The Report From The Paperless Office
from the still-filled-with-paper dept
Remember the paperless office? Weren’t we supposed to have that by now? Well, one look around most desks suggests that the paperless office is still a fictional concept. If anything, the rise of technology (mainly cheap printers) has increased the demand for paper. Of course, that’s not to say that the way people use paper hasn’t changed at all. In fact, I’d say people use paper in very different ways than they used to. However, for the most part, we’re still a very paper-based society.
Comments on “The Report From The Paperless Office”
I found the article a little misleading. It mixes up two different concepts– the paperless office from the point of view of the company and the hype around eBooks and such.
Paperless office is not so much about not having any paper as much as it is that the primary publication channel for documents switches from paper to electronic publication. Most companies have made that switch and even if employees are printing off copies of things for their own purpose, it still costs a lot less for the company than publishing everything to paper themselves.
eBooks, on the other hand, were way overhyped and too early– I think we have a long way to go before we see the fall of the book…
Re: paperless office
eBooks were never as compelling as publishing-on-demand, IMHO. If you can make a book out of any text in an hour or less, it still looks and feels like a book, rather than just a file in your PDA. That concept should appeal to readers more than eBooks.
Trying for the paperless office in 1978
I worked at a well-funded strtup in 1978 that intended to produce a paperless office. I quickly learned two things:
(1) We printed an awesome amount of program listings to create the paperless office. Seemed like we were unable to NOT eat our own dogfood.
(2) I got a healty respect for paper as a storage medium. I won’t bore you here, but besides surviving drops into the bathtub and remaining compatible over hundreds of years of technological advance, it has incredible capabilities. AND with decent OCR, it’s even a satisfactory write-once read-many-times medium.