With so much discussion surrounding the paperless office and all its supposed advantages, one would think that paper serves no real purpose in the modern workplace any longer. But what if the opposite is true, and paper still has many advantages over the new tech-centric solutions of the week? Let's look at why paper remains a go-to format for so many organizations.
Paper is arguably the most universal medium of communication and information management, and has been for hundreds of years. While electronic document systems have certainly made an impact, it's safe to say that paper is still the global standard. In fact, according to PMG Print Management, 99 percent of offices in Europe use paper in some capacity to this day.
So rather than becoming dependent on new trends, many organizations are keeping paper around in an effort to standardize their office communications, both internal and external. This ensures that they can remain productive regardless of the tech developments and industry buzz that may take place around them.
Many format types
Electronic documents are flexible in their format, but not to the same degree as paper. As PMG Print Management pointed out, printed materials show up in a wide array of variants, from custom envelopes to specialized stationary and internal forms. In many cases, these documents can offer a professional touch to a business that can't be achieved with electronic means.
So rather than fiddling with digital formatting, many organizations opt to have custom-designed paper materials delivered to their doors, reducing complications and ensuring productivity in a much shorter span of time.
Paper has been proven to be less hazardous to the human eye than monitors and electronic devices, according to PMG Print Management. Additionally, using paper can reduce cases of carpal tunnel syndrome and other joint issues that result from the overuse of keyboard and mouse setups. Staff members should at least have the option of going back to paper if they want.
"Offering your employees alternative, non-computer based tasks to complete will greatly reduce the likelihood that they'll suffer from these health problems and others like them," explained the news provider.
When it comes to collaborating in the office – especially on creative tasks – electronic documents only take a team so far. Meetings that demand outside-the-box thinking are generally better when undertaken with paper – taking notes, brainstorming and sketching out new ideas are much easier to accomplish using paper.
For PR agencies, marketing and advertising companies and other creative entities, paper is – and always will be – a key tool in the office arsenal. When organizations keep a healthy supply of paper flowing through the office, they provide executives, managers and staff members with the materials they need to be as creative as possible.
There are few issues more universal than data security in the modern age, and organizations across sectors are prioritizing the protection of their networks, applications and information assets. This is another reason why companies are sticking with paper at the moment – it is far less likely that hard-copy files will be stolen, compared to data kept on a sever connected to the Web.
"Electronic records are susceptible to hackers and other unauthorized individuals who can gain access by breaking down the electronic defenses of a storage system," stated Houston Chronicle contributor John Csiszar. "Electronic records can also be rendered inaccessible due to system crashes or other electronic malfunctions."
Paper isn't going anywhere, and these are just a few of the compelling reasons why.