I dream of a paperless office and I know I’m not alone. Okay, I admit this dream’s been around since at least 1975, and it hasn’t exactly panned out. So allow me to clarify: Since the completely paperless office is obviously never going to happen, I dream of less paper. Can we have that, at least?
Here’s just one example of how far we haven’t come: Only a few years ago I started a new job where I was handed two spiral notebooks, a stack of memo pads and several pens. I was taken aback; I thought I was working for a company focused on innovation, not back-to-school shopping. I was also surprised that employees were scribbling down private client information and leaving it lying around. My coworkers wrote Post-Its to each other stuck to folders handed around the office. The customer service reps used spiral notebooks to jot down customer information and training notes (along with doodles and shopping lists). There was such a waste of material and all without a second thought. Only a few of us (including me, armed with my then-BlackBerry, a Curve 8310) were fans of the paperless movement. Of course, we were just as productive as our paper-using colleagues while avoiding empty pens, stapler jams and paper cuts.
Eventually, the company started transitioning to greener practices. It upgraded its computer systems and software and went to cloud storage, which made it easier to manage clients within a single application. It started an internal wiki to step up information sharing and collaboration. But none of this came easily. I probably don’t have to tell you that breaking up with paper can be hard to do for the following reasons.
- We heart paper. Paper notebooks, calendars, even immense filing cabinets remain dear to the hearts of some. We like the feel of paper and the ownership. A spiral notebook is yours alone, unlike an electronic file that can feel ephemeral or that you can be required to share with coworkers or lose to a cyberthief. Richmond Valentine, Samuel L. Jackson’s character in the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service, had this to say about his stationery: “You know what I like about pen and paper? Nobody can hack this.”
- Distrust. Paper lovers worry about the reliability of computers. What if something goes down? How can they work if they can’t access a file or even lose it?
- Theft worries. The more gadgets employees use, the more money the company fears it will spend replacing them as they’re lost or stolen, to say nothing of the corporate data that might fall into the wrong hands. Nobody’s
going to bother stealing somebody’s binder left on a café table, but a smartphone
Kicking the hard stuff
Even if your workplace does not cling to paper like my old company did, it can still be difficult to completely kick the hard stuff for all the above reasons. We all know intellectually that digital is almost always faster and easier, but still. That’s why I’m glad I use a smartphone that leaves no room for dead-tree nostalgia. When your electronic tools are easy to use and keep your information private and secure, there are fewer temptations to fall back on the ol’ hammer and chisel.
Smartphones, mobility management software and mobile applications from BlackBerry make it easy to feel secure about going green. Remember: the easier and more secure the solution, the less tempted employees will be use inferior work methods. Here’s a highlight reel of how BlackBerry solutions can help your company feel good about a paperless business.
- BES12. BlackBerry phone lost or stolen? No worries. BlackBerry’s mobile device management platform BES12 lets the administrator remotely delete all data from devices if necessary.
- BlackBerry Balance keeps work apps and files separate from the personal information on your phone and it works on all the employee phones your company might manage: BlackBerry, iPhone and Android. You can keep everything – business and personal stuff – on one BlackBerry smartphone and neither you nor your company have to worry about crossover. Business files and apps stay protected from data leakage in their locked-down workspace; users can download any app or keep any information they like on their personal screen without interference from IT. Think of your personal workspace on BlackBerry Balance as a diary lock that actually works.
- BlackBerry Blend. This amazing BlackBerry tool lets you access the files, contacts, text messages and other info on your BlackBerry 10 smartphone from your laptop, desktop or other device. No more jotting notes to yourself to do something later on your laptop, or forwarding smartphone files or emails from your smartphone to your other devices!
- BBM Enterprise. Texting is the ultimate in communications convenience but its hackability makes it a no-no for regulated industries – unless they opt for a service like BlackBerry’s BBM Enterprise (formerly known as BBM Protected). A super-safe version of BlackBerry Messenger, BBM Enterprise adds encryption, which means files, pictures, even voice notes can be shared completely safely between BlackBerry and almost any other smartphone via texting.
- BBM Meetings. Although we all need human contact, face-to-face business meetings are among the ultimate time and resource wasters. Flying, driving, printed agendas and reports – ack! BBM Meetings is the complete opposite: mobile conferencing at its best. Talk and present with ease no matter where your participants are or whether they’re using a smartphone or sitting at their desktop.
Need more convincing why a BlackBerry smartphone is the most powerful combination of convenience and security possible? Download The Definitive Guide to Enterprise Mobile Security. Don’t worry, it’s an ebook – no printing required.