Sounds like a school essay question? The obvious answer is that a great deal of paper that’s produced in a business is not read, or just read once and thrown away.
But as a challenge, ask yourself what are situations where going completely “paperless” is actually bad. Counterproductive. More expensive even, maybe.
According to surveys done of businesses, about 31% of the working day can be lost trying to find paper documents. Many businesses don’t understand the efficiency and increased productivity that comes with running a paperless office. Here are a few reasons why paperless offices are such a benefit:
1. Storage – much less space is taken up storing digital documentation.
2. Automatic audit trail – storing documents digitally makes keeping a paper trail for an audit much easier.
3. Time Savings – with a well kept digital filing system, it is much faster and more efficient to search for documents on the computer than in a paper storage facility.
4. Security – storing documents digitally is much safer than storing paper documents in an office, even if that office is kept secure.
5. Business Development – with all the time saved storing documents digitally, there is more time for businesses to focus on development whereas they once spent it looking for paperwork.
For more benefits to having a paperless office, check the link below.
Some reasonable points, but note that the reference is a company, Invu, that’s trying to sell their product. Since in my job I must do *both* electronic and paper versions of documents, I strongly question that I would be spending more than 5% of my day searching for documents — or that most other people would be.
Their point on Security is flat out wrong. If I want something secure, it’s better locked in my desk. Online, it could be stolen, and I wouldn’t even know it.
And a very important point Invu neglected to mention is that after years, many electronic documents become unreadable, the software that created them is no longer supported, etc. DVDs last 10-15 years. Paper lasts forever.
Security of the business should not be any more of an issue when switching to paperless. Many businesses already have secure servers and keep many documents on the computer (not necessarily online).
The percentage of documents that are important enough to keep is likely minimal, meaning a lot of waste. About 9 in every 10 papers is being thrown away.
There are 40 work hours in a week, 52 weeks a year, and 5 % is 104 hours every year, which means you are spending 2.5 40 hour weeks looking through paper documents.
What most people do is waste a lot of paper and spend too much time looking through them.
Electronic documents do not become unreadable. Mediums become outdated but there will always be a way of reading and converting the source files.
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