Is a paperless office the way forward?

There seems to be a common trend that business practices are striving for the paperless office. In this month’s blog we look at why companies think the paperless office is the way forward. However is this really the best solution for your business? Here are some of the facts and myths about the paperless office to help you find out if it is the right solution for your business.

Environmentally friendly

A paperless office is only more environmentally friendly if your business actually implements paperless systems. A big mistake many businesses fall into is scanning all documents and throwing them in the shredding console. This does nothing to discourage the creation of the initial documents, such as asking clients to send documents in digital rather than paper form.

Many companies use recycled paper this reduces their carbon footprint.  Using paper can be more environmentally friendly depending on your business operations. Emails and digital documents also produce carbon which people don’t realise. While this direct carbon footprint is lower than paper, the creation of devices to read digital documents produces a large amount of carbon that takes a long time to off-set.

More cost effective

People like the idea of the paperless office. They regularly  say that paper is expensive to buy, to print on and to store, at least more so than using a digital equivalent. This is true to a  certain extent but there are also costs involved with using digital files. The costs of buying  hard drive storage and powering it can surprise you.

People also say paper is expensive to store, whether in filing cabinets in offices or in third party storage facilities. But cloud storage and encryption can be costly too. Staff should definitely think before they print and be encouraged to use as little paper as possible however moving away from paper isn’t the moving saving exercise companies think it will be be.


When documents are digitally stored it can be more efficient, however this does require consistent labeling across the system. The labeling must be 100% accurate or will lead to a lot of confusion and people not being able to locate certain files.

It’s always more convenient for staff

There are many advantages for staff to using digital files, such as remote access and file sharing facilities. However there are some tasks that are easier to do in hard copy, whether that is reading large multi-page documents or making edits.

Every member of staff has their own way of working. Implementing a rigid paperless office strategy may affect employees productivity for carrying out tasks.

The paperless office remains an interesting idea, but the reality is a lot more complicated. In most cases a com combination of paper and digital works well. Pulp not only shred your paper files securely we also shred Hard drives, CD’s etc. The most important thing is to find the right balance for your company.

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