Why Paper-Free Businesses Are Still a Distant Dream

Paper-Free Businesses Are Still a Distant Dream

We’ve all heard that green business practices will be the norm in a few years, but we’ve lived through those years and many of our companies are still churning out printed documents and chewing through ink cartridges and toners like nothing.

But why?
It’s simple; we don’t live in a future where we can abandon paper yet. It’s still one of the most convenient methods of transferring information and we still use it to contact people through formal and official channels. With security breaches still being a huge problem, many people are content with sticking to paper-based media despite it being slower and less friendly to the environment.

You don’t just “go” paperless one day

Going paperless means that you severely limit yourself in certain areas. For example, many companies around the world still use fax machines because they’re convenient, and many contracts are still printed on paper and require physical signatures to be worth anything.

You don’t just turn on a switch one day and decide that you’re going paperless–it doesn’t work like that. Instead, you need to consider all of the problems that come with going paperless such as having to convert all of your files to a digital format or telling your clients they’ll no longer receive letters.

Going paperless is a time-consuming process and even a new startup can experience trouble trying to work from a completely paperless workflow.

Paper is still very convenient

Paper is ultimately still very convenient to use. Hand-written and printed physical messages still hold more importance than an email and there are environmentally-friendly ways to source paper if your business wants to go green. In addition, buying ink from services like Ink Warehouse is still very cheap and you’ll end up saving more money than if you tried to convert your workflow to a digital one.

Overall, we feel that businesses can still make good use of paper and there’s no need to stray away from traditional methods just yet. Plus, with the security concerns of digital storage systems, it’s arguably the safer option for a long-term plan.

Paperless systems can be a waste of money

Most people point at file archives as one of the main reasons why you should “go paperless” as soon as possible. It makes sense because the more paper files you have, the more work you need to do in order to digitize those documents.

However, most people also don’t realize that there’s a very slim chance that you’re going to need a paper document from several months or even years ago, and most important paper documents like contracts and invoices will likely already have digital copies because of software-based systems that we use to print the documents in the first place.

This means that paying a company to help you go paperless is, in most cases, a waste of both time and money. The most they’ll do is scan all of your documents (even ones you don’t need) and categorize them in an arbitrary way that makes no sense, yet still charge you money for it.

Alison Morgan