What is the paperless office?


My previous blog (Why isn’t the business card part of the paperless office yet?) post threw the term paperless office a round a lot. I decided to write a short blog post explaining the term and its relation to our app.

Mankind from predictions by the oracles of ancient greece to modern works of science fiction has always been obsessed with the future. The idea of the paperless office is one of these dreams that is slowly but surely coming into fruition. The term paperless office has its first beginnings in the later half of the1970s when the first computer terminals started to be more widely introduced to the office environment.

Office of the future. (Source: MIT)

An early prediction of the paperless office is attributed to an article in Businessweek back in 1975. George Pake one of the founders of Xerox PARC predicted that by the year 1995 the computer would advance enough to let the users summon on-screen documents by pressing a button. This would of course eliminate the need for paper.

Old word processing computer. Source:Business Insider

The problems with keeping files on paper are clear. The amount of space to store the number of files an average sized company produces is quite large. To retrieve those files you need to keep them well organised and hope that whom ever used the file last had the decency to put it in its rightful place. This conundrum is made so much easier by computers they retrieve any file instantly with a click of a button.

The coming of the internet and office computers that made printing technology more personalised and widely available however. This meant that the paper consumption actually increased over the years. To be more accurate it has doubled in the last 2 decades of the 20th century. The trend is as the Economist says slowly turning around.

Source: The Economist(2008)

More and more paper gets recycled and we are finally digitizing our documents. Some attribute this change to the changing of the generations. The people who are growing up in the digital age are using less and less paper. Some say that this trend will become even more evident as the millennials become the main force in the business environment.

The idea of the office of the future is expanding. We could start talking about the office of the app or the office of the personal computer. Not only paper files are getting digitized but other office utilities as well. Instead of a rolodex (the thing you had to turn around a billion times to find the correct business card), the phone and the mail we have gmail and our google account synchronized throughout our devices. Instead of applying for a job by sending in a written C.V. we add our future bosses on LinkedIn. Even a simple human activity such as socialising is moving to the digital space in the form of social networks.

The office itself is partially disappearing since all our office utilities comes in the form of files and apps we can work from home or from a cafe just as effectively.

Our app Qriouz is a tool that takes these trend into account. It helps people to connect on all these digital tools, social networks and share our digital files effortlessly person to person.