Any office environment generates a lot of documents and paperwork, but having too much paper can reduce the efficiency of your business as well as cost you money. So why are we still using so much of it?
Paper is often used without thought, yet a lot of time and money gets spent every year on moving paperwork around. Paperless offices have been talked about for decades, yet more and more paper is being used every single year – estimated to be increasing at around 25% per year!
However, it can be possible to completely get rid of paper in almost all areas of business. Digital documents are simpler, easier to store and send, more searchable and more versatile than paper, but many businesses have a long way to go before they become paperless. So why do we still use paper? Paper is still so common and it is worth understanding the reasons why:
- Cost – Paper is cheap and easy to distribute, or so everyone thinks. Once you include the cost of print machines, toner, servicing, maintenance, archiving, storage and all the other associated costs, paper begins to look more expensive.
- Longevity & convenience – Some paper documents have been around for centuries and can still be read today. By contrast, some computer records from 20 years ago can’t be accessed at all as technology has evolved. However, digital storage methods are improving at a rapid rate with increased accessibility for older formats to be converted.
- Physicality & haptic perception – Many people like the way paper feels and the fact that it’s an actual physical item that they can hold. Sometimes information inside a computer and displayed on a screen doesn’t seem as real as a physical copy. But this is changing as workplaces begin to be populated with people who have grown up with computers and viewing information on a screen.