Executive Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

Paper Escaper - why it's time to swap your notepad for a mousepad

One such firm is Anne Corder Recruitment, who made the decision to go entirely paperless in 2009...

Paper Escaper - why it's time to swap your notepad for a mousepad

We all know the feeling – you put that important document down on your desk just a moment ago, but now it is nowhere to be found. Is it in the huge stack of paper in your in-tray? Did someone pick it up my mistake? Did it blow out of the window when you weren’t looking? There’s no doubt that physical documents can be difficult to manage.

But as well as being inconvenient, having huge piles of papers floating around could be harming your business no matter how organised you think you are. Physical documents can go missing or be stolen, which risks them falling into the wrong hands and causing a data breach issue. They can also clog up your processes, slowing everyone down and making your firm less efficient.

You might think the answer is secure filing cabinets and regular audits of your paper trails – but some businesses are taking a more radical approach by becoming entirely digital.

One such firm is Anne Corder Recruitment, which made the decision to go entirely paperless in 2009.

“There have been so many benefits to going paperless, from processing payments quickly, to significantly reducing our stationary and postage costs,” Karen Dykes, a Recuitment Partner at Anne Corder Recruitment told Recruitment Grapevine. “Additionally, operationally we now work more effectively - mundane admin tasks have been reduced and there is no more missing paperwork.

“This benefits staff engagement, by focusing on tasks that are more interesting, you create job satisfaction and time for personal development.”

“We have... invested in innovative products to stay ahead of the curve.”


However, you can’t just dump all your physical files in the bin and call it a day. Before you make the leap to digital, you must be prepared to make some big changes.

Dykes, whose firm’s own journey took 18 months to complete, said it was key for them to work closely with their IT team to make the transition as painless as possible. “For us it made good business sense to have bespoke portals developed for our customers, because it was crucial to us to have data safely exchanged and in a format that we required,” she said. “We have since monitored new products relevant to our business as they come to market and invested in innovative products to stay ahead of the curve.”

This might sound very pricy, but Dykes has a top tip – always try before you buy. “Our advice would be to ask potential supply partners for free trials,” she said. “Never invest in something new for your business without making sure it works for you.”

And since choosing the tree-saving path, Anne Corder Recruitment have never looked back. “Going paperless was an 18-month journey and is something that cannot be taken lightly, but is something that you’ll continue to reap the rewards of for years to come,” Dykes added.