondents were less interested and as a result, used less paper. Thirty percent of respondents from ages 18-24 have never handled paper as part of their current role, compared to 19% of respondents from ages 25-34 and 23% of respondents from ages 35-44.
To add to that, Gen Z is less paper positive than Millennials. Only thirty-five percent of respondents from ages 18-24 feel positive about handling paper for workflow processes compared to 53% of respondents from ages 25-34. Taken together, these data points suggest that when left to their own devices, younger members of the workforce are showing they prefer to develop a paperless office strategy and work in digital spaces. This might tell us something about the paperless direction we are moving in, even if slowly.
3. Many documents are being digitally processed
When asked about their behavior over the last year, 77% of respondents said they have used an eSignature solution at some point. eSigning came to prominence during the pandemic as companies scrambled to keep their businesses running. As a result, it has become a widely adopted software for paperless office processes.
And although we saw many folks purchasing printers when working from home during the pandemic, 25% of respondents reported that they have not purchased any paper in the last year. This indicates that some people have committed to a paperless existence, finding digital solutions for handling their daily document needs, whether professionally or personally. With 29% of respondents sharing that they have lost an important document that needed a signature, the considerations for going paperless are diverse and extend beyond just environmental concerns.
Overall, this survey revealed that while attitudes towards paper are shifting, workplaces are still paper-heavy environments. But it doesn’t have to be this way when there are tools that are readily available on the market to support a company’s digital transformation. Companies can and should be embracing end-to-end document management solutions designed specifically for enterprises.
pdfFiller for Enterprise: a worthy solution to paper problems for businesses
pdfFiller for Enterprise is one such solution. It is a document management solution for businesses that enables users to edit and manage PDF documents and forms online. It helps businesses increase collaboration across departments, improve organizational productivity, and enhance the experience of the customers they are servicing.
As far as paper is concerned, pdfFiller gives teams everything they need to manage their documents online, totally eliminating the need for paper. Let’s take a look at why pdfFiller for Enterprise is among the best enterprise PDF software on the market. Here are some of the perks of going paperless with pdfFiller.
1. Companies increase the efficiency of their document processes, big time. Regardless of the industry, processing documents quickly and accurately is no small task. Manually entering and transferring data from pen to paper forms is a common, daily task in many functions of enterprise businesses. From processing HR paperwork to submitting design requests and drawing up contracts, the document processes that keep a business operational and making money take up time.
Digitizing document workflows significantly reduces the time required to complete these processes. With a PDF solution for business like pdfFiller, employees can easily fill out and edit PDFs digitally, move them between colleagues internally, and share them externally with clients and vendors. Without the challenges that come with drafting, printing, circulating, and hunting down physical paper copies, this entire process can be reduced from days (or weeks) to hours (or even minutes!).
2. Companies will reduce the chance of error and the costs associated with them. Errors in documentation can cost businesses a lot. These expenses run the gamut: If you are in the legal industry, a mistake in a contract can set you back weeks; if you are in the medical field, a mistake in a patient’s file can lead to a misdiagnosis, or far worse. Whether it be time, money, or safety, errors in paperwork that employees manually create, with information that is manually copied from one place to another, are common and expensive.
By filling out and editing PDFs digitally, you can completely eliminate document related-errors and their associated costs. With a solution like pdfFiller for document management, human mistakes no longer impact the day-to-day productivity of businesses.
3. Teams will no longer waste time searching for documents.
With so many documents circulating and needing to be filed, pdfFiller’s storage makes organizing documents in folders and accessing them in a matter of seconds simple. Anyone within an organization can access the most up-to-date documents they need from anywhere, as well as create a shared folder that gives multiple people access to the documents within them.
Additionally, they can share access to any individual document they are working on with other users. This means people on a team or across an organization can easily collaborate on documents at any given time. When giving access to documents, a user can give each collaborator different access levels—to edit, view, or sign—based on their role in any given process and for added security.
4. Users will have the flexibility to complete work from anywhere.
When handling physical paperwork, people are often tied to a physical space, due to needing access to filing cabinets, their office or physical workspace, etc. With this PDF editor for business, which is a cloud-based solution, professionals can use the solution from anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection.
Moreover, they can also edit PDFs and collaborate with colleagues on desktop or mobile devices. This means a user has total flexibility in deciding when and where they want to access and contribute to a document, which only expedites the collaboration process.
pdfFiller in action: How our customers move towards a paperless office
pdfFiller for Enterprise is a game changer across all industries. Simply put, if a company has paper-based processes, this PDF editor software for enterprise can make them more efficient and cost-effective. Here are some examples of pdfFiller doing just that.
Medical professionals improve their contractor paperwork and doctor credentialing
Hope Discovery ABA Services, a practice that specializes in behavioral therapy, uses pdfFiller to tackle weekly paperwork needed for their contractors. Their lead behavior analyst, Scott Horton, was looking for a solution that would allow him to edit and complete PDFs online and give him back the time he spends each week searching for fillable PDFs online. After finding pdfFiller, he never looked back.
“Basically, pdfFiller offered a solution for [almost] any situation I was in,” says Horton. “I would, and I do recommend it.”
For NILACC, the impetus for finding pdfFiller was the need for better document management for the doctor credentialing process. Their business manager, Julie Cox, explains that the practice had formerly relied on pen and paper to complete all their documents which “took way too much time and was hard to keep track of.”
pdfFiller, which Cox described as the “most user-friendly” solution she had tried, allowed NILACC to move away from pen and paper processes by giving them the gift of an online solution with the ability to add fillable fields to any PDF document they need to run their practice. Learn how Healthcare industry stands to benefit from pdfFiller for Enterprise.
Insurance sales organization expedites its workflow with fillable PDFs
For Frontline Insurance Group, finding a cost-effective way to speed up their document workflows and client data collection was a necessity. When they came across pdfFiller, Emily Dingham, a broker at the company, knew the solution was for them because it was “simple, fast” and would be easy for anyone at her company to use.
Brokers at Frontline Insurance now use pdfFiller to convert pre-filled PDFs into interactive fillable forms, which they send to clients in order to collect their electronic signatures. The company moved away from a traditional two-copy paper agreement that needed to be overnighted to sending their documents immediately to clients who can complete and sign them just with nothing more than an internet connection.
“This saved us an incredible amount of time!” says Dingham. “It feels like pdfFiller was custom created for us.”
Staffing service provider simplifies their employee onboarding process
CHG Healthcare is an organization that specializes in temporary and permanent placements of healthcare professionals across the U.S., a process that requires substantial paperwork.
CHG was manually procuring, filling, and finalizing hospital privileging forms and state license applications before faxing and sending the documentation to the necessary parties via FedEx. The process was cumbersome and delayed appointments and medical care.
CHG found their solution in pdfFiller. They now collaborate internally to prepare documents using pdfFiller and then easily send the documentation to medical professionals to complete and sign online. CHG has accelerated the doctor onboarding process and introduced a whole new level of agility and control over their document management workflows with pdfFiller.
“The fact that the doctors can sign on their phone and get the documentation back to us the same day is huge for our business and for the number of patients that we serve,” shares Angela Grover, a member of CHG’s hospital privileging team.
Drawing the bottom line: Eliminate paper usage and reap the benefits
Whether you account for the cost of supplies, the number of employees needed to maintain paper processes, the hours teams waste with every manual step involved, or the delays in business transactions due to multiple cumbersome processes, companies only stand to benefit by eliminating paper with the help of an end-to-end document management solution. With a solution like pdfFiller for Enterprise, companies can eliminate their paper-based problems while enjoying the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of going digital.