Whatever Happened To The Paperless Office?
The notion of the paperless office was being touted as far back, from my memory, as 2000. I remember writing a business report on the subject to the board of the company I was working for at the time rallying around a project for migrating to a paperless environment. It never happened.
Ten years later and the paperless office is still far away in the distance. You can have all the electronic document scanning, digital file storage, email, intranet, extranet, and other systems you like but let’s face it – we’re human and humans love paper.
Here is an example. I just started a business. A technology business. A digital media business. One of the things in my mind when starting up was to run a paperless office from day one and aim to keep it that way. Alas, it seems it’s not to be. Before even the first day of trading, after simply registering the business, getting some business advice, and opening a business bank account I already have a lever arch folder crammed with paperwork that is apparently “required keeping” and there is an increasing collection of paper that is also apparently required to be kept.
Paper is probably one of the reasons those internet-connected fridges never took off. The idea was to scan products as you used them and it automatically updated your online shopping list – presumably so at some point the technology might have got so sophisticated the deliveries simply arrived and your fridge got re-stocked. But isn’t writing a list with a pen and paper a lot simpler?
So, whatever happened to the paperless office? Hell, I’ll even take the less-paper office.