Last month, we talked about the reasons millennial employees are more environmentally aware and tech-savvy than other generations in the workplace. We also discussed ways companies can put those strengths to good use in an effort to advance green workplace initiatives. Of course, millennials can help inspire and the lead the way, but to truly achieve a green workplace requires the participation and commitment of every employee.
In the second half of this two-part blog series, we reveal five easy, practical tips that millennials can implement in order to help create a greener workplace.
- Using mobile devices for display. Millennial employees (or anyone for that matter) should challenge themselves to minimize printing and instead, preview documents on a smartphone or tablet. Additionally, they can use digital editing tools to suggest changes, insert comments and generally collaborate. Changing these types of behaviors can help the organization reduce the amount of printed documents and its use of paper.
- Make the electronic version the first option. In another recent blog post, we talked about converting invoices to electronic documents for circulating through approval rather than paper bills. They may seem like small steps, but if employees can transform a paper process into an electronic one, they can have a positive impact on the workplace. Office memos, company newsletters, even employee reviews are all ripe for an electronic-first approach.
- Challenge the routine of “when in doubt, print it out.” How often have you printed an email because you wanted to keep a copy on file? Or are you guilty of printing documents as a reminder to complete tasks, review information, or take work home? By encouraging other employees to convert paper to an electronic document – just as easily as they could print one – millennials can challenge the routine of printing information for safekeeping.
- Route printed documents to the right recipient. Converting printed documents to electronic makes it far more likely that the intended recipient will receive the intended information. Millennials can start by taking advantage of these electronic workflows in your organization, and help prevent too much printing as information tries to make its way to the right person.
- Encourage other employees to propose green ideas. No one is more familiar with the processes that drive your company than your employees. Employees should encourage other workers to come up with other good ideas, and the organization should recognize them for these efforts. For example, why not reward them for converting previously paper processes to electronic? For example, an employee may propose that all agendas for team meetings now be shared as electronic PDFs. Or a manager may encourage his team to carry smartphones or tablets to meetings instead of notebooks. Ideas like these that come from employees are much more likely to be successfully adopted.
Support green initiatives
By implementing a reliable document management solution and mobile connectivity, you can provide employees with the foundation for a greener workplace and better productivity. Think of the savings that can result from reducing paper, toner cartridges, and other waste materials , not to mention the time saved from manual processes. Don’t let your company’s inability to move processes into a digital format be what holds them back.