With the average person now spending more time online and digitally (approx. 5-6 hours a day), their use of time on other media platforms such as newspapers and magazines has taken a drastic fall, averaging out at a ‘whopping’ 10 minutes! Whether it is for personal or business use, digital technology is advancing at a breath-taking speed, which portrays that as time goes on, an ever increasing percentage of the population will be ‘digital natives’ – But are we as businesses, really ready to make the transition in to a paperless world yet?
“31% of the companies are ordering more paper than they were 5 years ago”
Companies worldwide are implementing the strategy of having a paperless office environment to work in. Effectively reducing waste and increasing productivity – I’m guessing this is before system errors occur, large important files gets lost and the idea turns out to be more counterproductive than they initially predicted? Although I can see some of the benefits working on a computer myself, it is easier to access and manage certain documents, I don’t believe it is possible to get rid of paper for good, especially due to the historical prevalence of it. For many businesses it isn’t economical, nor practical to get rid of paper due to client requests, regulatory and legal requirements having to be presented in a hard copy form. Statistics confirm that when BusinessWaste.co.uk asked 250 UK companies about their paper activity, 31% of the companies stated that they are ordering more paper than they were 5 years ago: Suggesting to me that the paperless office movement is going too well…
Many people prefer having hard copies sat in front of them and are reluctant to replace the ‘feel/touch’ of paper – An evident case of nostalgia. From a survey taken, 83% of employees prefer to read from paper, and only 2% prefer to read from smartphones, this proves that people don’t like change; So when you are given the option in work to use either paper, or an IPad (which comes with a 500 page manual on how to use it (usually printed on paper may I add) and a battery life that lasts just as long as a banana in a monkey cage…) paper is often the clear winner. Yes, we interact more with digital technology, however we often engage more with paper products!
“With paper in the world, we’ll live happily ever after”
That timeworn myth about paper being bad for the environment is getting a little boring now, don’t you think? I know we all want to do our bit in helping fight climate change by reducing our carbon footprint and using sustainable resources, however smart use of paper does in fact help in this respect! Paper is indeed environmentally ecological and considered an associate in beating climate change. Although this cuts across our normal way of thinking, it is in fact correct that the more paper we use results to more trees being planted and grown, therefore there will be more forests!! Quite simple isn’t it? Forget the Reduce and just focus on the Reuse and Recycle. Moral of the story is, that with paper in the world, we’ll live happily ever after.
A Proud Parent?
Surely I can’t be the only one who has nostalgic parents? Going back to visit always means the memory box makes an appearance with old school projects and tests which they were so proud of! 97% of parents save their children’s paper-based school work to either commemorate achievement or to remind the child of their accomplishments… This wouldn’t be possible if paper was replaced in schools and everything became computer based.
From doodling as a toddler, to learning to read and write at school, we are introduced to paper at such a young age and is viewed as essential by education professionals. Although Schools and colleges are planning on becoming paperless, they should know that their students don’t plan on studying paperless…
Since 2015 the number of college students who use some form of paper to revise for exams has increased from 41% to 48%
Students are 1.5x as likely to say they take in more when they read notes that are on paper.
74% of students prepare for tests by taking handwritten notes, making flashcards and filling out paper worksheets… All based on PAPER
There are many articles out there about how paperless offices are the next big thing but do they really understand the implications that would cause? It plays a huge part in contributing to the productivity and effectiveness of the economy – Without it we would grind to a halt! It’s the base for learning and being creative, and is indeed critical to business’ productivity. Remember that not all parts of the world have accessibility to the internet, so if you’re looking to share information, digital technology isn’t going to take you the whole way… So whether its location, skills or even economic status that differentiate us as people – paper is the complete universal norm that does not discriminate.