Paperless board meetings became a reality thanks to advanced technologies. Digital tools help businesses be more efficient, while staying focused on a daily routine.
They also help reduce the environmental impact of paper production, which is a growing impact according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. While paper production is among the most energy-intensive industries in the world, corporations can increase their sustainability by moving to paperless meetings.
This is why companies today use board portals, improving the collaboration between board members and conducting board meetings online.
What are paperless board meetings?
A paperless board meeting is a meeting of a company’s board of directors that is conducted electronically, without the use of physical paper documents.
Instead of traditional board books and paper documents, all the necessary board materials are stored and accessed through a secure digital platform, known as board management software.
During paperless board meetings, directors can access, review, and annotate meeting documents, agendas, and presentations in real time on their electronic devices.
The use of paperless board meetings helps to promote sustainability, as it reduces paper waste and the energy required for printing, storing, and distributing physical documents. Additionally, paperless board meetings can improve the efficiency of the meeting process and enhance communication among the directors.
To learn more about the specifics of paperless board meetings, download our white paper.
Here are the top 10 reasons to switch to paperless meeting software:
1. Save time for board members
One of the biggest benefits of paperless board meetings software is that directors can use it to exchange updates and relevant documents and study those to prepare for a board meeting.
Then, once the event begins, they can jump straight to the conversation and decision-making. No endless updates, no boring reports. Only collaboration and fruitful discussion.
2. Reduce spendings on each board meeting
Managing the board is impossible without wise budget management. As we’ve already mentioned, traditional meetings can be rather expensive. If you use paperless meeting software, you will at least cut spendings on printing all those hard copies directors need for the discussion.
If you decide to hold a virtual event, the expenses will go down significantly as you won’t need to cover travels for directors. Instead of paying for the office space, accommodation and travel, you’ll only need to pay for a paperless board meeting solution.
3. Improve the effectiveness of board meetings
The sole fact that boards won’t need to go through updates at the beginning of the meeting already means that they won’t get tired before the discussion starts. Therefore, they can think clearly as they’re not worn out by listening to the reports.
Additionally, board portals allow directors to create meeting agendas so that everyone can come up with some ideas before the discussion. Paperless meeting solution supplies members with different tools such as votes and polls that can improve the decision-making process.
4. Enhance collaboration between board members and employees
Most board portal providers allow users to integrate this software with other business tools. Thus, it’s easy to connect the board portal to apps employees are using to synchronize the flow of paperless board documents and control the progress of tasks.
Paperless meeting software creates a smooth and centralized workspace for directors allowing them to stay in touch with employees even in a zero office space.
5. Focus the attention of board members
It’s hard for directors to remain connected to each other all the time as each of them needs to take care of processes that are running in their departments. Board portals allow them to communicate between meetings.
Then during the discussion, directors will have a better understanding of what’s going on. It means that they will be able to stay focused on the conversation rather than on studying the meeting materials and reports.
Also, such paperless meeting software helps directors to stay aware of processes held within the company every day as most board portals allow users to create, assign, and track tasks.
6. Make it easy to access the information
Paperless meeting management software can be accessed from any device and location as long as a user has an internet connection. This means that directors won’t experience delays or issues simply because they can’t receive a printed document. All the information uploaded to the board portal is easy to reach, and members can study it even on the go.
7. Protect your information
Data leaks are no joke. They are expensive, and they can cost a company its reputation once customers realized their sensitive data was exposed. So it’s crucial for a business to protect its information, and board portals are perfect for that. This software will let you hold paperless board meetings while keeping corporate documents reliably protected.
It’s impossible for malefactors to get into a board portal because providers secure their servers and customers’ repositories with encryption. For board members benefit and extra protection, directors get to use additional safety features such as two-factor authentication.
8. Make your board flexible
Are directors from your board located in different countries? Is someone on a business trip currently? No problem, just hold a virtual paperless board meeting using video conferencing software and a board portal.
Technologies allow us to be flexible as we become less attached to offices. Leverage this opportunity to hold a virtual board meeting even if some participants can’t physically attend it.
9. Improve your meeting management
Board portals supply directors with the ability to establish agendas, record minutes, hold votes, create and assign tasks, and other features that can improve the way your company manages meetings.
You might want to assign someone to control this paperless meeting solution so that everything remains organized. Then directors will never have to worry about lost information and forgotten tasks.
10. Be eco-friendly
This reason remains overlooked by many businesses. Nevertheless, it’s a very important benefit of paperless meeting software. Such tools take away the need to print papers. Thus, you can reduce the carbon footprint of your company as you waste less paper.
However, the main issue our planet has with printing are printers themselves. When they work, they produce a lot of harmful emissions. So the less you print, the better. That’s how board portals will help you be more eco-friendly as you run your business.
Here you can find more info about paperless board software.
How to enhance the efficiency of board meeting?
Get insights in our checklistDownload
How to make paperless board meetings more effective?
- Choose the right paperless meeting software
- Arrange group training sessions for all board directors
- Provide limited access to sensitive information
- Define clear agendas for a more efficient board meeting process
- Encourage active feedback from every board member
1. Choose the right paperless meeting software
Adoption of the right tools is crucial for productive virtual board meetings. However, choosing paperless meeting solutions is quite a time-consuming process. To choose the best software, evaluate:
- Security features for sensitive information protection (encryption, role-based access controls, activity monitoring, multi-factor authentication)
- Collaboration features (task assignment, progress tracking, deadline setting)
- Board meeting features (e-signatures, voting, board meeting minutes template creation, agenda items distribution)
To save time and effort, you’re welcome to our main page presenting the comparison of top paperless meeting solutions.
2. Arrange group training sessions for all board directors
Even if your board directors easily navigate the digital world, it is important to train your staff prior to implementing any new technology. This helps to ensure that everyone is proficient with the paperless software.
Consider various training options — from live demonstrations to video guides, helpful materials and FAQs. Arrange online training sessions and afterwards ensure ongoing product support for a smooth adoption of the paperless meeting solution.
3. Provide limited access to sensitive information
When you invite board members and other experts to participate in discussions, consider providing limited access. Securely password-protect all files and use role-based access controls to make sure the level of board members’ access corresponds to their needs but not exceeds them. Keeping access controlled and secure will prevent the risk of data misuse.
4. Define agendas for a more efficient board meeting process
The success of an event is determined before a meeting begins. To ensure seamless and productive paperless meetings, it’s essential to have clear agendas.
Create a clear and detailed agenda document and make it accessible to all board members by attaching it to the calendar invitation. This gives them time to review the information before the meeting, while fostering a sense of ownership and engagement.
Ensure quick access to schedules related to specific tasks to keep track of actions taken as a result of virtual meetings.
Consider creating a dedicated space for agendas if your paperless meeting solution has this functionality.
5. Encourage active feedback from every board member
Obtaining feedback from users is crucial in assessing the effectiveness of a new tool. Allow for silent brainstorming sessions to give board members time to collect their thoughts and provide structured, objective feedback. Based on the information collected, make necessary modifications to improve the outcome of paperless meetings.
The bottom line
- Board meetings are electronic meetings of board directors, also known as paperless board meetings.
- During paperless meetings, directors can access, review, and annotate meeting documents, agendas, and presentations in real time using only an internet connection and their electronic devices.
- The use of paperless board meetings helps to reduce paper use, energy consumption, and improves meeting efficiency and communication between directors.
- The use of board portals also helps protect information from data leaks and enhances many essential processes, like collaboration, task tracking, meeting agenda creation, distribution, paperless meetings organization, minutes preparation, and much more.
Time to use the modern board management software!
iDeals Board serves board of directors, committee members with a comprehensive suite for governance toolsVisit Website
What is a paperless meeting?
A paperless meeting is a gathering that is held digitally or in person with the help of board management software. Directors use mobile applications to review documents, vote, sign, and present their motions.
What are the benefits of a paperless meeting?
The primary advantage of paperless meetings is convenience. Directors can access all the necessary documents from a centralized digital space without worrying about misplacing a file or compromising sensitive data. Paperless meetings are also more cost-efficient as they eliminate the need to print and distribute paperwork and gather all members in a physical location.
Is going paperless an effective strategy?
Yes, going paperless for meetings has proven to be more environmentally friendly, globally oriented, and cost-effective than the traditional approach to board meeting facilitation.
What do you need for paperless meeting management?
You need trustworthy and secure board management software that meets your company’s requirements and budget.