Remember the “Paperless office?”
This term first became popular during the years I was trying to feed children by selling copy machines! These were not welcome words to us self-proclaimed “copier rats.” But after hours at a local watering hole, we cheerfully dismissed these doom-sayers.
And as I continued to purchase more file cabinets to store my precious papers, it sure looked like paperless was in the same realm as eternal youth: a nice thought, but…
Don’t believe me? Look around your office. Who do you love more your printer or your office chair. Well, you can sit on a cardboard box, but try and copy that 40-page document by hand, right?
So should the paperless office be a goal, anyway? Maybe not so much.
Think about it:
– Every day, everyday over 1 billion photocopies are produced (Source: Forrester Research)
-There are over 4-trillion paper documents in the US and growing annually by 22% (Source; Coopers & Lybrand)
-Paper usage is growing by 25% in the average office (Source: Gartner)
Why is this? you may ask.
- Efficiency: Well, that old concept we use to hawk: efficiency. Need to find it quickly. Sadly, electronic filing is not as useful as we had hoped and keeping a paper backup still seems essential for document retrieval. While the concept of effective systems is the dream, reality shows we are not yet there.
- Collateral and Marketing materials: can you really go to a trade show armed with a smart phone, urging people to glance at your screen while your competitor’s hand out professional printed resources? Not yet, my friend. Not yet.
- Comfort level resides in paper. Don’t believe me? Can youy hang an electronic version of your diploma. Does anything feel nicer in the hand than a nicely stamped PAID IN FULL document?
And last, but far from least- let’s hear it for a hand-addressed birthday card over an auto-reminder from a Facebook friend. I rest my case.
So let us reflect on the joys and benefits of the hybrid world we live in now. Paper may not be King of the Office, but it retains its royal ranking. In fact, we propose September 5th as “Take Your Favorite Printer to Lunch Day!”
Article by Donna Powell, Charleston Webweaver