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Is Going Paperless Possible in 2020?

It’s time for your HR department to go paperless. 

Key points:

  • Despite advancements in technology, HR departments still use an abundance of paper. 
  • Technologies designed to support the paperless office were once poorly designed and awkward. This is no longer the case. 
  • HR software helps your Human Resources Department go paperless.

There’s nothing new about the concept of a paperless office. The idea has been with us since at least the 1970s. So why, as we head into 2020, are we still dependent on paper? Why does the idea of going entirely paperless still seem like a dream? 

It’s complicated. 

Like most things humans do, we’ve gotten used to paper. It’s our modus operandi. Generations of workers have relied on paper for everything. And almost everyone can attest to the difficulty of breaking a habit. 

Scanning, printing, and all other paper-related activities are alive and well. Some companies are using less paper, but the majority of businesses are still locked in the throes of a paper addiction. We live in the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), yet shockingly, most businesses still use a “technology” invented 2,000 years ago. 

You might think that digital transformation naturally eliminates common sources of paper in businesses and HR departments. To the contrary, it is because of such technology that business paper consumption is still so prevalent. Technology makes it easy to produce high-quality, low-cost, personalized paper documents. 

Not to mention, many office workers simply prefer paper. They see it as formal and professional, while electronic documents are considered unpolished and impersonal. It doesn’t help that until just recently, software designed to support paperless HR departments was often clunky and awkward. 

But technology advances quickly in the digital era. Software that allows HR to go entirely paperless is now not only efficient and affordable; it’s also a pleasure to use. And there are many reasons for HR departments to go paperless. 

Your HR department can go paperless this coming year. Here are five ways to do it: 

1. Embrace electronic signatures. 

HR professionals are all too familiar with documents that need an employee’s signature. From onboarding to termination, there is a lengthy paper trail of employee-signed documentation. Electronic signatures are not only faster to gather and process, they also make compliance that much easier to maintain.

2. Use cloud-based technology. 

Store all your employee data and documentation in the cloud instead of in file cabinets. This makes information easy and quick to access, while also improving data security. With all that space you’ll save by removing file cabinets, you’ll have more room for other things like casual seating for employees and collaborative work areas. These small adjustments in the office space may even have the added benefit of boosting engagement and productivity.

3. Embrace HR software and automation. 

HR software has come a long way in recent years. Today’s software packages allow you to automate and digitize the traditional HR practices that generate paper. From onboarding and open enrollment to time tracking, eSignatures, document storage, and performance management, a well-designed HRIS is the Human Resource professionals secret weapon. 

4. Digitize all documents.

You have to digitize your existing documents and all documents moving forward to become a truly paperless HR department. An end-to-end HRIS makes the process easy and efficient because it allows you to create customized templates and dashboards for common documents. Digitizing existing documents is a lot of work, but once you’ve got the right systems in place, it’s simple to go paperless moving forward. 

5. Get your employees on-board and up-to-date on paperless practices and systems. 

Paperless technologies and processes are ineffective without employee adoption. Your employees need to understand why you’re going paperless and they’ll need to love your paperless software. Investing in an HRIS with an excellent User Interface is one of the best ways to get employees to use and enjoy your new HR software. Giving your teams enjoyable tools and training them on the reasons you’re going paperless, ensures few (if any) trips to the printer. 

Autonomous vehicles were once a futurist fantasy, and now they regularly appear on city streets. Similarly, the “myth of the paperless office” is no longer a myth or a far-off dream. It’s a reality. 

Want to know more? Our eBook “Going Paperless: How You Can Do It Remain Compliant” is packed with valuable information to help your HR department go paperless. Click here to download.