The Paperless Office

By: Bryan Ashbaugh


Any of us who have ever worked in an office or educational environment knows how soon stacks of paper can consume your personal space. The harder you work the more quickly it multiplies. In larger offices storage can soon become an issue with the immense amount of documents that must be stored. Large quantities of paper can create serious hassles. It is hard to organize and there is a huge potential for important items to become lost. Is it any wonder that in today’s world, several companies are putting forth serious efforts to go paperless?

A paperless office provides a multitude of advantages. When going paperless, one of the most visible changes will be storage space. Hard copies of documents need to be stored for various reasons. Large amounts of space are required for this. Having a paperless office or work environment will cut down immensely on filing rooms and designated places for storage. Documents can be stored in a variety of ways with computers. With the creating of disks, CD-ROMs and memory sticks, what would once have required several cubic meters of area can now be condensed into something much smaller.

Organization and efficiency would also improve vastly in a paperless environment. Large volumes and stacks of paperwork make loosing important items quite easy. When documents are stored electronically, they are easily accessible and difficult to destroy. A paperless office also cuts down on time and traffic. Documents can be sent electronically as well as stored. When data is sent from computer to computer it is much quicker then via the old snail mail method. Even sending documents within the same office is more efficient when done electronically. It arrives nearly instantly and does not require an extra pair of hands to deliver it. All it requires is the touch of a button.

Skeptics of the paperless office cite security as one of its main criticisms. How does one insure documents are being viewed by the person intended? How does one sign for documents that require this? Nothing is fool proof but basic computer safeguard can reduce the possibility of your documents falling into the wrong hands. The problem of signatures can be eliminated though electronic or digital signatures. Electronic signatures and digital signatures are designed to verify signatures using only your computer. The information is coded when using either electronic or digital signatures and then verified by your computer. This removes the need for paper documents and having sign for a receipt manually. This also insures that all documents are being received by the correct person.

Today, many are looking to convert their offices and work environments to paperless. A paperless office provides a lot in the way of organization, efficiency and storage. Having a paperless office can also look neater, cleaner and present the right image to those who see your work place from outside. Those who are skeptical and fear breeches in security need only to incorporate software that can read both electronic signatures and digital signatures. This will cut down on paper further, insure that information is safe and also arrive to the intended person and a much faster pace. Daily, we are encouraged to cut down on our use of paper for the sake of the environment. Having a paperless office would help in this aspect as well as make your office an organized and efficient place to work.

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Michal Rutzky is the marketing communications manager at Wondernet - the leading firm in the paperless office arena and developers of electronic signature technology.

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