Why do we struggle with the idea of a paperless office?
I am not sure I really know the answer to this.
In 1999, Watchtower had an interesting article titled “The Elusive Paperless Office.” You’d have to search the internet archives to find it today, but, they asserted:
“People don’t just want information at their fingertips. They want it on their fingertips. They want to be able to touch, fold and dog-ear; to fax, copy and refer to; scribble in the margins or post proudly on the refrigerator door. And, above all, they want to print out quickly, flawlessly and in vibrant color.”
Moreover, they say, “People are in love with paper. They want to feel it in their hands. We have seen people try to achieve the paperless office, but all the thousands of computers we see all have one thing in common: They’re all hooked up to at least one printer.”
Nearly 20 years later, we have had some amazing advancements in technology that have given us advantages that weren’t possible back then. The ubiquity of mobile devices has changed the attitude of the consumer.
That said, how many people still print documents for review? How many people still feel like they have to sign a piece of paper before the acceptance of delivery is real.
Are you all still hooked up to at least one printer? If you live your personal life without paper for reading, shopping and communicating, has your business life caught up?
Think about all the ways you use paper at your office. Think about your customer delivery process. Are you still making your customers sign a delivery ticket? Do you still have to process that paper manually by keying them in or scanning them?
What prevents you from making the jump to eliminate paper from your workflows?