How to Reduce Paper Waste in the Workplace

Money may not grow on trees, but trees made into paper certainly cost a lot of money. While recycling paper is a step in the right direction, it’s far better for a business’s bottom line if the paper wasn’t used for printing in the first place. In fact, businesses in the U.S. spend over $120 billion on printed forms, most of which become outdated within three months. Rather than simply managing paper waste with recycling, it’s time to save trees—and a lot of money—by reducing paper waste with paperless office software. 


Strategies for Reducing Paper Waste at Your Company

Reducing paper waste is an effort that involves everyone in an organization. Here are some strategies everyone across an organization can use to help prevent wasted paper in the workplace. 

  • Use printer monitoring software: Several different types of paperless office software products monitor who is printing, how much, and when. These metrics can help the company make strategic decisions about where printing is necessary and where the organization can cut back.  
  • Create a company culture of electronic communication: Printed forms are less and less practical, especially with remote work and global teams. Invest in features such as esignatures, chat platforms, digital content reviews, and cloud content storage such as OneDrive or Sharepoint.
  • Digitize existing content: Digitizing physical content items is a great way to prevent extra copies from being made and more paper being printed. You can scan images, faxes, photos, and forms. Bonus: they’ll be easier to find and share when they’re electronic. 
  • Take notes electronically: Taking notes electronically and using solutions such as OneNote or Evernote is a great way to reduce paper waste while also making your notes more searchable for future projects. 
  • Invest in a document management system: Document management software works for electronic documents as well as scans of existing documents. This prevents the need for extra copies and facilitates document collaboration. 

How Businesses Benefit from Reduced Paper Waste

Businesses that invest in paperless office software gain many company-wide advantages. Reducing paper waste is an environmental success—and  92% of consumers trust environmentally responsible brands. In addition to building trust, your business will see some other tangible wins along the way. 

For example, using less paper leads to immediate cost savings—paper, printers, ink, postage, and storage costs can add up. The average employee’s printing habits cost a company $725 per year per employee. Reducing paper usage saves space, too. By transitioning to digital storage, businesses can free up physical storage space, reducing the need for filing cabinets or off-site storage.

Increased security is another major benefit of moving away from excessive printed paper. Digital documents can be encrypted and protected with passwords. Access to documents can be restricted to authorized personnel only. This provides a level of security that’s hard to achieve with physical papers.

Digital documentation is safer against being hacked, but it’s also safer against physical danger. With proper backups, the risk of losing documents due to fires, floods, or other disasters is minimized. 

Other benefits you’ll see when you move away from those 8×11 sheets include the following:

  • Easier collaboration and access: Digital documents are easier to share and collaborate on, especially with tools that allow for real-time editing and commenting. This supports remote work arrangements and ensures that critical information is always at hand.
  • Better customer service: Easy access to digital records can lead to faster response times for customer queries or issues.
  • Easier compliance and auditing: Paperless office software solutions often come with features that allow for easy tracking of document changes, access histories, and versioning. 
  • Scalability: Digital solutions can more easily scale with your business, accommodating larger volumes of data without a proportional increase in physical space or manual effort.

Common Questions About Reducing Paper Waste at Work

Have questions about reducing paper waste in the workplace or investing in paperless office software? We’ve got you covered. 

What are the top features to look for in paperless office software?

When considering paperless office software, look for a product with automation features. These features often include naming, sorting, and batching capabilities. You’ll also want software with optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities, which makes data entry and document editing possible. 

What are some legal and compliance considerations with paperless software?

Security is always top-of-mind with legal issues. Make sure the paperless office software has authentication features for better data protection. Paperless software can also provide streamlined reports for compliance audits and help you track any incidents you may need to report. 

Does paperless office software have a mobile app?

Many paperless office software products have apps. Apps help you access information while you’re on the go, sign documents quickly, and communicate faster than you could when you had to hand printed packets to your team.  


Print Management Software Trends in 2024

Print management software is a massive market, and it’s growing fast. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18.4% for the next seven years, likely becoming a $6.3 billion market by 2031. As print management trends shift toward efficiency, security, and environmental responsibility, it’s easy to see the reasons behind such growth.

Here are some of the top print management software trends for 2024, and why they will be a differentiating factor for businesses. 


The Print Management Trends You Can Expect to See in 2024

Print management affects every aspect of a business and can have ripple effects through many departments, making the current trends a reflection of larger workplace trends. These are the top trends coming to print management in 2024:


Print management solutions with transparent sustainable printing capabilities

Customers are demanding more insight into the environmental impact of their print environment and print suppliers. About 70% of organizations say it’s important that their print supplier provides a range of sustainable products and services, and 69% think it’s important for print suppliers to show they are reducing their own environmental impact.


AI will make print management solutions more effective

As artificial intelligence continues revolutionizing technology, the print management market can also benefit. Print management software can implement AI solutions to reduce downtime, optimize print workflows, predict maintenance needs, and detect security breaches faster, among many other advantages.


Users will expect high availability, flexibility, and scalability in the cloud

Businesses are developing ways to become more agile while also reducing costs (both financial and environmental) compared to operating an on-premises environment. In addition to cutting costs and improving agility, cloud-first organizations are better prepared for advanced cyberattacks through optimized data compliance and security.

The shift to cloud-first solutions goes hand-in-hand with another trend: International business travel and in-person events are expected to increase in 2024. The growing amount of travel means that not only will people print more from work, but they’ll also print more from various off-site locations. If you plan to attend industry events while staying connected to work, you’ll need to be prepared with flexible and secure printing solutions.


Print security continues to become a higher priority

Print management solutions continue to boost their credentials when it comes to data protection and theft prevention. They do this by providing security features like pull printing and integrations with IdPs. Customers looking for secure printing should plan to leverage solutions that adhere to SOC or ISO security frameworks.


Return to office push = More printing

A whopping 90% of companies plan to implement return-to-office policies by the end of 2024. That means more people will be printing at the office, which costs more money to cover increased resource use. If your organization is moving employees back into the office, you may want to start looking for a solution that limits print volumes and keeps print costs in check.


Simple user experience will become a priority

Change is challenging. Implementing a print solution that doesn’t require users to jump through hoops is key. The learning curve for IT should be minimal as well. If your print management software has a better user experience, your employees are more likely to adopt the solution more quickly while maintaining or improving productivity.


Sustainability and eco-friendly printing will be non-negotiable 

Sustainability is a major factor driving printing trends, too. Print management is a key way to reduce paper waste and protect the environment; however, it’s just as important for the business. According to Brand Times, sustainability will be a key growth driver in 2024 because it will materially affect profit centers, stakeholder management, and market share.

As sustainability gains importance, print management software will incorporate more features to support environmentally responsible printing. This may include:

  • Eco-mode printing: Introducing further settings for reducing energy consumption.
  • Carbon footprint tracking: Tools that allow organizations to measure and reduce their carbon footprint.
  • Paperless initiatives: Integrating with document management systems to promote paperless workflows.


How PrinterLogic Prepares You for 2024 and Beyond

PrinterLogic is the key to future-proofing your print management for 2024 and beyond. Our solution simplifies your print infrastructure while reducing print tickets by 90%. Centralized management increases the security and efficiency of print jobs while still supporting flexible, scalable, and secure printing. And because PrinterLogic is a centralized cloud-native solution, you can access your critical print data from a single pane of glass so you can start printing less, saving money, increasing sustainability, and being more transparent with future customers. 

If you’re interested in accelerating automation and digitization and keeping up with print management trends, schedule a demo with us today.