Culture

by Mike Masnick




For A New Generation The Paperless Office Might Not Be Such A Myth

from the bad-news-for-the-paper-business dept

Years of predictions about the "paperless office" turned out to be quite wrong, and in many cases, new computer technology actually meant more paper (sometimes much more paper). However, there are some signs that things may be shifting towards less paper (though, not quite paperless). We'd mentioned this trend a year ago, but more reports seem to be seeing the same thing. As a younger generation moves into the work world, they seem less likely to use paper. In other words, the issue of the paperless office myth may not have been an issue of technology, but of culture. A culture that was so used to using paper meant that many people still used the technology to just produce more paper. However, younger people who grew up in a digital world just don't see the need for paper. Obviously, that would mean we're still a long, long way from really decreasing paper usage, but perhaps the paperless office wasn't quite as laughable as many people assumed a few years ago.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2006 @ 12:53am

    Applying to College

    Just went through a rather frustrating process of applying to multiple schools -- the system is semi-automated, not enough to ensure accurate delivery. I'm still dealing with schools that say they haven't received test scores, transcripts, etc.

    When and if it does get fully automated, will we see a future when people just put their application data online, then colleges all over the country will automatically accept or reject them?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Galley, 9 Jan 2006 @ 4:35am

    No Subject Given

    My friend works for an insurance company who IS completely paperless. I work in vitamin manufacturing, and the FDA has strict regulations on documentation, so we won't be going paperless any time soon.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      MissingFrame, 9 Jan 2006 @ 6:24am

      Re: No Subject Given

      As long as cheapskate offices buy crappy little 15" CRTs, people are going to print things out so they can read them without going blind.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Road, 9 Jan 2006 @ 6:46am

        IT Departments

        It may just be coincidence, but Iíve work for several IT departments including in the Military. But from what Iíve seen IT departments in general donít seem to use too much paper. My desk has always been clutter less at every office Iíve been to and I prefer an electronic document over a paper doc any day. I think this was even more prevalent at the military network because most of the technicians are relatively young for what theyíre doing most are in there early 20ís. I changed jobs a few months ago and now Iím the only IT guy in the office building Iím working for and I notice that people to prefer to use paper more over here then at my other locations. I think some people are still just not comfortable with the electronic worldÖ So in the future a paperless office hmmmm maybe almost paper less there will always be a need for some documentation. But with the way things are getting in the class room (especially college) no one wants a paper document anymore. The younger generation will change things.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jamie, 9 Jan 2006 @ 6:23am

    Paper at work

    I worked for a small college last year in the IT department. We had people working there who had been there for 15 - 20 years. Then we had people who like me had graduated within the last few years. It always amazed me that the older workers felt that they had to print everything out to work on it. If they wanted to go over some older code, they would print it and go over the paper copy. The younger generation much prefered to look at code on the screen. the result was that the desks of the older workers always had stacks of paper on them, the younger workers usually had lots of free space on their desks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      crystalattice (profile), 9 Jan 2006 @ 3:45pm

      Re: Paper at work

      Not only are the older workers printing things out, but so are less tech-savvy people. In the military, I've run into so many supervisors who want a paper copy of something that you've already emailed to them. Even though it's incredibly easy to route an request chit for approval via email, they still want you to print it out and put it in a folder.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DL, 9 Jan 2006 @ 10:02am

    Culture and Tech is changing

    I am of a younger generation (but not green) and work as a Business Analyst in the IS world. I often print things out to write notes about stuff while referencing more info on screen. Since I was given dual 19 inch flat panels I don't print nearly as much... but now I itching for 3 screens.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Doug, 9 Jan 2006 @ 10:20pm

    No Subject Given

    21 years old, and I don't even own a printer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    sharp, 10 Jan 2006 @ 7:35am

    No Subject Given

    what is this, "printer" as you call it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Walker, 22 Feb 2007 @ 12:30pm

    My Paperless Office

    Alright, so it really isn't completely paperless. As long as documents have to be signed there will always to a need for hard copy.

    My paperless office is being run by a program called, "Paperpost 11 Professional". I regard it as not really being a program but a system. It has saved me tons of paper and usually I don't use my printer unless I need signatures on hard copy.

    Example: I get email announcing that my credit card is due another paymnet. I pay the bill online and the compoany sends me a confirmation number for the amount along with the date and possibly other info that they want me to have. I print the email file to my Paperport and store the information in a file which is arranged much like the microsoft exployer in its orginization. If need be I can make copies and quickly assign them to other files as well. Oft times a messge comes in telling me that the payment has been posted so I just print it again to paperport where I have the related file. If I want, I can stack the files so that all pages come under one convenient thumgnail. Every comes out as a .pdf file.

    Long story short. Just do a little search for Paperport 11 and continue the study.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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