By in Business

Whatever Happened To The Paperless Office?

I started writing this as a poll, asking if anyone does work in a paperless office, but I realized the answer was rather obviously no.

In the 1980’s as computers shrank in size and began to take over our lives, many business companies rendered their office typing pools redundant and heralded the age of the paperless office. As everything would be electronic, writing paper, pens, pencils, binders, staples, envelopes, memos, etc. would all become utterly obsolete.

Though businesses are heavily dependent on computers, and hire whole departments of Information Technology (IT) specialists, the use of paper in letters, memos, print outs, etc., has grown. There are of course many people still without computers or the skills required to use one too.

The paperless office was a dream, a promise of hope to the environment, trees and landfill sites – then we woke up drowning in a sea of printer / photocopy paper.

Arthur Chappell

Image Credit » My computer, taken by me

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MelissaE wrote on January 14, 2015, 11:46 AM

I agree. I teach English, and daily piles of paper are the norm.

Koalemos wrote on January 14, 2015, 1:06 PM

The part that annoys me is practiced by many major businesses. Companies such as British Gas and British Telecom began requesting customers years ago to switch to paperless billing in order to save time and resources.
I accepted this request in both cases, which has been proven to be a farce. I receive an email informing me that my bill is ready then go to their website to view it. Next I go to my bank account and transfer the money online, but they still send me paper copies in the post within a couple of days.
What a totally absurd and pointless waste.

WordChazer wrote on January 14, 2015, 1:26 PM

The new computer system we have at work is supposed to make medical notes obsolete. In actual fact, surgeries still want paper copies of reports and some of our satellite offices haven't switched over to the new system at all so we still need to print and fax things.

Soonerdad3 wrote on January 14, 2015, 1:49 PM

I do remember the concept of paperless was going to revolutionize the office environment and then companies realized that it was going to be a monumental task to make it happen.

NorthernLight wrote on January 14, 2015, 2:53 PM

I worked in a paperless office where the racks of files stretched for ever!!

AsADrivenLeaf wrote on January 14, 2015, 5:02 PM

Paperless-ness hasn't totally wiped out the need for paper anywhere. My IT husband, I think can explain and identify with what you have observed.

j2401 wrote on January 14, 2015, 5:07 PM

Paperless is a nice thought but I cant see it ever working

Secre wrote on January 15, 2015, 8:21 AM

We have a paperless office. We just have to print all of it off for hard records as well! A complete waste of time!

BodieMor wrote on January 15, 2015, 10:10 AM

Interesting. And I just saw on PBS a show on how using hemp for paper and most other things made from wood, could truly help the environment in a myriad of ways. I was astonished over most of the information.

bestwriter wrote on January 20, 2015, 8:10 AM

No matter what, we need to have some kind of manual control because we can never depend on computers. I must admit however much of the paper has somewhat become less.