Paperless working, are we ready for it?

With all those new technologies, apps, digital evolutions you’d think no one would use paper ever again. However, only 50 % of the Belgian working population thinks that paperless working could be a realistic future. That is shown by a study of Viadesk.

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Everything digital?

I love (new) digital stuff. I can’t imagine a life without my smartphone and tablet. Although I would LOVE a non-device holiday, I can’t watch television without my tablet. I just need to be online, tweet about what I see, connect with new people, chat with my friends, read new articles and pin stuff to my Pinterest-boards.

Digital changed our lives. Not only private, also at work things are changing. What did I said? They changed already!

Digital at the office

It happens more often that companies store their documents online, in the cloud. They use dropbox, Google drive, … . Invoices are saved on those online drives and are shared with the accountant. Notes about meetings are saved in Evernote and then shared with everyone. Companies use tools, such as Slack or Whatsapp to communicate with each other during the working day. And when your colleague is working at home, a meeting doesn’t have to be cancelled. Google Hangouts or Skype allow you to have the meeting anyways.

A paperless office?

Despite the fact that half of the Belgian (working) population thinks that a paperless office is a realistic and attractive future, we still print about 18,3 pages a day. (That’s per person!) A lot right?! This shows us that paper still is a prominent part in our office environment.

Frankly, I align with that group of people. Some days I even print more than 18,3 pages a day.

Sometimes I just need a peace of paper. I need to write things down, in order not to forget them.

I do love apps and new technologies: Evernote, Google Drive, Airtable, Trello, .. and so on. They’re amazing. But sometimes I just need a peace of paper. To take notes or to create to do lists. Or when I’m on the phone, in order not to forget what is being said. And even though there are lots of possibilities to create to-do lists online and add them on your tablet / mobile phone / laptop / … I still love it to check topics off. It gives me a great feeling. It makes me happy that something is finished.

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And when I read books, whitepapers or articles, I just want to mark certain parts, write stuff down, … and I want to do that in the book itself. Not on a seperate list in Evernote.

Paperless working = easier?

More than 60% of the Belgian working population thinks that documents are easier saved online than offline. And 62 % agrees that sharing the documents are even more easy when they are saved digitally. Yet 52 % admit that they find it easier to show how much work they still have when the documents are printed.

What surprised me a little in the study of Viadesk is that only 37 % agrees that paperless working is easier for working at home. Documents that are stored digital are available wherever you want, on every device you have. So why wouldn’t you do that. No more worries about a piece of paper you can forget at the office or on your kitchen table. As long you don’t forget your laptop (or other devices). ;-)

Conclusion

We still have a long way to go. Documents stored in the cloud. That still needs to gain our trust.

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