Going Paperless

An office free of paper is a happy one indeed for several reasons. From an organizational standpoint, electronic copies are much easier to document and store. Keeping files organized in folders or by project in project management software allows you to always know where to find what you’re looking for. Isn’t it handy to have access to a document in the context of a particular assignment? No more sifting through stacks of papers or file folders, and, what’s no less important – no post-it notes covering your computer monitor or the walls of your office. Last, but not least, a paperless office is not only about your comfort and productivity. It’s also green!

I once had a very stylish coworker who was in the habit of printing out emails. Our boss was very eco-conscious, so she sent out an office-wide email that stated “Printing emails went out of style with the fanny pack!” The email included a really funny picture of people wearing fanny packs. The entire office got a laugh out of the image, but more importantly, my coworker stopped unnecessarily printing out emails.

Using Social Media

Building a business takes time, but with the recent penetration of the web into our work and the popularity of social media, the process can go easier and quicker. Social media are a useful channel for informing your customers of what’s happening with the company and sector.

Interaction is key for social media to be a success. Customers want to know there’s someone behind the face of the company. By engaging customers online, providing company transparency and asking for questions and feedback, a company’s reputation will start to build online.

Social media also helps companies collect information about what their customers want and build their businesses. The t-shirt company Threadless is a great example of how a Facebook profile can be maximized. Customers can buy t-shirts straight from the Facebook page. They can also comment on items and share those comments on their own Facebook walls. This approach has led Threadless to gain over 100,000 fans.

Taking Advantage of Mobile Apps

Another driving force that impacts modern office is the popularity of smartphones and tablets. People are constantly on the go, so they’ve become reliant on getting information from their mobile devices. When you have leveraged a mobile app that lets you keep up with work, things can continue moving along even when your employee is, say, stuck in traffic jam, or in a working from home office.

Apps can be a huge help when other technologies fail you. My husband and I were on vacation this summer when he got a panicked call from one of his employees. The power went out at his job due to a thunderstorm and his staff was about to be visited by an important vendor. My husband was able to share all of the information his staff needed without leaving the Jacuzzi!  

No longer are we glued to pen-and-paper ways of communication. Technology is making an office portable, with the traditional four walls and a desk being replaced by smartphones and electronic communication. The entire landscape of the “office” is changing before our eyes, and a remote work policy for your company could be the way forward.

Bring your office into the modern age. Create a paperless work environment to declutter your work space and help the environment. Take full advantage of social media instead of using it only to chat with old high school friends. Use mobile apps to connect with your customers and coworkers anywhere at any time. These small adjustments can help adapt your business to meet the current trends and keep you from being left behind.

This article was provided by Erin Palmer on behalf of . As you take your office to the web consider taking your education online as well. Villanova offers a wide range of programs and prep courses online.