In 2010, British newspaper the Guardian reported that office paper use had fallen by 1% year on year. But even then, the broadsheet admitted that eradicating paper in its entirety was pretty much impossible. So today in 2012, are we any closer to the modern myth that is the paperless office?
With more than 3 billion of us regularly using emails, and billions more owning a computer of some kind, it may seem like we’re on the way to a paperless office. We plan our meetings using email and online calendars, complete the majority of our work on a computer, and use the Internet instead of telephone directories.
But an office without paper is one of those myths used to keep us in line. Just like the monster under our bed. While the humble computer has taken over many aspects of the office, there are a number of reasons why the mysterious paperless office will never be a reality:
Today we’re used to seeing emails that ask us to ‘consider the environment’ before printing. In order to be more ‘green’ businesses are choosing to check their bills online, to save on paper. But with managers becoming for savvy when it comes to record keeping, the pile of paper keeps growing.
To keep a good record of exactly what’s going on, all these digital documents and online receipts are being printed. This way you can keep everything safe and secure, without worrying about losing online files.
Direct Mail Marketing
Even with the Internet playing a huge role in day-to-day business, direct mail marketing is still one of the most popular and beneficial techniques. Corporate branded letterheads, flyers, and brochures are still great ways to yield results – and all of them rely on the humble piece of paper.
Sending a personalised letter to clients and customers is a really great marketing technique. In the days when people are bombarded with spam emails and text messages, receiving something in the post seems much more thought out.
Software and Security Concerns
Perhaps the biggest reason why the paperless office will never become a reality is because it involves a high level of technical proficiency. In order for everything to be sorted online, all employees will need to know how to access them. This is obviously not going to be appropriate for many sectors.
Another reason why technology can’t be relied on for everything is that it can fail quickly and abruptly. If you can’t access your digital records for one reason or another, your entire office day is disrupted. Relying too heavily on technology means that, should it go wrong, your down time is potentially very costly.
While protecting the environment should be a concern and a priority for all businesses, eradicating paper entirely is simply not practical. Instead, businesses should look at the ways in which they use paper to make it more worthwhile. Keep hard and online copies of all records – just to be safe – and work with a print management company that shares your green views.
Are you after business cards, printed envelopes, or letterheads but you’re worried about the environment? Charterprint are a professional print management company, with strong green ethics.