Is Paper A Dead Commodity?

March 3rd, 2015

Is Paper A Dead Commodity?

Despite the world becoming increasingly paperless, no one has really addressed the idea of paper not existing in the working environment. Yet more and more offices become decreasingly reliant on paper. Each and every day, thousands of companies are going paperless or as paperless as they ever can be.

Paper is an industry that has been around for literally thousands of years, with the first paper being acknowledged in the 2nd Century BC in China. In a world where technology has moved faster in the last 40 years than it has in the millions of years before it, is it too much to expect people to put their faith completely in the prospect of being paperless?

For some businesses, it has become a matter of life and death to go digital with every aspect of their work. Removing paper from the equation means that there will be a vast improvement in the way that staff work, the speed at which they process data and, to put it bluntly, less money will be spent and therefore more money is available. So, it’s kind of a no brainer.

From our own experience as a document scanning company that also produces document management software, we find that people making the transition into a paperless office isn’t as daunting or as difficult as it may initially seem and people adapt very quickly. However, there are still areas of course where paper is still an important part of everyday life, such as in quite a number of important documents like contracts and other legally binding documentation. In courts in America it has fairly recently been made legal, albeit not desirable, to provide digital versions of documents as well as physical ones. This is probably due to an increasing amount of people creating documents on their computers and also archiving them and throwing out the physical copies to make space.

In contrast, paper is used now, more than ever, in large terms and conditions forms, hospital documentation and receipts, among others, and we are finding it increasingly difficult to store all the different shapes and sizes of paper documents. Yet we are apparently very conscious of the effect that paper has on our world.

When purchasing a product from any Apple store they ask if you would prefer the printed receipt or the receipt simply emailing to your associated Apple ID email address. There are also numerous manufacturers of toilet and kitchen paper who give promises such as that for every tree they use, they will plant three more. So we still hold a great affection for paper and the trees from which it comes and yet, we can find it awkward and space consuming.

Pro-paper enthusiasts will always argue that paper should always be used, in one way or another. Despite the popularity of the Amazon Kindle and the Apple iPad for reading books and magazines, there are still thousands of purists out there that would prefer to keep their paperbacks usually because they like the feel of a book in their hands. As appreciable as CGI and computer graphics can be, paper will always be used for painting and drawing. Again, these are traditions that have been instilled within us for thousands of years so it’s not something that is going to change so suddenly, if it ever does. And these are rituals that keep us as human beings in our purist forms. We are used to the feel of paper and the weight of it in our hands.

In conclusion, paper will always be around and will always be relevant but will possibly be used increasingly less. Many offices throughout the world, whether they be large and corporate or even lower level start-ups, can appreciate the positives that come with being digital in as many aspects of their working life as they can be. Plus, they often use document scanning services such as our own to make life so much easier for themselves and their staff.

As people we have a great love affair with paper and one that will probably never be broken for a very, very long time to come.

If you are interested in reducing the paper use in your office by digitising documents then get in touch and request a quote today.

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