Paperless vs. Paper Board Meetings: The Pros, Cons, and Prospects

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Paperless board meeting solutions are getting rid of all the papers involved in board meetings, saving time, and saving funds for businesses. With paperless board meeting software, board members can interact on the go, hold meetings, and fast-track results within an organization virtually.

Times have changed so drastically ever since the idea of a board meeting was conceived and birthed.

The traditional way of handling meetings still holds its relevance but a new wave is gradually sweeping across the world in its corporate sector. It's backed by digital technology and defies every norm about meetings. It's called the paperless board meeting solution, and we are going to strip it bare in this article, highlighting its advantages and challenges.

If the idea sounds interesting, keep reading to learn more.


What is a paperless board meeting

What is a paperless board meeting

A paperless board meeting is as simple as its title suggests; a meeting without paper.

Is it even possible? Absolutely.

With an advanced world of technology at our beck and call, meetings can be held virtually without a single paper involved. From the agenda to recording attendance, and taking minutes, everything can be done online with every member present.

Now being present is not just enough, every board member in paperless board meetings gets to participate actively in things like voting, sharing ideas, raising motions, and carrying out every other activity done in an in-person meeting. All of these are possible with the help of paperless board meeting software.

With this software, organizations can limit costs in hosting meetings, effectively collaborate with their board of directors, collaborate with external parties, and maintain optimal communication within its board.


How does paperless meeting software work?

First, a short training is done for all board members or board of directors, and everyone is shown how to use the paperless board meetings software. Usually, this training is done via a demo so everything is practical.

Next is the implementation or integration into the communication and meeting processes of the board of directors. Typically, every board member downloads the paperless meeting software which is compatible with a host of devices and that's it for the connection.

With the software, every member can receive alerts for meeting schedules, the agenda is forwarded beforehand so members can prepare ahead, and even voting can be done. When it's time for the meeting, everyone logs in to the meeting room with a unique ID which makes the meeting secure and out of bounds for intruders.

Lots of tools are housed in the board book software, which makes meeting attendance, voting, sharing agenda, and doing everything obtainable in a physical meeting a breeze.


Pros and cons of paperless board meeting

As with most concepts around the world, there are drawbacks and there are beneficial highlights.

Let's begin with the pros.

Pros

  1. Cost-efficiency. Think of all the running costs in setting up a paper board meeting. You'll be looking at printing memos and distributing them around the organization, text messages will be sent as reminders, agenda will be printed and distributed during the meeting, attendance sheets will be shared, and sometimes a foreign venue will be rented. But apaperless board meeting solution puts an end to all of these and saves the company all the running costs. All paperless board documents are securely stored on the cloud, and there is no necessity to print and physically distribute them.
  2. Optimal time management. Traditional meetings are known for consuming time, plenty of it. But with an agenda uploaded before the meeting, board members can study it, prepare their inputs and keep it in handy. When it's meeting time on the software, inputs from each member comes almost automatically, leaving the rest of the time left for other minor deliberations.
  3. More convenience. Board members who are on field trips traveled for vacation, or unavoidably absent can still partake in the meeting via the paperless board management software. It's a very convenient way to host meetings as members can partake on the go, at the comfort of their homes, and just wherever they are.
  4. Seamless communication. Board members can keep in touch with each other on the platform seamlessly and stay on top of every happening in the company. The paperless boardroomisn't just for meetings, but for seamless communication and collaboration. This goes further into smooth communication with directors and staff for the effective running of the business.

Cons

  1. Distractions. Board members can easily be distracted by family members, friends, or even strangers in the course of the meeting. They can also be distracted by other social apps on their phones which can cause them to lose focus. Some of these distractions are unavoidable and can disrupt the meeting.
  2. Network challenges. The challenge with everything done virtually is that data reception speed can be very slow owing to poor network within the area. Board members can travel to locations where network reception is extremely low and miss out on the meeting.
  3. Personal differences. Some board members might not entirely welcome the idea of paperless meeting solutions. They can be too stuck with the traditional meetings that jumping into the paperless boardroombandwagon seems impossible.

Pros and cons of paperless board software 

Pros

  • All information is securely stored in the cloud
  • It is easy to track meeting attendance and key agreements
  • It is convenient to share meeting agenda and all other materials with the team
  • Online interactions are healthier and better respond to the remote nature of work
  • Online meetings are better structured and more formal than physical ones

Cons

  • Absenteeism
  • More cost on papers
  • Lack of flexibility
  • Network challenges

Paper vs. paperless board meetings

Paper vs. paperless board meetings

Both meeting patterns come with their unique challenges and advantages. First off, paperless board meeting solutions can reduce cost and save time on travel, which is obviously a great benefit for the members of the board, as they travel a lot.

Besides, paperless meeting management makes all processes before and after the meeting way more convenient. Board members can easily track attendance, distribute meeting minutes, communicate and vote, draw an action plan, and put it to work right within the software.

On the other hand, a paper board meeting beats its paperless meeting management counterpart in terms of physical interactions. Sometimes members are stuck with work that they barely see, so leverage the meeting to create acquaintances and interact.

Also, there's no reason for anyone to be distracted since all phones will be put on silent, no intruders, and no irregular movement which can happen more frequently when using paperless meeting management software.


Conclusion

Paper and paperless board meetings are two viable means of ensuring hitch-free communication and resolutions between members of the board. Both come with their numerous benefits and a fair share of challenges which is often expected.

However, paperless meeting management software is gradually gaining prominence across the corporate world, and its challenges won't stand in the way. So it's going to thrive, and sooner or later, there will be fewer paper board meetings and more paperless ones.

Some of the challenges with the paperless board meeting solution like distractions can be managed with rules, and network challenges can be remedied with alternatives like Wi-Fi. But what's not certain is the entire death of traditional paper meetings, they will still be relevant because physical presence matters.


FAQs

Is paperless board meeting software affordable?

Prices can vary, and there are affordable options with limited features. However, the higher the better when it comes to solutions of this kind.

Is paperless board meeting software compatible with mobiles?

Yes, they are. They are built to be compatible with iPad, and some providers are integrating other operating systems like Android and Windows.

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