Why the Campaign to Go Paperless is Failing
(And What Your Workplace Can Do Instead)
Though the thought of a paperless office seemed like a far-fetched dream 20 years ago, after wave after wave of technological advancements, workplaces have quickly migrated to the growing digital universe. Magazine brands shifted from print to digital versions, books were replaced by e-books, and processes that used to require physical appearances (such as filing for an ID) can now be completed online.
When the digital giant Google launched its paperless campaign in 2013, it seemed as if it was only a matter of time before going totally digital would become the norm. Yet while there’s no denying that technology has changed our lives for the better, very few have completely switched to paperless processes. In fact, one study found that urging taxpayers to go paperless resulted in a dismal 1% increase in online filing.
We are now using more paper than ever. Globally, paper consumption has quadrupled over the past 50 years, with global paper production hitting 400 million tonnes per year for the first time in 2014. More than half of this paper is consumed in China (106 million tonnes), the US (71 million tonnes), and Japan (27 million tonnes), and Asia has the fastest growth rates in consumption.
This growth is largely due to the rise in e-commerce—more than half of the paper used globally is for packaging. Meanwhile, over a quarter of global consumption is being used in printing and writing.
According to a 2017 Fortune article, a survey of over 2,400 security and IT professionals found that when their organizations became victims of weak cybersecurity and hacking, 66% admit that they weren’t confident in their organization’s ability to recover from the attack. One study conducted by the University of Maryland found that hackers attack every 39 seconds. This means that data breaches, stolen identities, and stolen sensitive information have become a major problem in recent years and will most likely become a great threat in the future.
Apart from the huge threat of hacking, other security risks come with doing everything digitally. McAfee reports that in the third quarter of 2018, they have detected over 60 million new malicious software or malware. A company that has a weak cybersecurity network will most likely be an easy target for viruses and malware.
Then there’s the issue of human error. All it could take is one press of a wrong key or one poorly-timed blackout for files to be damaged or deleted, gone forever.
On top of everything, paying for additional data storage costs could prove to be costlier than, say, printing your own files for storing. Back in April 2014, International Data Corporation (IDC), a large media, data and marketing services company, predicted that by 2020, the huge digital universe will reach 44 zettabytes or 44 trillion gigabytes. IDC also reported that worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure will reach a figure of $210 billion in 2019.
In 2019 alone, the United States spent $124 billion on cloud services, their largest market. China came second with a $10.5 billion figure. It goes without saying that file storage costs are becoming a burden for many companies. After all, keeping your files protected doesn’t come with just storage, but also maintenance and updates.
Going paperless can make certain processes more effective, but for other functions, such as reading, sending invites, and storing certain documents, sticking to paper still makes more sense. Printing out documents for work is familiar, safe, and secure for most people. It serves as tangible proof for transactions and notes, and it also acts as a physical backup in case the digital versions get lost.
If going paperless is the way everyone should go, how come printers are being produced in larger quantities and with features that keep getting better over time? Printing out paper documents gives an office a sense of a system, which is why a printer will always be an essential part of the office. Putting important information in ink is a good way to keep them from prying eyes, because with physical copies, you can literally store the data under lock and key to ensure its safety.
At the end of the day, the ultimate goal of going paperless is to make your office more organized and efficient. But of course, going paperless is not the only way you can make your workplace run smoothly. So much more can be done beyond removing paper from the equation, and in many cases, working with paper can actually help you become more productive.
The physical act of writing is also more effective for learning and remembering. Multiple studies have found that students who take notes longhand perform better than students who take notes on their laptop. This is because people who take notes on their laptop tend to transcribe lectures verbatim, while those who take notes by hand process and reframe them in their own words while writing them down.
Even as the world turns more digital, not all offices—most likely including yours—still can’t go completely paperless. Which makes the need for a good printer all the more vital to make an office a well-oiled machine.
Apart from the security issues that come with going totally digital, it’s important to note that not everyone you deal with has gone paperless. Government bureaus still require literal paperwork in most transactions, and smaller businesses may not have the resources to adopt a totally digital system. And—this may surprise you—not everyone is always on the web. There are still many individuals from your potential market that you can tap through good old paper.
That’s why an office—one that wants to be as productive as possible—really needs a good printer. And for workplaces that need to print out large volumes of paper at a low cost, what better printer is out there than the new HP Neverstop?
The HP Neverstop has the world’s first toner tank, able to print 5,000 pages in one load. The reload kit is only PHP 1,250*, allowing your office to enjoy as low as PHP 0.25 cost per page yet still retaining that true HP legendary laser quality. Plus, you can access it via a smart app, so you can print from virtually anywhere.